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  • Hamish Hart

Bodkin (2024) Season 1 Review

RATING: 8/10

ANYONE in any industry can claim themselves to be some form of journalist nowadays - sports, political, even movie critics. Netflix's latest thriller dives into this theory by throwing a group of ragtag journalists into a small Irish town to uncover a mystery that may or may not be true. By blending dry, dark humour with an intriguing disappearance case, Bodkin solidifies itself as a mystery worth becoming invested in.

Irish journalist Dove (Siobhan Cullen) is thrust into a case she couldn't be less interested in by her boss at The Guardian as a means for her to take a much-needed vacation. Her feelings for the story take an even-more sour turn upon discovering her partners for the story are true crime podcasters Gilbert (Will Forte) and Emmy (Robyn Cara); a form of journalism Dove isn't shy about expressing distain for. Their trip to the quaint town of Bodkin leaves much to be desired after the trio get more than they bargained for when strange occurrences - and even stranger locals - arouse their suspicion that beneath Bodkin's infamous rumour about an unsolved disappearance may lie an even greater mystery.

A slow start does hurt any positive impressions it was hoping to leave for tentative viewers, but Bodkin gains enough traction over the course of its seven episodes to reward those who stick around for the long-haul. Episode one kicks off in shocking fashion with the introduction of Dove as a grim, appropriately-handled discovery sets the journalist on her path towards meeting Gilbert and Emmy.

The three - particularly Cullen and Forte - have great chemistry, with Cullen being an around-the-clock straight woman and Forte the complete opposite by continually showing enthusiasm and contentment in his situation. The same can be said for Forte's partner-in-journalism Cara. While her moments in the spotlight are nice when they come around, these junctures are few and far between to leave as big as an impression as the latter do.

Bodkin's picturesque atmosphere and abnormal locals set the tone for what ends up being an enthralling mystery. The moment our leading trio arrive in the Irish town, things take a turn for the weird. After the slightest mention of Gilbert's podcast, the citizenry - almost instinctively - respond "And people will listen to it?". A statement as straightforward as this foreshadows many of the events and attitude changes we witness later in the series.

In a shocking twist, the 21st century media satire never becomes redundant. It transforms an otherwise snappy joke for the trailer into a continual reason for fans of the podcast satire to hold out for Bodkin's infamous Samhain festival in what ended up being a gratifying conclusion and highlight of a series littered with them.

Bodkin succeeds in feeling like what it attempts to satirise: podcasts. Much like any good podcast, the leading cast carry each episode by-way of Forte and Cullen's jubilant and sombre personalities, respectively. Being limited to a seven-episode schedule unfortunately impacts the series' pacing, resulting in these personalities not fully-flourishing until the show's halfway point. However, if you're willing to stick with it, Bodkin is a must-watch for fans of derisive humour, captivating mysteries and Irish culture.


About Me

Hamish newsheadshot_edited.jpg

Born in Longreach in Central West Queensland, I have undertaken a number of prominent roles across the region such as Journalist and Digital Media for The Longreach Leader, as well as appearing on critically-acclaimed radio stations ABC Western Queensland and 4LG and West FM to discuss all things film.

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