Dead Ringers is an American psychological thriller drama television miniseries based on the 1988 film of the same name by David Cronenberg. This film was based on a novel called Twins and both are about identical twin gynecologists, Elliot and Beverly, who share everything, including their medical practice and their lovers. The brothers’ world is turned upside down when they become romantically involved with an actress named Lee, who is also a patient. The novel (and the film adaptation) explores themes of identity, obsession, and mental illness.
The Dead Ringers TV series gender-swaps the Mantle brothers with Rachel Weisz playing both twins. Created by Alice Birch, this series reflects the liberties of contemporary streaming TV, with its emphasis on the dark and the disturbing, the gruesome and the grotesque, and takes the core concept of the original novel and film adaptation into areas considered too ‘adult’ back in the day. The series explores issues relating to womanhood, pregnancy, fertility, wealth, toxic behaviour and naked ambition.
The series never holds back in its depiction of the twins’ flaws and foibles. Weisz brings the Mantle sisters to life brilliantly, not once do we doubt the reality of what is on screen, her performance is immaculate! Like the novel and film, the Mantle’s world begins to unravel when Beverly becomes involved with Genevieve, the actress. Elliot feels abandoned and goes into a downward spiral where her bad choices and toxic behaviour has virtually no limits!
The series provides us with equally unsympathetic characters, mostly female, from the out-of-touch wealthy investor (Rebecca Parker) to the twins’ unloving mother, and this is just the tip of the shitberg. The dialogue is deliciously caustic to the breaking point of believability but in the context, is conveyed realistically. The one pervading notion of this series is that everybody is sad and depressed, which in itself is a symptom of mental illness.
Dead Ringers is not for the faint-hearted or the easily offended or immature sensibilities.
Watch now on Amazon
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