A personable and pacey teen mystery, Get Even won’t shake up the genre, but it’ll satisfy fans of it for as long as it lasts.
This review of Get Even (Netflix) is spoiler-free.
Premiering on Netflix from Friday, July 31 after debuting on the BBC, Get Even is just what we need – yet another fairly decent trope-laden teen mystery to pack out the thumbnails in an already oversaturated genre. But you can’t hold that against this highly binge-able 10-episode outing which combines the one-more-episode whodunit hook of a murder mystery with the expected coming-of-age beats. It’s fine, and anyone who goes into it expecting exactly that will have their expectations comfortably met.
The premise, at least, is intriguing. Set in a private school – evoking another of Netflix’s teen-centric international hits, Elite – and boasting a very charmingly British sensibility, Get Even zips through ten sub-half-hour episodes concerning the exploits of Don’t Get Mad (DGM), a mismatched foursome of crusaders who find themselves framed for the murder of a gossipmonger target.
The characters, then, are everything in Get Even, and the quartet of slightly off-kilter archetypes in model student Kitty (Kim Adis), tech whizz Margot (Bethany Antonia), alternative Bree (Mia McKenna-Bruce) and it-girl Olivia (Jessica Alexander) make for reasonably well-rounded protagonists with secretive double-lives and a fair share of stress when they’re implicated in a murder. That tasks them with investigating that murder while keeping a low profile and avoiding the attention of the detectives working the case – something which, naturally, doesn’t go to plan.
As with any genre-splicing show, the key is in the balance, and Get Even has to divide its time between its mystery and the usual angsty teen melodrama. In this case, the former is much superior to the latter, with a proper keep-‘em-guessing case that has just the right amount of twists, turns, viable suspects, and clever red herrings. Thankfully this is given more attention than the played-out love triangles and such, even if there’s a bit more of a split focus than I’d perhaps like.
What also helps Get Even along is its breezy episodes; ten seems like a lot, but they only run for about 25 minutes each, making for a snappier structure and a great rhythm to the swerves and reveals. Genre fans will find it all-too-tempting to binge the whole thing at once, and if they do they’ll find a slightly more coherent ending than most Netflix Original offerings, even if some plot threads are temptingly left dangling for a sophomore season to tug on.
But Get Even earns that with its lively, personable mystery, one that’s well worth a look for those who’re into such things and would like one not to be attached to another dour European noir.
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