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Why 'Ripley' is Netflix's Most Elegant TV Series of 2024

If you're looking for a show that's as intellectually stimulating as it is visually stunning, 'Ripley' on Netflix is a must-watch.

By Culture Editor

Image: Courtesy Netflix


In a landscape saturated with flashy superheroes and explosive action, Netflix's "Ripley" stands out as a beacon of quiet elegance. This limited series, released on Netflix on April 4, 2024, was based on Patricia Highsmith's classic novel "The Talented Mr. Ripley."

On top of a thrilling psychological drama; it's a masterclass in visual storytelling and character portrayal. The eight-part story revolves around the protagonist Tom Ripley (Scott), a small-time swindler in 1960s New York. His life turns around when a wealthy man hires him to travel to Italy and convince his trifler son, Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn), to return home. Accepting this offer was just the first step towards a descent into a world of deception, fraud and murder. When he reaches the serene town of Atrani where Dickie is perfectly settled with his writer girlfriend Marge Sherwood (Dakota Fanning), Tom is awe-struck by his lavish lifestyle. A clever presentation of truth with an unmissable charm is enough to get the master con artist into Dickie’s good books. From here, Tom climbs his way up into Dickie’s close quarters and ends up going to extreme lengths to make that life his own.

Here's why "Ripley" deserves a place on your watchlist as one of the most elegant series of 2024:

1. A Timeless Aesthetic: The Power of Black and White

In an era dominated by CGI and vibrant color palettes, "Ripley" takes a bold step by being entirely shot in black and white. This isn't just a gimmick; it's a deliberate choice that elevates the series. The stark monochrome visuals evoke a sense of classic film noir, perfectly capturing the moral ambiguity and suspense of the story. Every frame is meticulously composed, turning the Italian landscapes and intricate set design into works of art.

2. Andrew Scott's Captivating Performance

The brilliance of "Ripley" hinges on the performance of Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley. Scott embodies the character's charm and charisma, while subtly hinting at the darkness that lurks beneath the surface. His portrayal is nuanced and utterly captivating, drawing viewers into Ripley's world of deceit and manipulation.

3. A Slow Burn of Suspense

Unlike many modern thrillers that rely on constant action sequences, "Ripley" builds tension meticulously. The series unfolds like a chess game, each move calculated and deliberate. The elegant pacing allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the characters' psyches and the moral complexities of the story.

4. Exploring Morality Through Deception

"Ripley" isn't just about a murder; it's a profound exploration of human ambition, desire, and the price of deception. As Tom Ripley delves deeper into his web of lies, the series compels viewers to question their own sense of right and wrong. The elegant ambiguity of the characters adds another layer of depth to the narrative.

5. A Legacy of Style

"Ripley" is a visual and storytelling experience that harkens back to a golden age of cinema. From the impeccable costumes to the evocative score, every detail is meticulously crafted to transport viewers to the world of 1960s Italy. In a world of fleeting trends, "Ripley" stands out as a series that prioritizes timeless elegance over fleeting thrills.

If you're looking for a show that's as intellectually stimulating as it is visually stunning, "Ripley" is a must-watch. It's a testament to the power of slow-burn storytelling, captivating performances, and a commitment to visual elegance that sets it apart from the rest.

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