Monday, April 22, 2019

TV Show Review: Bloom

What would you do if you were given a second chance? If you could be young again? Would you take it? What would you do with it? This is the premise of the Australian TV series Bloom, which I discovered online and finished watching in one week.

Starring The Vampire Diaries/The Originals Star Phoebe Tonkin, Bloom is about a town where five people had died in a big flood. For some reason, in every location where a person had died a new plant bloomed, with fruit that can miraculously turn the person who has it younger. There are only six episodes in the series and it’s a quick watch if you’re interested in finishing the story right away. It can be a bit heavy with its theme but it does make you question the things about yourself, it makes you wonder what kind of person you might be if you were placed in a similar situation. 

There is no explanation for why the fruit was there or how it gives people this “gift” of youth. The effects of the fruit are only temporary – they need to keep eating the fruit to stay young. Without it, they go back to their original age. Another thing about the bloom is that you cannot pull it from its roots and carry it away because it rots immediately after you do. You can only take the fruit, but you can’t take the entire plant. This was interesting because this brought out the worst in the people who have taken advantage of the fruit, which becomes an addiction for them. 

In the series, five key people take advantage of this fruit and the newfound youth that they have. Their youth gives them the freedom to do what they felt they were deprived of in their youth and to do things that they regret never doing when they were younger. All of them take advantage of that. 

However, in the end, it affects all of them differently in terms of how they look and reflect on their lives and how they are using their gift of youth: One ends up reliving his youth to the point of obsession, one wanted to use her youth as a form of revenge on the life that she has lived. Another, who had previously lived a life of crime, discovers that his newfound youth helped him to put things into perspective; in the end, all he wanted was to finally be able to do the right thing. Two other characters at the end realized that their youth could help with acceptance and closure on where they are at the older point of their lives.  

What I love about the show is that you can tell that it was well made, with cinematography that sets the mood for the story of people full of regret and in search of redemption. All the actors in the series are amazing – both the older and younger actors alike make this a moving story of people yearning to try to make things right with their lives once they were given a second chance. It's too bad it hasn't been shown here on local TV or cable, I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate a show like this. I hope they can stream it on Netflix or something similar for access in our area so that more people can watch it.

Bloom may have a bit of a supernatural/fantasy theme with the fruit and all, but at the core of it is a drama that moves the viewer and asks questions that anyone can relate to: we all have regrets, things we wish we could have done differently and dreams that we wish we could have fulfilled. This show explores that and asks the question of what would we do about it if given the chance? 

After all, as the show’s tag line goes, “You’re only young twice.”


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