‘The Luminous’ is a rather curious thriller, understanding this as a thriller that arouses our curiosity more than our attention. Discreetly, and with the same calm (or parsimony) with which it unfolds. A thriller whose differential aspect is the introduction, in an equally discreet way, of what we are going to summarize in a temporary anomaly used by a murderer and that also affects our long-suffering protagonist. Thus, without the need to go into revealing more details. We’re in the 90s. She’s Elisabeth Moss, and he’s Jamie Bell. Made the introductions, there is no more mystery in this and as in ‘Lisey’s story’ but without the usual fantastic paraphernalia of Stephen King, ‘The Luminous’ is summed up in the chronicle of a collision foretold. And so for eight episodes between which genres, characters and perspectives intersect without anyone assuming total control. A mixture, as I say, that arouses our curiosity… more than our attention. It looks the same, but it is not; least when we talk about a series like ‘The Luminous’ whose development is lazy. Eight episodes may be excessive, not so much for what is proposed as for this to have an impact on a subdued intensity. And that could be the key word: The main lack of a series that fails to value all its elements. Not at least in a constant and sustained way, not equally or in such a way that they are really impressive or forceful. As always, the intentions are appreciated, but the feeling is that in its ambition to encompass and above all not be reduced to the mere hunt for a murderer, ‘The Luminous’ dwarfs what it pretends to be: An intense (or intense) story of dramatic suspense marked by a destabilizing fantasy element. The story is powerful, its foundations are solid, and the various elements that make it up are very interesting in and of themselves. But it doesn’t shine as its title seems to want or want to suggest. It’s not so much a failed production as a production that falls short of giving it its all. Not at least full time and not so efficiently that it looks like a snowball rolling down the hill. A somewhat frustrating and inefficient rhythm isolates its potential, as well as its moments within a fiction whose impact is diluted as soon as it stops to contemplate its own benefits. We are talking about an Apple series although under its exquisite and neat appearance, on this occasion, not everything is so exquisite. It is not that ‘The Luminous’ is not worth it: It is, as I said, a rather curious series, and from there, quite intriguing by virtue of the potential and the inherent interest in a story that, yes, does not feel round and round. which above all requires some time and patience. Its particular premise, together with its cast or its Stephen King aura of ‘Mr. Mercedes’ (but without Brendan Gleeson) are always a sustenance and encouragement, although, in short, it is like a chain whose weakest link is also the strongest.
By Juan Pairet Iglesias