Express press service
Despite its cliched setting, Erica Saleh’s adaptation of Karen M McManus’ young adult crime/drama novel is an engaging ride. Watching One Of Us Is Lying, you can’t help but remember titles such as 13 Reasons Why and Panic. They all belong to the young adult genre and also feature overlapping themes. Everyone (well, almost) gives a public face to their peers. Those who are not afraid to be themselves are often relegated to the status of “social pariah”. The remarkably brilliant Simon Kelleher (Mark McKenna) is one such student. He and his best friend, Janae (Jessica McLeod), sit together, making sarcastic remarks about their classmates’ inability to be individuals, to be authentic.
He takes this endeavor one step further with his app, posting revealing information about his classmates. A day of detention for five students ends in tragedy when Simon goes into anaphylactic shock after drinking from the water cooler. His sudden and unexpected death raises questions about the four remaining students in the room, all of whom Simon threatened to expose. The police focus on the other four: Bronwyn (Marianly Tejada), the star student at Bayview; Addy (Annalisa Cochrane), a popular cheerleader; Cooper (Chibuikem Uche), a champion baseball pitcher who is aiming for the major league; and Nate (Cooper van Grootel), a drug dealer with a difficult home life.
Each of them has the motive, but so does the rest of the school. The genius kid who was tired of pretending had dug up enough of everyone, including the teachers. One Of Us Is Lying taps into the complex and confusing world of teenage life. The irresistible need to be seen in a particular way by others or just to be seen is the underlying theme of the show. It’s nice to see nuances in the personality of the central characters when they’re forced to work together. Even family dynamics play a big role in the existence of each of the teenagers. The complexity of characterization is captured in the writing. The police investigation, however, is not great. For high schoolers, outwitting law enforcement so easily, and at almost every turn, seems rather implausible.
One Of Us Is Lying has been picked up for a second season. The narrative is likely to follow the events of Karen M McManus’ follow-up, One Of Us Is Next. Worthy performances, a good soundtrack, decent pacing, and writing that doesn’t go into melodramatic cliches ensure that Season 2 can be looked forward to with tempered excitement.
one of us is lying
- Creator: Erica Saleh
- Kind: Mystery
- Platform: netflix
- Language: English
- Rating: 3/5