There is a lot of teasing in Netflix’s June 30-launching Gypsy, but ultimately the Naomi Watts-starring series is a non-thrilling exercise in temptation and betrayal that goes nowhere and doesn’t get there particularly fast.
Created by newcomer Lisa Rubin and partially directed by Fifty Shades Of Grey helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson, the 10-episode first season stumbles most noticeably in its near total waste of the Oscar-nominated Watts’ skills and talent. As I say in my video review above, in her portrayal of New York-based cognitive behavioral therapist Jean Holloway, who crashes through boundaries with her patients and their lovers — and her own seemingly perfect life by leading another one — the Mulholland Drive star is plagued by scripts that just go round and round in increasingly derivative circles.
As Watts’ lawyer husband, Billy Crudup spends most of the series looking perplexed when he’s either up to no good himself or tracking down his wife’s late-night activities far from their Connecticut home. Playing Sydney, the object of Jean’s alias Diane’s affections, Sophie Cookson tries to create traction in the role. Despite the efforts though, the writing and the pacing have the Kingsmen: Secret Service alum caught in a narrative cul-de-sac.
Melanie Liburd co-stars as Crudup’s assistant and the object of Watts’ suspicions. Brenda Vaccaro, Lucy Boynton, Poorna Jagannathan, Karl Glusman as Jean’s patient Sam, and Brooke Bloom round out the cast.
A deft actor who can shift gears from vulnerability to hard metal and every emotion in between with finesse in the swiftest and smallest of movements, Watts also does double duty on the Universal Television-produced series as an executive producer, along with Rubin, Liza Chasin and Rudd Simmons.
For more of my take on Gypsy, click on the review above and see why this series should not be on your Fourth of July weekend binge list.