×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Sorry for Your Loss’ on Facebook Watch

Leigh (Elizabeth Olsen) is a walking bruise. Three months after her husband died suddenly, she’s only getting darker and more wicked the longer her grief stretches on. Every time it seems like it might finally be fading, someone’s cloying sympathy or misplaced word inevitably jolts her back into feeling the full brunt of her pain all over again.

So, no, Leigh isn’t exactly the most fun character to follow around, as “Sorry For Your Loss” asks us to do. As she acknowledges with a snarl in her grief support group, she’s angry, sour, and quick to snap at people trying to help, most especially her newly sober sister Jules (Kelly Marie Tran) and would-be yoga mogul mother (Janet McTeer). But with the help of some sharp writing, charismatic supporting characters, and Olsen’s slyly sympathetic performance, Kit Steinkellner’s drama finds a way to portray the reality of grief without letting it overwhelm the show entirely.

As Leigh struggles to move on from her husband’s death, “Sorry For Your Loss” cuts between her present day misery and her past joy in order to convey exactly what she — and everyone else who knew him — lost. The difference between the two time periods is stark, with the present washed out in cool blues while the more vibrant past warms up the screen.

According to Jules, Matt (Mamoudou Athie) was “the glue that held [them] all together.” He helped the far more rigid Leigh to relax a little, inspired Jules to cut back on her self-destructive partying, and tried to help his wayward brother Danny (Jovan Adepo) get his life together. Leigh mostly remembers him as the shy and sensitive counterpart to her own type A efficiency. But the more she reflects on their life together, the more she realizes that she didn’t know or understand him as much as she thought — though in fairness, she thought she’d have many more years with him to try.

Olsen anchors the show by nailing a particularly tricky performance, given that she isn’t exactly an immediately sympathetic character despite what she’s going through. (In one particularly rough moment, Leigh rejects a chipper young widow’s attempts to reach out by sneering that she, a “Courtney Love,” could never be friends with a “Jackie O.”) But Olsen makes Leigh’s pain palpable enough that it’s always obvious when she’s lashing out — and more importantly, why.

Helping Olsen round out the story are a pair of particularly strong performances that ground Leigh’s past and present. As Matt, Athie faces the tall task of shading in a character almost entirely seen through Leigh, Jules, and Danny’s perspectives (not to mention making it clear why he was so beloved). But he’s more than up to the challenge, even imbuing Matt with a sly mischievous streak that keeps him from becoming too saintly in retrospect. And as Jules, Tran taps into her character’s intrinsic empathy as she did so well in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” making her the bubbly and determined foil to Leigh’s dour pragmatism. At least in the first few episodes, we don’t get to see the Jules that apparently made everyone’s lives hell; hopefully that will change, if only to give Tran more and different material to chew on.

Just like Leigh, “Sorry For Your Loss” isn’t exactly in a hurry to resolve anything right away. The first four episodes don’t move with much urgency in an effort to keep things realistic, which can be frustrating, but that’s by design. The entire point of the show is that grief can fade, but it never truly goes away. That makes it a tough concept to hinge a series on, and yet the show draws viewers in for its patience, tenderness, and refusal to gloss over the least flattering (and most fascinating) parts of grief.

Drama, 30 mins. (10 episodes, four watched for review.) Premieres Tuesday Sept. 18 on Facebook Watch.

Cast: Eilzabeth Olsen, Kelly Marie Tran, Janet McTeer, Mamoudou Athie, Jovan Adepo.

Crew: Executive producers: Elizabeth Olsen, Kit Steinkellner, James Ponsoldt, Robin Schwartz, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Cynthia Pett, Brad Petrigala, Jon Liebman, Lizzy Weiss.

TV Review: 'Sorry for Your Loss' on Facebook Watch

More TV

  • Mergers and Deals Placeholder

    Tegna to Buy 11 TV Stations From Nexstar for $740 Million

    Tegna has set a deal with Nexstar to buy 11 TV stations — mostly Fox and ABC affiliates — serving eight markets for $740 million. The sale is contingent on Nexstar closing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, which will make Nexstar the nation’s largest TV station owner by far. Nexstar projects the Tribune [...]

  • EMMA APPLETON as FEEF SYMONDS

    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Furniss joins 42 [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Fox Corp. Pays Disney Sale Dividend, Sets May 9 Investor Meeting

    Fox Corp. has handed over an $8.5 billion check to help Disney offset tax costs related to the 21st Century Fox acquisition. As spelled out in the Disney-21st Century Fox merger agreement, the Murdoch clan’s newly established Fox Corp. was on the hook to pay a special dividend to 21st Century Fox on the latter’s [...]

  • Stranger Things

    Netflix Drops 'Stranger Things' Season 3 Trailer (Watch)

    The “Stranger Things” kids are done playing board games in the basement. From the new trailer for season three, which Netflix just dropped, and The Who song “Baba O’Riley” blasting throughout, it would appear that the gang of Eleven, Mike, Lucas, Dustin and co. are about to experience their “teenage wasteland.” The trailer opens with [...]

  • Tim Roth Series ‘Tin Star’ Gets

    Tim Roth Series ‘Tin Star’ Gets Third and Final Season on Sky

    Tim Roth will star in a third and final season of “Tin Star,” the Sky original drama. Like earlier seasons, it will play on Amazon outside the U.K. Genevieve O’Reilly and Abigail Lawrie also return in the final chapter of the story, which is produced by Endemol Shine’s Kudos alongside Gaumont U.K. Rowan Joffe created [...]

  • Little Mix Star Jesy Nelson Making

    Little Mix's Jesy Nelson Making BBC Documentary About Mental Health and Body Image

    Little Mix star Jesy Nelson is making a one-off documentary for the BBC in which she will explore issues surrounding body shaming and mental health in the age of social media. “Jesy Nelson: My Story” will launch on the BBC’s youth-skewed online channel BBC Three and then play on BBC One. Girl band Little Mix [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content