Bizarre, overlong, and unfocused, 6ixtynin9 The Series expands the original’s runtime and fills the gaps with a detrimental degree of absurdity.
This review of the Netflix series 6ixtynin9 The Series Season 1 does not contain spoilers.
You don’t call a show 6ixtynin9 by accident. It’s a deliberately provocative title, though also not an original one since the Thai Netflix original series is a remake of the 1999 movie of the same name. Either way, it’s deliberate. The show might not actually be about what you think it is, but it wants you to assume so and hopefully, get sucked in – oh, stop it – regardless.
Across six episodes, the series is a close retelling of the movie’s story, expanded a little to its detriment and reliable in its ability to be both predictable and not, familiar and fresh, grounded and absurd. You can say a lot about 6ixtynin9 The Series, and I’m about to, but what perhaps sums it up the best is that you’ve seen a lot like it, and also nothing quite like it at all.
6ixtynin9 The Series Season 1 review and plot summary
The plot runs thusly.
A young woman named Toom suddenly loses her insurance job amid the pandemic. Bereft and aimless, she’s surprised to find a box full of cash on her doorstep. See, Toom lives in apartment 6, but the sign is loose and keeps swinging upside-down, so from the outside it looks like she lives in apartment 9 (yes, that’s why it’s called that.) The confusion results in the box, and Toom’s circumstances result in her resolving to keep the money, whoever might turn up to retrieve it.
This is standard crime thriller stuff, and it mostly unfolds in the manner you’d expect one to. But 6ixtynin9 isn’t so much about this core plot as it is the eccentricity surrounding it, which provides reliable weirdness and stop-start pacing that will be as curiously engaging to some as it is indescribably frustrating to others.
But there’s something off-kilter here from the beginning. Even the opening scene in which Toom is fired is insane; a callous game of chance that must break all kinds of employment laws and that you can’t tell if you’re supposed to be laughing at or not. Things only get weirder from there.
Sometimes 6ixtynin9 The Series is weird to its own detriment, in the manner of a show given too much leeway for indulgences that don’t really go anywhere or mean much. As it turns out, expanding a story from a feature film to a series but keeping most of the key beats the same just saps the original of its compact tension.
You can also tell that the series is sometimes reaching for the low-hanging fruit of sex and violence to be attention-grabbing. It isn’t overly offensive or gratuitous, which in a way makes it seem even more pointless, since what’s the point otherwise? The oddball comedy works better than the more straight-laced drama, though it’s still slightly subservient to a plot that was better in a more measured format.
Is 6ixtynin9 The Series good or bad?
As much of a critical copout as it may be, mileage will vary. However, it’s hard to shake the idea that 6ixtynin9, at least in this form, isn’t very good.
The pacing is all over the place, the absurdity sometimes threatens to tip detrimentally in the realms of nonsense, and some solid performances can’t really distract from the feeling of dismay you get when a show self-sabotages at every turn.
Is 6ixtynin9 The Series worth watching?
Perhaps I’m being too harsh, and there’s certainly enough personality here to warrant a look for those who’re interested in something slightly different from the norm.
However, 6ixtynin9 The Series is ultimately too strange and unfocused to be a worthwhile redo of the original.
What did you think of 6ixtynin9 The Series Season 1? Comment below.
You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.