A common theme and exploited by all the arts, the search for a soul mate is at the heart of the postulate proposed by the Netflix series, THE ONE. The stakes of this so-called science fiction, with ambitious airs, have they managed to make us fall under the spell?
New creation of Howard overman, to whom we owe the series Misfits and Atlantis, THE ONE is the adaptation of a novel by John marrs known asSoulmates. The storyline of the series, released on March 12 on Netflix, is based on the impact of science and in particular genetics on romantic relationships. A single hair to find your soul mate, love is presented to us as a sort of genetic fatality from which we cannot escape. From the talented geneticist to the manipulative and corrupt leader, we follow Rebecca Webb (Hannah ware) in her role as creator of the company and its application The One. The reality of genetic love compatibility and its impact on society are at the heart of the first episodes without giving too many clues and fueling our curiosity. We quickly discover a utopia born from the alliance between science and computer science which poses a problem for the authenticity of human relations.
From the first moments of the series, the goal is clear and defined. In the near future, this genetic match is seen as a threat. The government and certain political refractories seek to suppress this application in the face of the considerable increase in divorces it causes. Even more, it also raises questions about how to learn to love: love should be a matter of chance or genetics? Although at first glance the subject matter may seem idyllic, the series turns out to be much darker and oppressive. For many who keep heavy secrets buried, the characters are torn between love, success and reputation. This is particularly the case of the director of the company The One, Rebecca Webb, who enters a war on the media and any other competitor seeking to publicize the truth and the origin of the geneticist’s success.
From there is born a main police investigation, subplots linked to the romantic relationships of the various protagonists embodied by actors who have the merit of making the series dynamic and thrilling. The worry is that these intrigues have an annoying tendency to make us forget the main issue: how science could change love.
THE ONE fails to actually deliver on its promise. The series struggles to find a genre, as it plays across multiple boards simultaneously borrowing from thriller, sci-fi as well as romantic style. Unfortunately, the three registers don’t coincide equally in the series, and that partly helps make it somewhat wobbly. If we discover roughly the origin of the application in the first episodes (between tests on animals and some genetic data), science very quickly goes into the background. We very quickly enter intrigues all nested one in the other, strewn with bursts of love within the couples who, despite the increase in the number of divorces mentioned at the beginning of the story, ultimately remain united.
Therefore, with this scriptwriting approach, we give more importance to the characters carried by a fairly inspired and convincing cast. Well helped by an effective realization, the series evolves in a temporality precisely allowing to understand these characters, different, but all linked by the lie. It also helps to make them more human through the discovery of their personal path, while the application considers them only as simple DNA data.
Finally, THE ONE tends to make us understand that to combine science and love is to take a risk. This catchy idea is handled rather superficially and is drowned out among too many subplots. THE ONE remains an attractive series for fans of drama series more than for fans of science fiction and dystopian technology.
• Original title : The One
• Creator: Howard overman
• Actors: Hannah Ware, Zoe Tapper, Dimitri Leonidas
• Release date : 2021
• Duration of episodes: 42 minutes