Netflix Series Mortel Season 1 serves unlikeable teenage characters and subplots that are too heavy in comparison to the core plot. A massive shame.
This review of Netflix Series Mortel Season 1 contains no spoilers.
When you read the premise for Mortel it is easy to be excited. A story of teenagers getting caught up in a supernatural phenomenon that gives them powers to help them investigate and tell the truth.
The Netflix series tries to make the teenage supernatural drama as gritty as possible. It douses some scenes in French rap to give the characters an edge. The lead characters are Sofiane (Carl Malapa) and Victor (Némo Schiffman). Sofiane is the broodiest teenager you could ever meet. He is hated and loved at the same time and walks around with a constant drive. As for Victor, he appears like a loser, yet intriguing at the same time.
The crux of the story is Sofiane’s brother. He is missing and Sofiane is desperate to find out where he is, or what someone may or may not have done to him. His world turns upside down when he decides to make a deal with a God, who provides Sofiane and Victor with powers.
There’s also another lead character called Luisa, who is actually played brilliantly by Manon Bresch, whose grandma dabbles in voodoo magic and seeks out bad spirits. You can already sense from the first episode that the stories are going to intertwine.
But here are the problems with Mortel Season 1. It gives no reasons for the audience to care.
For some strange reason, the writers decided to make the characters extremely unlikeable. Considering the genre is “teen drama,” it is a painful move to not provide any emotional engagement. These kids are “coming of age” and are required to feel relatable.
By now, I am used to teen dramas feeling slightly stale — Netflix release enough of these series for me to understand that potentially I’m not in the right demographic, however, there’s no excusing such a muddled story. Mortel Season 1 fails to keep the core narrative on a reasonable track and becomes engrossed in deeply sidetracking to less important stories. Everything interlinks, but it feels oddly written — almost as if the writers did not understand their own story and the mythology that surrounds it. The main plot is Sofiane’s brother but at times that becomes drowned by other heavy subplots.
With the characters feeling unlikeable and dull and the plot being heavily muddled and viciously going around in circles, Netflix’s Mortel Season 1 is surprisingly a difficult viewing considering it is only 6 episodes long.
You can read the first episode recap by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.