Should You Try It: Ripley on Netflix

Andrew Scott takes the lead in an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel.
Ripley. Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley Cr. Netflix © 2023
Ripley. Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley Cr. Netflix © 2023 /

We’re into April and we’re getting some interesting new shows as networks and streaming services make an Emmy push. But what series should you dive into? This series is here to provide you information to make an informed decision. Today, it’s a Netflix series based on the Patricia Highsmith novel.

Series: Ripley

Where to Find It: All eight episodes of the season are now streaming on Netflix.

What’s It About: This new series was produced by Showtime and was originally due to air on the cable network. Instead, the completed series was sold to Netflix. It comes from writer/director Steve Zaillian, based on the 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley from Patricia Highsmith. The novel was earlier adapted into a feature film starring Matt Damon, but now gets the series treatment.

Here, its New York in the 1960s and Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott) is a small-time con man. But he’s about to get a big opportunity, when the father of an acquaintance comes to him with an offer. Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn) has been living abroad in Europe and his family is eager to see him return home and resume a respectable, productive life. His parents employ Tom to head to Italy, connect with Dickie, and convince him to return. In need of a change and some money, Tom agrees.

Once in Italy, he connects with Dickie and his girlfriend, Marge (Dakota Fanning), becoming part of their lives in Italy. But what is his ultimate aim? Is he there to convince Dickie to return, or has Tom set his sights on something more?

You Should Try It If: You’re a fan of twisty mysteries, a fan of Andrew Scott, or a fan of the novel from Highsmith.

One Man’s Opinion of Ripley

This is an interesting adaptation with a certain style. Zaillian made the decision to offer the series in black-and-white, which gives it a certain style and adds to the period feel. In addition, Scott is a great and compelling choice in the lead role.

Those who’ve read the novel—or seen the previously adapted film—know that this isn’t a straightforward or a happy story. We get an inkling of that as we kick off the pilot, with an introduction that takes six months after where we pick up the story with Tom in New York. I like the slow burn and the pacing here as we are introduced to these characters and this world.

The episodes move at a good pace, all coming in around 50 minutes. With the whole season available, it makes for a quick binge. This is a welcome addition to the landscape this Spring, especially given the twisty story and the strong cast

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