the show that will get you through 'house of cards' withdrawal

'Bloodline,' the latest Netflix original series, means all plans for terminating TV hibernation should be postponed for now.

|
Mar 13 2015, 9:57pm

What to do if you binge-watched House Of Cards in the space of four fake sick days and are now staring into a TV abyss? Go back to work for a start. Reacquaint yourself with your boss. See if you still have a desk. But when that's done, there's a glut of new originals arriving on Netflix in the coming months, of which Bloodline, made by the creators of Damages, is the standout.

It's set around a celebratory family weekend in the Florida Keys which sees the return of Meg, John and Kevin's sibling Danny, the car crash brother who's been ostracized from the picture-perfect Rayburn family. There are relationship problems and affairs in motel rooms, but it's one night in the Rayburns' past — delivered in flashbacks and hints that will be drip fed over the course of the series — that is Bloodline's real plot heart.

"We're not bad people," says narrator John (Kyle Chandler). "We just did a bad thing." You know the drill of shows with settings like this: the long-buried secrets are as stifling as the humidity, the hazy sunshine masks just how brutal things can become etc etc, but Bloodline never strays even near to cliche.

It might be the power of the cast (Chloë Sevigny, Sissy Spacek, Chandler and Sam Shepard aren't actors that do trite) or it might be the writing. It's almost certainly got something to do with the characters because just like when Chandler played the much-admired Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights alongside Connie Britton, it's very easy to believe this big, messy family exists. 

Bloodline premieres on Netflix on 20th March.