Turn of the Tide has some enjoyable performances and moments, but it’s hamstrung by an overly predictable script.
This review of the Netflix series Turn of the Tide Season 1 does not contain spoilers.
Stop me if any of this sounds familiar.
A small village with few opportunities. A group of youngsters blighted by their circumstances, keen to better themselves and their loved ones. An opportunity, perhaps ill-advised, to elevate their position when all other traditional avenues have failed. And, of course, the consequences that follow.
Turn of the Tide, a seven-part Portuguese-language Netflix thriller, revels in the familiarity of these overdone themes and thin characters, delivering yet another version of the same story. Some nice scenery and decent chemistry notwithstanding, you can’t escape the feeling you’ve seen it all before.
Turn of the Tide Season 1 review and plot summary
Eduardo, Silvia, Rafael, and Carlinhos are all stuck, in one way or another. They need a break. Eduardo’s father, for instance, has cataracts and is going blind. A mix-up has delayed his surgery. Eduardo’s efforts to secure a visa to better his life overseas have failed.
Youngsters whose ambitions outweigh their opportunities are nothing new. Almost every bad decision in film and TV history has been made under similar circumstances. Turn of the Tide – an enjoyably obvious title – introduces these people early so we get why they’d do something stupid. But it doesn’t quite manages to make us care what happens to them after they do it.
The “something stupid” in this case is pocketing hundreds of kilos of Mafia cocaine which wash up on the shore of the island after an unprecedented storm shipwrecks the vessel it was being transported on.
What does a bunch of young-adults do with alarming quantities of a Class-A narcotic? What do they do when the Italian Mafia and the police come looking for it? These are the essential dramatic questions on which the remaining episodes are built.
Is Turn of the Tide good or bad?
The problem is that these questions have obvious answers.
Less than halfway through Turn of the Tide it’s fairly easy to predict where the whole thing will end up, which is a shame, since there’s an enthusiasm to the performances that would have been better served by a more original script.
There’s nothing wrong with familiarity in entertainment, obviously, but without the novelty of a fresh angle or premise, you must turn to the quality of the execution itself. That’s fine here. It’s shot with a degree of clarity, the acting is perfectly respectable, there are nice landscapes and some decently constructed set-pieces. Fine doesn’t quite cut it though.
Is Turn of the Tide worth watching?
Those looking for some easy laidback genre entertainment will find Turn of the Tide to be a lightweight and inoffensive retread of familiar ideas.
You’ve seen it all before, but if you want to see it again, there’s probably no harm in bingeing this version of it.
Anyone looking for something new, though, will be left understandably wanting.
What did you think of Turn of the Tide Season 1? Comment below.
You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.