“Mrs. Davis” is the Wildest Show You Will Watch This Year!
Filled with a memorable cast led by Betty Gilpin, “Mrs. Davis” is a fantastic, funny, and bat-s**t show from beginning to end.
“Mrs. Davis” Series Review
DISCLAIMER: This review was written before the publication of “Burn It Down” by Maureen Ryan, where it was revealed that co-creator Damon Lindelof was accused of creating a toxic working environment on one of his previous shows “Lost.” While the focus of the review will remain on this show in particular, this should still be noted with my heart, and support going to all who spoke out!
In an alternate 2023, “Mrs. Davis” follows Simone (Betty Gilpin), a nun living with her covent isolated from society.
A society in which everyone uses an algorithm to guide them through their daily lives. When the algorithm shut down her convent one day, Simone makes a deal with it. The deal? The algorithm will shut itself down upon Simone completing a task. The task? Finding and destroying the Holy Grail. All while confronting ex-boyfriend Preston Wiley (Jake McDorman), her distant mother Celeste (Elizabeth Marvel), and her relationship with the algorithm itself.
Created by Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof, “Mrs. Davis” is a fantastic show that balances between great and bat-s**t insane.
A large part of this is due to Hernandez (who served as showrunner), Lindelof, and the rest of the writing team (consisting of Alberto Roldán, Jonny Sun, Nadra Widatalla, Noelle Vinas, Jason Ning, Chikira Bennett, and Jason Lew) providing a nice mixture of humor, heart, action, and social commentary. And within this mixture, is the work of directors Owen Harris, Alethea Jones, and Frederick E.O. Toye – who alongside cinematographers Joe Anderson and Jay Keitel – make the material and setting flourish with simplicity and ease.
But, just when you think you have figured out the show and its structure, the writing team pulls the rug up from under you, revealing a wholly, different layer. By using traditional character archetypes and placing them in outlandish scenarios. Hernandez, Lindelof, and company manage to flesh out the characters into three-dimensional people. And no better example of this is with our lead character…..
Leading this phenomenal cast is Gilpin, who as Sister Simone, provides a ton of wit, charm, and humor.
And it’s through these qualities that Gilpin fits perfectly into the world Hernandez and Lindelof created, balancing being the audience’s surrogate while still being a three-dimensional character. It’s also through these qualities that her chemistry shines with the supporting characters.
Speaking of them, McDorman as Simone’s cowboy ex Wiley displays a ton of charisma and humor, but also sadness and regret, exemplified by his chemistry with Gilpin. Which is then continued with her relationship with Andy McQueen’s Jay, a fry cook with a VERY big secret. However, the only difference is that with McQueen’s Jay, it’s more based on discovery and reveal.
Meanwhile, as Simone’s distant mother Celeste, Elizabeth Marvel is well…a marvel, giving a cold and icy performance as her demeanor sets the relationship with Gilpin’s Simone and by extension Simone’s magician father Monty, played by David Arquette, who is the opposite of Marvel’s Celeste exhibiting much charisma.
Rounding out this cast, is resistance leader JQ, played by Chris Diamantopoulos, who brings a hilarious, straightforward, almost one-dimensional amount of conviction to the role. But, when flipped, Diamantopoulos brings a unique layer to the character through his relationship with McDorman’s Wiley.
This straightforward conviction also applies to the disgraced, undercover priest Father Ziegler, played by Tom Wlaschiha. As Ziegler, Wlaschiha balances being a threat to Gilpin via his sinister yet secretive presence. This allows him to have an intriguing dynamic with the strict Madeline LaFleur, played by Katja Herbers.
All in all, Mrs. Davis is a fantastic, funny, and bat-s**t ride from beginning to end.
Filled with memorable performances from Gilpin and the cast, creators Tina Hernandez and Damon Lindelof created an interesting series. One that mixes humor, heart, action, and social commentary with ease, with it never once feeling out of place. In essence, “Mrs. Davis” is one of the best shows of the year….and made by humans no less. Definitely seek this one out if you haven’t already.
Score: 4.5 out of 5