Detective and mystery shows have always been a highlight of Cinema and Television. From Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes, the audience builds an internal list of whodunnit. But like a great detective, most of the time the mystery gets solved before the final scene plays out. Hats off to Disney and the creators of the new series DEATH AND OTHER DETAILS Mike Weiss and Heidi Cole McAdams. the mystery and the danger keep building with the turn of every episodic page.
Weiss and McAdams are clear fans of Agatha Christie. They do a great job of modernizing the tone which those works displayed. Death and Other Details brings audiences a storyline with sex, violence and profanity. Mandy Patinkin plays “The World’s Greatest Detective” Rufus Cotesworth. The character was inspired by other genre detectives Hercule Poirot, Sam Spade, and Sherlock Holmes.
Death And Other Details are set on a lavish Mediterranean ocean liner at sea. Here the rich elite enjoy the luxuries which their wealth can afford them. The bone-weary crew members must attend to these pampered guests. This doesn’t sit well with them. Amongst these socialites is the brilliant and restless Imogene Scott (Violett Beane). Shortly after enjoying her time on the ship, she finds herself smack dab in the middle of a murder mystery. What makes things worse for Scott is the fact she is the prime suspect in this murder. To prove her innocence, she must team up with someone from her past whom she despises. That person is “The World’s Greatest Detective” Rufus Cotesworth(Patinkin).
In this review there will be as little amount as spoilers as possible, to keep the mystery going for the viewers. We received the first eight episodes of the show to preview and review with many thanks to Disney.
The atmosphere is ever-evolving throughout the eight viewed episodes. The story breaks off into many different branches of intrigue. It opens up even more questions than answers. throughout each episode.
Episode 0ne entitled “Rare” sets the stage for each episode that follows. The Audience gets an introduction to the players, two very rich and powerful families. The stage is set when a passenger is found murdered in their room. One main suspect, Imogene Scott (Violett Beane) is around the deceased hours before.
Beane impresses with her demeanour throughout the series. She not only controls the scenes she is in but also is a great counterpart to Mandy Patinkin on screen. There’s a unique connection between these two characters. This being how they embody each other while playing out scenarios and reenactments.
Weiss and McAdams create round characters with many different sides to their personality. Of course, they unravel these characteristics throughout the eight episodes. So a character that seems heartless and vile, might be the mirror opposite of that from one episode to the next. This is a great way to keep the audience guessing and very engaged.
Each episode is entitled by one word and even that can be a mystery or a clue to what the audience is about to see. One thing is evident, Death And Other Details is a binge-worthy series. Myself, I’m bitting at the bit to see how the final two episodes play out, but like you, I’ll have to wait until they air.
The series also has an impressive ensemble cast that gets into their roles. A few standouts so far are Jere Burns who plays Llewellyn Mathers. Some may remember Burns as the quirky lady’s man Kirk Morris from the 1988 sitcom Dear John. He has appeared in many productions since and always impresses. Not to give too much away, but in this production, he plays the attorney to one of the rich families on the cruise. His performance will give you chills, that’s all I’m going to say about that.
There is also Mandy Patinkin as “The World’s Greatest Detective” Rufus Cotesworth. The series explains how he got the title, but that mystery will have to wait until the series airs. Patinkin always is a plus to any production. His acting always draws viewers in and he’s a master at subtleness. Here his detective is on par with the greats before him. The way he unravels mysteries is logical, but not always evident. The chemistry between Beane and himself on screen is master a session. both play off each other with ease and propel their material to new heights. It’s a pleasure to watch and experience and fingers crossed, the series will spur more seasons.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one other character. This character struck a creative nerve with me after viewing the episodes. Linda Emond shines as Agent Hilde Eriksen, a standout supporting character. Emond is cold, calculated and to the point. There is a darkness to the character too, but again you’ll have to wait and see what that means. Emond pops up in many fine productions. She usually plays supporting roles. Here, she deserves a mention alongside Patinkin. Other cast members of note, are Lauren Patten as Anna, Hugo Diego Garcia as Jules and Pardis Seremi as Leila.
DEATH AND OTHER DETAILS is a mature-themed crime and murder mystery. The audience can share this experience with family, friends, and work colleagues. People are bound to banter about whodunit and which characters they like and despise. Each 40-45 minute episode is like turning another page on this digital mystery. Don’t skip ahead though! You’re bound to miss a death and other details!
Death and Other Details
Premieres on Disney+ in Canada on January 16, 2024, with two episodes