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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Possessions is a French and Israeli murder mystery about a bride whose groom is murdered during their wedding. The series can be watched with subtitles or with English dubbing (though a good amount of Hebrew and French are spoken even with dubbing). Moderate profanity is used throughout and includes "s--t," "damn," "hell," etc. The murder setup is violent and bloody, but the show is otherwise restrained with violence. The series contains frank discussion about sex, and there is some female nudity. Characters drink alcohol throughout, and drug use is mentioned in connection with the murder. Possessions works like a whodunit, but is also about the contrast between French culture, as represented by the bride and her family, and Israeli culture.
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What's the Story?
POSSESSIONS begins on the wedding day of Nathalie (Nadia Tereszkiewicz), a French woman who has been living with her family in Israel for the past year. Though her mother mysteriously warns her against getting married, Nathalie excitedly goes through with the ceremony. However, at the cutting of the cake, the lights go out. When the lights come up, Nathalie's new husband is dead, and she is holding the murder weapon. After she's taken into custody, a diplomat from the French consulate, Karim (Reda Kateb), is brought in to shepherd her through the investigation. Soon enough, Karim starts investigating the murder on his own, uncovering all of Nathalie's family secrets.
Is It Any Good?
The lights go off, and when they come back on, someone is dead. It's maybe the most classic murder mystery setup ever. But even though Possessions begins with a cliche, the show has no intention of being a run-of-the-mill whodunit, focusing instead on a clash between European and Israeli culture, family, and tradition.
Unfortunately, HBO Max's rollout of the French-Israeli series doesn't really do Possessions justice. The English overdubbing doesn't quite match the tone of the show, and it's inconsistent throughout -- there are still long passages of French and Hebrew without subtitles. The series itself is promising, but the experience of watching it doesn't live up to that promise.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the mystery. What happened? What are the clues? Who do you think did it? Why? How do you think it happened?
Are there similarities to how crime is investigated in Israel and in America? What are they? What are the differences? How do the police go about solving the crime? How does Karim's investigation differ from the detectives'?
What differences between French and Israeli culture come up throughout the series? Does Nathalie's French nationality affect the investigation? How does Karim attempt to bridge the two cultures?
- Premiere date: March 4, 2021
- Cast: Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Reda Kateb
- Network: HBO Max
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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