Netflix series with a German star cast is poorly received abroad

It starts today, November 2nd Netflix-Series “All the Light We Don’t See” on the streaming service. The story about the German soldier Werner (Louis Hofmann) and the blind Frenchwoman Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti) captured the hearts of readers after the novel was published. In 2015, the book by the American author Anthony Doerr even won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, among other things. It’s no wonder that Netflix became aware of the material and started making a film.

After the start of the series, the reviews are now coming in, especially from the USA. So far it doesn’t look as if the Netflix production can build on the success of the original novel, quite the opposite…

Even the most positive reviews are disappointing

“It could have been so much more,” writes Das Paste Magazine about the series. Nevertheless, the criticism is currently considered to be the most positive Metacritic listed. “It’s worth watching for Loberti’s excellent performance and overall impressive production quality,” Paste Magazine continues, still giving the series a good rating. Also The AV Club doesn’t see the miniseries as a complete flop, but also has its points of criticism: “It’s like listening to a story told by a confused narrator who keeps interrupting himself to provide us with information from the past, which may or may not be relevant to the current story. That might work well in a novel, but on television it’s rather disjointed.”

Among others, Collider, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety the series. So write Collider: “The adaptation is superficial and without emotional resonance, instead relying on shallow spectacle.” The industry magazine gives the series a grade of C-. It sounds similar Variety: “Knight and Levy want to tell an uplifting, inspiring story of connection that overcomes division, distance and prejudice, but instead deliver a shallow, confusing story that fails to have the desired effect.” This also refers to the star-studded cast behind the camera – Screenwriter Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”) and director Shawn Levy (“Stranger Things”) otherwise inspire the masses with their work. But in this case, according to Variety, the result is disappointing.

For some, All the Light We Cannot See is a total flop

For the Decider the series is a complete disaster: “A hideous failure.” The critics don’t leave the series in good stead: “The glossy film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name flattens morally ambiguous characters into two-dimensional avatars of pure good and absolute evil.” They are not alone in their harsh criticism, either The Guardian expresses itself loudly. Even the title of the review, “This terrible mess is a one-way ticket to Triteland,” promises no praise, but the text is devastating: “It’s terrible. The actors are almost entirely bad. The dialogues are getting worse and worse. Every nuance has been lost, every thought has been excised, and it is both boringly slow and stupidly rushed.”

Whether it’s a total flop or just moderately disappointing – no one really likes the series. If Netflix were hoping for a second success like “All Quiet in the West”, they will now be bitterly disappointed. Although the series has just started and many have yet to form an opinion, things are not looking good.

Hank Peter

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