Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

Even what “The Resort” yearns to really be about—its personal themes about the passage of time and relationships—are underwhelmed by its reliance on such superficial intrigue. For however much it wants to be about a frayed marriage coming back together through this adventure, it handles those emotional elements so indifferently, and then later so on-the-nose as if it were all a plot point anyway. Milioti and Harper are fine in these two roles, but it’s also clear when the story doesn’t have much ideas for their chemistry, so it has them play with flashlights as if they were lightsabers for ten seconds of quirky comedy. Their shared grief is revealed and cared for with about the same tact and meaning; meanwhile we spend a lot of time with Sam and Violet, who are just like two kids that decide to chase a firefly and leave their parents behind. Violet is consumed herself by a book about time travel, as given to her by her late mother.

The only sturdy emotional arc that might exist in this story belongs to Nick Offerman, whose performance as Violet’s father displays how the experience of grief transforms someone, and can always return them to unanswered questions. It happens so late into the story that I can’t get into too much detail, but it’s a sliver of some emotional impact, as if Offerman’s tears have the life source this mystery needs. Other than him, the why of following this unrewarding mystery is just so thin, which makes our reason to stick with these barely developed characters even thinner. 

There came a point, deep into the weeds of “The Resort,” in which I was annoyed any time a character asked a question. It started to feel like anytime someone asked about what they were doing, or “How do you know this?”, “The Resort” would break into some tangent that was nonetheless removed from its nonexistent stakes (the series doesn’t have a villain, and maybe it needed one since it doesn’t even have a good finish line). It’s a terrible resentment to have, especially for a series meant to stoke curiosity about a life-reflecting journey, and yet can seem to only do it in some way by dragging the audience by the nose from one piece of information to the next. But as the curiosity of the show dies episode by episode—about a powerful family, a powerful hurricane, a powerful book written about time travel—it’s clear that there is no grand scheme behind “The Resort.” If there ever was one, it’s long gone. 

All of season one screened for review. The first three episodes of “The Resort” premiere on Thursday, July 28th, with a new episode each week. 

By admin