SERIES REVIEW – Harlan Coben, an American crime writer, has adapted one of his novels into a Polish series set in a Polish setting. The primary, fast-paced plot has everything going for it in terms of a well-executed story, matched by phenomenal performances. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the superfluous subplot.
After the apparent suicide of his best friend Igor, Adam (Krzysztof Oleksyn) begins to exhibit strange behaviour, much to the concern of his mother Anna (Magdalena Boczarska), who decides to install a spyware program on Adam’s phone to track his activities. When Adam suddenly disappears, Anna takes it upon herself to try and track him down. As she realises she doesn’t know as much about her son as she thought, more and more people start to disappear.
Devastating family secrets, disappearances, murders
Hold Tight has all the elements that have made Harlan Coben adaptations so popular with audiences. A perfect family with a devastating secret, a missing loved one, murders, and of course ordinary people struggling with their inner demons and turning them to protect their families. But there is always something that is “too much of a good thing”, and while the writers tried to insert another plot thread to increase the drama, they ended up loading the gripping main plot with unnecessary subplots.
The basic story is gripping
The mystery of the small town grips you from the very first episode, when Adam’s mysterious disappearance after the death of his friend throws his family into dangerous circumstances. His mother Anna is forced to become a detective, leading her on a tumultuous journey where she discovers that her son has been harbouring a wealth of dark secrets. The investigation into Adam’s disappearance is a gripping and gripping one. As the series progresses, each discovery thickens the plot, which becomes increasingly twisty yet believable. The screenwriters have done a great job of peeling back the layers of the story so that it becomes more and more exciting with each episode.
It is clear that the writers have done their homework when it comes to the investigation, as each development is done in a way that is realistic and believable, both in terms of the characterisation of the characters and the universe of the small Polish town. Credit is also due for the way the writers have kept away from over-complicating events, which is a pitfall of many similar thriller series. The result is a story that is simple to follow, yet at the same time genuinely exciting and tautly suspenseful, with sensible, logical twists and turns. At least as far as the main story thread is concerned…
The serial killer thread is far-fetched and fits poorly into the main story
One of the biggest drawbacks of the series, however, is that it follows two distinctly separate plots. The first is the disappearance of Adam, the second is the story of a strange murderous couple who are linked to the disappearance of several women. The audience waits until the end for a connection or some kind of explanation that will link the two, which ultimately doesn’t happen, apart from some stray connections that don’t carry any weight. Finally, the secondary plot gradually becomes more and more forced with a rushed and completely pointless conclusion that leaves the audience disappointed and with more questions than the writers intended to answer. And the few endings we do get are disappointingly dull and shallow. Moreover, they are accompanied by other unnecessary events, such as Jasmina’s pointless feud with her teacher.
However, the main and supporting characters in the series give very strong performances. To the credit of the writers, they have managed to weave very layered and well-developed characters throughout the series, even if some of them are associated with rather unfortunate plots and illogical behaviour.
Great main story, shame about the subplot
Hold Tight miniseries can easily be divided into two separate parts – a compelling primary plot that begins and ends strongly; and a pointless secondary story thread that serves no purpose other than to ruin the entire series. Both, however, are enlivened by very strong performances from both the main and supporting characters in the series.