×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: Naomi Watts in ‘Gypsy’ on Netflix

With:
Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson, Lucy Boynton, Karl Glusman.

Gypsy’s” press materials describe it as a “psychological thriller,” a term that connotes an urgency and focus the drama notably lacks.

The rise of Hulu, Netflix and Amazon has helped spread the belief — which, to be fair, can also be found in certain realms of cable TV — that episodic running times and the structural integrity of individual installments don’t matter all that much. Streaming drift continues to be a problem with no signs of abating: While there are many fantastic gems on the TV scene, there is also a lot of tedious, undisciplined filler.

At least “Gypsy” can lay claim to one distinction: It is likely to be the year’s most painful example of streaming drift. It strands a capable cast in a diffuse, predictable drama that seems less necessary with every minute that ticks by.

Naomi Watts plays Jean Holloway, a well-to-do therapist who is more than a trifle bored with her patients and her picture-perfect life. Every frame of her existence looks like a elegantly curated Pinterest page, but the quiet prosperity and tasteful neuroses that infuse her life and the lives of her patients just aren’t enough for her.

It’s hard not to compare this show to “In Treatment,” the HBO series about a therapist which had the good sense to keep its episodes to under 30 minutes. Not only did that series do a better job of turning most clients into three-dimensional people, it distilled the intensity of sessions into efficient, effective installments.

What transpires in Jean’s office, however, usually lacks insight and spontaneity, and her patients — who nurture obsessions with people who don’t return their interest — are a pallid, moderately annoying bunch. Jean’s eyes often glaze over with boredom, and it’s easy to see why.

We’ve seen dozens of ambitious dramas that explore the frustrations of middle-class men, thus it’s a shame that a series that focuses on a woman who wants more than the safe life she’s settled for is, in the end, so thinly envisioned (and, like much of the Prestige TV realm, still so white — there are a few characters of color on the screen, but they are very clearly not the focus). Jean is a female Don Draper; like the “Mad Men” protagonist, something compels her to make questionable decisions and put her respectable existence in danger. Unfortunately, “Gypsy” doesn’t live up to the promise of the premise, nor are its characters, dilemmas and dialogue compelling. 

Jean’s secret and unprofessional forays into her clients’ lives — she checks out the stories they’ve told her and learns they’ve lied during sessions — should crackle with the spark of illicit knowledge. But the series — which derives its questionable and incongruous title from the Stevie Nicks song that plays during the opening credits — just plods along through the minutiae of Jean’s life and lies, going nowhere very slowly.

Watts does a good job of conveying Jean’s simmering frustration and her yearning taste for danger, but the clarity of her performance is not enough to inject the series with sustainable energy. “Gypsy” is clearly meant to be the tale of a smart adult who likes playing with fire, but it is too somnolent and superficial to ever make her dilemmas ever come alive. Like Jean herself, the viewer is likely to be left wanting more.

TV Review: Naomi Watts in 'Gypsy' on Netflix

Drama; 10 episodes (2 reviewed); Netflix; Fri. June 30. 60 min.

Crew:

Executive producers, Lisa Rubin, Naomi Watts, Sean Jablonski, Liza Chasin.

Cast: Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson, Lucy Boynton, Karl Glusman.

More TV

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

  • 'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First

    'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First Docusoap on the State of Reality TV

    Netflix crossed another unscripted threshold on Friday with the launch of “Selling Sunset,” an 8-episode series that follows a group of real estate agents on the Sunset Strip. The show is believed to be the streaming service’s first docusoap, the now-ubiquitous format first popularized in the early 2000s by shows like MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • 'Supernatural' to End After Season 15

    'Supernatural' to End After Season 15 on The CW

    “Supernatural” is ending after 15 seasons. Series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram on Friday. “We just told the crew that even though we’re very excited to be moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” Ackles said. “15 years of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content