To this day, there’s always the complaints of the lack of original material being presented out there. Everything is a remake or based on a novel, but nothing says easy marketing like a familiar property.
Stephen King was never gone, but his film adaptations are a hot commodity now. The recent Pet Sematary remake shows there is still money to be made if you just switch a few things up. Its critical response is quite questionable but the audience was there paying for it. In film, the first filmmaker that comes to mind in mainstream releases with original concepts is Jordan Peele, and I personally am a huge fan. Television has gone into the remake game and found success with shows like Bates Motel, which gave birth to a new origin story for Norman Bates. The original material doesn’t get the same money behind it like the recently cancelled, but highly recommended, Channel Zero. Luckily, we also have streaming services that pick up shows that ended before their time and allow producers creative freedom in the genre no matter how weird they let their material get.
Netflix has been a game changer for original material and everyone wants a part of it. Their latest series CHAMBERS is no exception and adds to the list of many reasons to keep your subscription going. While the premise might feel somewhat familiar, there is a world big enough in the narrative that keeps you binging all ten episodes as all the characters are given plenty of material to play with.
Sasha (played by newcomer Sivan Alyra Rose) is in the middle of losing her virginity when she suffers from a heart attack. Her trip to the hospital coincides with a freshly available donor who was the same age and fulfills all of Sasha’s medical needs. Sasha survives with the new heart and wants to continue with her life. However, the donor’s parents’, the Lefevres (Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn), want to be a part of Sasha’s circle. A scholarship made when Becky, the donor, was alive now goes to Sasha and she starts at a new expensive school where everyone knew Becky but doesn’t know Sasha now carries her heart. Sasha begins to have visions and mannerisms resembling that of Becky, creating a theory that her sudden death wasn’t an accident. This isn’t a simple “was it murder” type mystery as other players hold their own secrets and Sasha keeps meeting people that have been in her visions, which are being played off as anxiety attacks.
CHAMBERS plays like a cross between the horror mystery of Stir of Echoes and the teen drama of 13 Reasons Why, but that blend is a perfect recipe for a bloody R-rated treat that keeps the viewer engaged in every episode. No character goes ignored and other subplots come into play, but I’ll leave that in the dark to not spoil the ride and heighten your own anxiety. Another refreshing aspect is the multicultural cast of characters, especially with Rose as the not so typical lead. She’s strong, likes sex, and questions everything. She leaves no stone unturned and is admirable in her bravery to discover the truth about what happened to Becky.
This is one show people are going to be talking about and I can already see the think pieces that are going to be flooding the web. The producers knew exactly what they were doing with every episode as this story could’ve never been unfolded without it being mapped out. Staying throughout the season is so worth it, especially when then the season finale starts and the countless WTF moments that leave you wanting to revisit. CHAMBERS will be available to stream on Netflix starting Friday, April 26, 2019.