By Ricky Valero
Where to stream it? Hulu (premieres April 26)
Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Josh Bonzie, West Duchovny, Jayden Elijah, Bre Francis, Kenlee Anaya Townsend, Betsy Brandt, and Michael Park
Written by: Leila Gerstein, Jeff Augustin, Natasha M. Hall, Matthew Cruz, Cynthia Adarkwa, Nina Braddock
Directed by: Darren Grant, Dee Rees
Intro: Saint X Season One Review
Saint X is a series based on the novel of the same name by Alexis Schaitkin that follows the story of a young woman whose mysterious death during a Caribbean vacation causes a ripple effect that pulls her sister into a dangerous path looking for the truth.
We meet this family that heads off on their family vacation. As they arrive on this beautiful island and start settling in, we meet some other families that live there. The family gets ready to head back home from the vacation, and the oldest daughter Alison isn't there, and Emily tells her parents. This is where we begin to see the story follow the past and present and intertwine the two to understand what happened.
In the present day, we have Emily, who is struggling to cope with her sister's death years later. Mainly because her parents kept all the details away from her, causing her to be in the dark. Despite knowing she shouldn't look up, Emily can't help but dig up the past. In the midst of trying to uncover the truth, we see Emily lurk around and follow a man who is believed to have killed her sister. As each episode unfolds, the truth behind it all starts to get more and more unpacked, and we find out the truth wasn't what we believed all along.
Rich vs. Poor
The series isn't reinventing the wheel regarding the story of class, as we've seen this story told in the past. That said, the one thing it does do right is highlight the lower class in a way that shows each person's struggle in more poor parts of the world. You see these wealthy families heading on vacation to these larger-than-life islands where people are waiting on you hand and foot, but you see them treat them like crap, causing them to feel that resentment and anger. The show lacks a decisive focus on many things, but the writers did wonderfully with this aspect of the show.
The editing was great
Saint X isn't planted in just the past or the present, it's firmly within both realms, and it gets right in how they balance it. You know where you are at every moment within each episode. The editors do a fantastic job of cutting between the scenes and using certain pieces of present/past within the editing. For instance, in one episode, we saw a pineapple at the store in the present day, which transitioned to a man delivering a pineapple drink to someone in the past. I've got many bones to pick with the show, but the editing deserves all the credit.
An overbearing amount of characters and rough acting
My biggest pet peeve with this entire show is the fact we had so many people involved in the story that never focused enough on principal people to get us to invest in their journey fully. We intertwine between timelines meaning we will meet quite a few characters, but they don't focus on one or two of them, but instead adding extra layers that were unneeded to the overall story.
Honestly, the characters they honed in on weren't good enough to bring this strong script to life. Outside of Al Debnam-Carey and Josh Bonzie, who carried the show, everyone else was just fine, and because the writers chose to add more people to the story, the heavy lifting they did, went unfulfilled.
Overall, Saint X is a good show that had the potential to be great. The struggle to find a rhythm with the vital characters forces things to fall off the rails. That said, the script's true mystery and look at class will have the general audience captivated to tune in each week to find out what really went down. Although, I will say it does make a great binge if you watch it all in one or two sittings.