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Fatal Attraction (TV Series Review)


The Series


This 8-episode remake of the 1987 erotic thriller surpasses the original in its better developed storyline and characterization of two lonely people who engage in an affair will have deadly consequences.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

(Editor’s Note: This review is based on the first three episodes of the 8-episode series)

The 1987 hit film Fatal Attraction, also written by James Dearden who coauthors this sequel  with Alexandra Cunningham and Kevin J. Hynes, was a cautionary tale that would make most married men think  at least twice about hitting on that attractive single woman sitting by herself at the bar. This new series extends the original two-hour film into eight hour-long episodes and begins with former L.A. Deputy District Attorney Dan Gallagher (Joshua Jackson, The Affair) seen 15 years later as a prisoner on the verge of being paroled for the brutal murder of young attorney in the crime victim section, Alexandra “Alex” Forrest (Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex). Once out of the big house, a  much older Dan meet his daughter Ellen (Alyssa Jirrils) at a coffee shop where he confesses that he intends to prove his innocence of the crime for which he was convicted and sent to jail.

Returning to the past and his family of beautiful wife Beth (Amanda Peet, The Whole Nine Yards) and daughter (Vivien Lyra Blair), the Gallaghers are living a dream life in a gorgeous home.  A major disappointment occurs when Dan fails to become a District Judge. At a colleague’s retirement party, he encounters Alex and when they close in on an elevator encounter, it is interrupted by two drunk colleagues who enter.

Eventually things begin to heat up as Alex and Dan get their clothes drenched when their Mexican restaurant dinner is interrupted by ceiling fire extinguishers and they have a close encounter in her apartment. More rendezvous follow but eventually, Alex’s insecurity surfaces when she tells Dan she has taken a drug overdose—which she didn’t do—but this signals the beginning of Dan’s trying to extricate himself from the life of this obviously troubled young  woman.

Once out of prison, Dan moves in with old buddy Mike (Toby Huss) who agrees to help him investigate Alex’s murder and clear up his life. Mike has turned up the fingerprints of a former doctor turned drug dealer Paul (Josh Zuckerman).

  • Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Lizzy Caplan in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Lizzy Caplan in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Amanda Peet and Joshua Jackson in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Alyssa Jirrels in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Joshua Jackson in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Joshua Jackson and Toby Huss in Fatal Attraction (2023)
  • Fatal Attraction (TV Series 2023– ) (Paramount+)

The third of the eight episodes that have aired so far shifts the show’s viewpoint to that of Alex who is dealing with her own personal daemons. We get to see how Alex manipulated the beginning of her affair with Dan after he failed to become a judge at 40 years of age. The elevator meeting was carefully engineered as was the fire alarm at the restaurant where she set off the smoke detector in the women’ restroom. After Dan decides to break off their affair, things begin to go South and Alex starts on a course to harm his family and take Dan down with them.

There are five more episodes in which the now-paroled Dan and Mike are on a campaign to clear his conviction for Alex’s murder and return him to at least a shadow of his former life.

In many respects, this new version of Fatal Affair begins to fill in the inevitable blanks that a two-hour film cannot do. Besides enjoying more sack time than was possible in the original film, the attractive principals Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan look more like contemporaries of today’s viewing audience than do Glenn Close and Michael Douglas. The creative team of Kevin J. Hynes and Alexandra Cunningham also are able to dig deeper into their main characters and this pays off by making them far more interesting than their preceding counterparts. I always thought that the original ending of the film was far too pat and am anticipating something more inventive at this series’ finale as Dan Gallagher tries to solve his mistress’s murder and clear his name. Given the high level of acting and scriptwriting so far this is a potential hit for the Paramount+  and I will eagerly anticipating the final five episodes. Highly recommended.

Fatal Attraction is streaming now on Paramount+

  • Rating Certificate: TV-MA
  • Show Creators: Kevin J. Hynes | Alexandra Cunningham
  • Original Release Date: 30 April 2023
  • Streaming Service: Paramount+
  • Num. Episodes: 8
  • Studios & Distributors: Amblin Television | Paramount Television Studios | Paramount

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This 8-episode remake of the 1987 erotic thriller surpasses the original in its better developed storyline and characterization of two lonely people who engage in an affair will have deadly consequences.Fatal Attraction (TV Series Review)