I stuck with Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers” until the end, and I’m not sorry I did. The finale (spoilers coming) was a bit underwhelming, given the long buildup; it was just a mostly straight-ahead happy ever after — after all the super-duper megadosing of LSD, that is. They all needed to forgive and forget, they all needed to face their losses, they all needed to do deep spiritual-psychological healing. Done, done, and done.
Nicole Kidman’s Masha, it turned out, was not a villain or a fraud (the latter of which, some online speculated, might have explained her bad Russian accent). She was a leader who needed to take her own advice, which she did. Done. I’d been hoping for something more twisty and twisted regarding her, but it was not to be. Or maybe it was — if the happy endings were all part of Melissa McCarthy’s Frances’s next book. But then, if the ending was all Frances’s fiction, I’d want to know what really went down.
Still and all, I liked the concept. The idea of using psychedelics for breakthrough healing is a timely one, and so is the idea that the people who submit to it, who have built up walls of denial and self-loathing, are vulnerable in many ways. The way the story developed before the finale — from the retreaters’ resistance, as they were pushed beyond their comfort level, to their resulting revelations — fascinated me. Also, there were a few strong performances in the mix, most notably Michael Shannon and Asher Keddie as the grieving parents. They helped make the trip worthwhile.