Chambers on Netflix review: A hot mess but with some promise

Netflix's 'Chambers,' Sasha, TJ
Sivan Alyra Rose as Sasha Yazzie and Griffin Powell-Arcand as TJ Locklear in Chambers. Pic credit: Netflix / Ursula Coyote

Netflix’s upcoming new series, Chambers, has all the elements that are popular at the moment. Teen drama: check. Medical angst: check. Threads of paranormal: check. Eerie premise: check and double check. However, somewhere along the way, it gets lost.

The synopsis for Netflix’s Chambers is below.

“A young heart attack survivor becomes consumed by the mystery surrounding the heart that saved her life. However, the closer she gets to uncovering the truth about her donor’s sudden death, the more she starts taking on the characteristics of the deceased — some of which are troublingly sinister.”

Sasha, played by Sivan Alyra Rose, is the heart attack victim and her acting is divine in the set up of Chambers. She plays the part perfectly as viewers get hooked into her life. The early episodes of Chambers set everything up beautifully. The slow burn as characters are developed and the eerie edge of the unnerving unknowing that it is all going to go wrong had me completely hooked.

Netflix's 'Chambers,' Uma Thurman stars as Nancy Lefevre
Uma Thurman stars as Nancy Lefevre in Netflix’s Chambers. Pic credit: Ursula Coyote / Netflix

As Vulture points out, Uma Thurman, as the mother of the dead teen, Becky Lefevre, is one of the highlights of the series as she portrays a genuinely distraught and unhinged grieving mother.

The TV series, while starting strong, fails to settle into any particular genre groove. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Netflix is describing Chambers as “elevated horror.” However, viewers might be left wondering if it is more teenage medical drama, or supernatural, or even straight horror as the series never seems to really gel with any of the genres presented.

I also agree with TV Guide who believed that Chambers didn’t really have enough content to fill the ten episodes presented in Season 1. By chopping some of the extra plot devices, Chambers could have really shone.

Then, by Episode 7, the show really falls apart. Some plots in Chambers seem to have been set up and then forgotten entirely while others spring forth unexpectedly as viewers are left trying to grasp what is important and what isn’t.

The ending also gives an unexpected twist, although none that leaves the audience with an “A-ha!” moment that coherently explains everything. Instead, it is just one more deviation from the original premise. It also adds the suggestion that if Netflix renews it for a second season, it will be a series that completely deviates from where it started.

While Chambers might seem like a bit of a hot mess to some, I can certainly see that there will be an audience who relishes the new Netflix series. I definitely feel like teen audiences will love it. Particularly those that are fans of medical genre movies such as Everything, Everything and Five Feet Apart. Variety also believes that Chambers will be a hit for those who loved Thirteen Reasons Why.

In addition, if you are a fan of paranormal series like Netflix’s The Order, it will certainly appeal. Ditto, for those who like dark, edgy teen dramas such as Riverdale.

Chambers drops globally on Netflix on Friday, April 26, 2019.

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