Spoilers will stay behind the red line.

By all accounts, I should be chastising this show for the liberties it takes with mental illness. Yes, it does go out on a limb in its portrayal of serial killers as well as survivors. However, I can’t deny it’s entertaining. You need to take its depictions with not a grain but a full bag of salt, and know it’s only for the sake of dramatic license. That being said, I can’t deny it’s got me hooked. Sometimes it does seem to aim towards the more dark aspects and sometimes it’s just trashy fun, but I can’t seem to look away.

(Credit: Netflix)

Prodigal Son (2021) was created by Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver. Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) is former FBI profiler now turned consultant for the NYPD. His real last name is Whitly, son of the infamous Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen) aka “The Surgeon”, a notorious serial killer. Hired by his best friend, Lieutenant Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips) he joins the team of Dani Powell (Aurora Perrineau) and JT Tarmel (Frank Harts). Malcolm also has a sister named Ainsley (Halston Sage), a TV reporter, and their mother Jessica (Bellamy Young).

The show works because… I don’t know. There’s a little Hannibal-Lecter-ish approach with Martin every time he’s visited, but this supposed serial killer tends to be a little too endearing of a character. That being said, I can’t help but love the entire cast, specially coroner Edrisa (Keiko Agena) who’s hilariously funny-creepy and shamelessly infatuated with Malcolm. Of course, eventually the show focuses a lot more on the drama of the Whitley family, making it less of a procedural and more of a family drama. That is, until another murder is mixed in.

Shamelessly recommended with some reservation. Obviously don’t expect any realistic depiction of mental illness or actual therapy to take place. It’s all played for entertainment value, which I cannot deny it has really hooked me in. Some episodes have something of more filler content and it does turn a bit into a soap opera from time to time. Worth a watch, as long as you don’t take it too seriously.

That will do for now.