Servant - an atmospheric horror film about family relationships
In my search for an unseen, aesthetically pleasing and exciting series, I stumbled upon "Servant", and watched all 4 seasons of this complete story literally in a week. The series is small, 25-30 minutes, the attention is immediately attracted by Rupert Green in the cast, and the synopsis is more than intriguing - the new mum Dorothy has a psychosis after the death of her child, and the family, to help her, replaces the dead baby with a doll. Dorothy doesn't see the substitution and even hires a nanny to go out to work, but the young nanny Liane also seems to start playing along with Dorothy, treating the doll like a living child.
And at the end of the episode, the baby suddenly... comes to life! And it's such a wham moment, a turning point, after which the script can no longer go in the old direction. Although it would seem that he should come to life only by the end of the season, but the action develops more rapidly than the plot had prepared us for. And while there will be many more plot twists ahead, this one is the most significant and critical.
"Servant" is basically a horror film. A very beautiful horror film, the action of which takes place in one house. In this way, it becomes a kind of bottle series, a bottle series, that is, confined in one space.
There are not many characters here either: the already mentioned Dorothy and Liane, Dorothy's husband Sean and brother Julian. All of them cook in the same "cauldron", i.e. the house, constantly drinking expensive wine from the cellar and enjoying the culinary delights of Chef Sean.
The Foodporn trope is realised in all its glory here.
It's a series about parent-child relationships, about a mother's love for her child and the lack of that love in almost all cases due to abusive parents.
A great soundtrack adds to the mystery of the dark atmosphere of the series. It's definitely a pleasure to watch, thanks to the dark aesthetic, much like Wednesday or Harry Potter. There's a lot of religious motifs and references - the paintings in Lian's room, angel/devil references, and biblical themes. Oh, and the Lian family themselves are sectarians.
The very name "House with Servant" also has a double meaning - on the one hand, it is a house where there is a servant, on the other hand, it is a house that without a servant does not exist. Although in the original version of Servant, perhaps the ambivalence is slightly transformed.
Personally, I enjoyed watching the refined and modest Liane, trying to unravel her secrets and find a rational explanation for what was going on, watching the development of the character. Dorothy, on the contrary, was disgusting - her insatiability and hysterical behaviour, which occasionally leads to very harsh consequences, of course, is a consequence of her ignorance, but it still looks disgusting.
What interesting tropes and archetypes do we see in the story?
Plot triggering death - as in Queen Charlotte, and WandaVision, and a hundred other shows, all the action happens because someone died. In this case, it's baby Jericho.
Back from the dead - back from the dead, same Jericho. Not only that.
Big fancy house is the house where the main action of the series takes place. It is so beautiful and self-sufficient that it becomes one of the main characters of the series.
Bookends - The first season begins and ends at the same plot point.
Bait and switch - When the police come to the house for a missing child, and we think they're after Jericho. But it turns out they're not. So the plot takes us in one direction, but it ends up unfolding in a different way.
All in all, "Servant" is a great women's series, which is nice to watch in the evening as a relaxation, and just aesthetically enjoy. However, due to its genre and mysticism, it still stands apart from such canonical women's series as "Little Fires Everywhere" or "Big Little Lies", which makes it even more original.