Til Death Do Us Part Review: The Taiwanese Black Mirror? Broken Vows

August 15, 2019
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
3.5

Summary

Taiwan’s answer to Black Mirror, this anthology series meddles in the sci-fi, horror, and thriller genres to mixed effect.

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3.5

Summary

Taiwan’s answer to Black Mirror, this anthology series meddles in the sci-fi, horror, and thriller genres to mixed effect.

Til Death Do Us Part Season 1 is Taiwan’s contribution to the ever-growing — and ever-popular — genre-blending anthology series market. Black Mirror ushered in the trend of nihilistic, cautionary anthology series’,  and we’ve seen it reflected on Netflix in stuff like Love, Death + Robots. Another Taiwanese anthology offering, On Children, explored familial dysfunction, societal pressure, and parental obsession through the lens of genre fictionEasy did the same thing for sex and relationshipsThe Romanoffs (on Amazon Prime) did it for inscrutably pretentious claptrap. There are other examples. It’s a good format that can be made to accommodate all sorts, which is why it’s a bit of a shame that the latest addition to the anthology thumbnails, Til Death Do Us Part, is operating in the same general wheelhouse as Black Mirror, making the comparisons all too easy — and not always favorable.

Across seven half-hour-ish episodes, Til Death Do Us Part plays around with well-worn concepts like time loops, obsession, revenge, relationships, and social media, each framed as thrillers or be-careful-what-you-wish-for cautionary tales. As always in any anthology, the quality wavers, but thankfully remains relatively consistent here, even if the subjects don’t entirely set the world alight with their prescience. What that also means is that virtually everyone is bound to find something they like here, even if it’s only one or two episodes.

Despite its Taiwanese origins, Til Death Do Us Part Season 1 deals in universal themes and communicates in a universal cinematic language, so there’s no real cultural specificity to these stories — not as much as there might have been, anyway, which isn’t a criticism unless you want it to be. The tone is liable to fluctuate but tends to hover on the darker, more serious end of the spectrum, ensuring the series has emotional weight, even if its nihilism can get a bit wearing. As a rival to Black Mirror, this is a series that can’t necessarily be said to compete, but as a companion piece for fans in the market for more of the same, it’ll definitely pass the time.

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