Big Sky is the latest tv show from David E. Kelley who has given us some magnificent content in the past. Not miles away from what we’ve seen him do before, Big Sky is predominantly a thriller which at times manages to hit the spot.
What initially drew me to this series was Katheryn Winnick due to all her greatness as Lagertha in Vikings. The show benefits from lots of other familiar faces, including Ryan Phillipe and the first episode introduces them all quickly, immersing you in their world. There’s mention of them living through the pandemic which immediately makes this feel very current and Jesse James Keitel’s character, Jerrie, brings in some interesting conversation over being transgender. I liked these aspects as it made the show feel grounded and realistic.
Set in Montana, there are beautiful shots of scenery surrounding a small town. There really are moments which build up tension allowing Big Sky to convey a good thriller vibe. However, a lot of the time it kind of feels a bit Hallmark. Not that there’s anything wrong with Hallmark! There’s a bit of a soap opera tone to it which made me feel like this is more of a drama which just so happens to incorporate a storyline about girls being abducted. Brian Geraghty does such a wonderful job with the villainous Ronald Pergman who is responsible for the girls going missing. His relationship with his mother (Valerie Mahaffey) is brilliant, while a little predictable, and was fun to watch. John Carroll Lynch plays Ronald’s sidekick, dirty cop Rick Legarski who once again is really impressive at playing the bad guy.
The story so far has many twists and turns and the twist at the end of the first episode especially will entice you to keep watching. The show kind of struggles from time to time to really identify what it’s about and at a time where TV pushes boundaries and finds new ways of telling familiar stories Big Sky falls short in standing out as a highlight. The character combinations are a mixed bag. Some on screen partnerships really work and some sway in direction. The two leading ladies, Jenny (Winnock) and Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) initially fall into the trap of fighting over a man but there’s clearly so much more to the both of them. There’s backstory to Cassie which is could be delved into deeper and for reasons like that, it’s difficult to form connections with some of them.
Will I watch the second half of this season when it returns? Yes and that’s mainly down to Ronald switching the game up a bit, giving the story a new direction. It’s just a shame that it fluctuates between great and being something we’ve all seen a hundred times before.