What if a simple DNA test could match you to your one true love? And how far would you go to find The One? Well, if that idea sounds vaguely familiar then it might be because you’ve watched the show Soulmates, which recently released on Amazon Prime and covers a very similar concept. The One, which is coming to Netflix on March 12th, is an eight-part series based on the 2017 book of the same name by John Marrs.
Similar to Soulmates, The One focuses on a number of couples and characters, exploring how this incredible new matching service affects them and exploring the moral dilemmas introduced if your match turns out to someone that you are not currently in a relationship with. Many of their stories are interlinked in some way, but all of them lead back to Rebecca Webb (Hannah Ware), CEO and co-founder of ‘The One’, the company that’s out to “change relationships and dating forever”. When we first meet Rebecca, she’s presenting to an eager audience and declaring that “a single strand of hair is all it takes to be matched with the one person that you are genetically guaranteed to fall in love with.”. She then brings out Ethan, her own personal love match, to illustrate just how well the service works and just how in love she is.
But we soon learn that everything isn’t quite perfect in the life of Rebecca. A body pulled from the River Thames in episode one is that of Ben (Amir El-Masry), shown in flashbacks to be a close friend of both Rebecca and her business partner James (Dimitri Leonidas), around the time that they were trying to get a DNA database up and running for their new company. We also discover that Rebecca is actually sleeping in separate bedrooms to Ethan, her supposed ‘match’, and that her actual match is a man called Matheus, who she met in Tenerife. And it soon becomes clear that Rebecca will stop at nothing to protect her current position of power and to keep her past secrets from coming back to bite her.
Heading up the investigation into Ben’s death are detectives Kate (Zoë Tapper) and Nick (Gregg Chillin). Kate is going through her own ‘match’ experience with Sophia from Spain, and they currently speak over video calls, with Sophia arranging to fly over to the UK soon in order to be with Kate. The ups and downs and complications of how their relationship plays out are explored throughout the series in what is probably the most interesting part of the show overall.
Another relationship affected by the science of matching is that of Mark (Eric Kofi-Abrefa), a journalist writing exclusive stories fed to him by Rebecca Webb, and his wife Hannah (Lois Chimimba). Hannah recently registered Mark with ‘The One’ without him knowing and has not only since made contact with his match via Facebook, she now regularly meets up with Megan (Pallavi Sharda) too. The ups and downs of this particular setup become a little more predictable than those with Kate and Sophia.
Following so many people (including some key characters who work alongside and for Rebecca), not to mention the frequent flashbacks, make for a frustrating few opening episodes. Trying to remember who’s who and what happened when coupled with the fact that the majority of characters just aren’t that interesting or fully explored means that the whole thing just ends up being a relatively average drama. We know from very early on how Ben died and the basic circumstances surrounding his death, so it’s not even as if we’re kept in suspense throughout the episodes while everything is being pieced together. It all hangs on the final episode and the hope that justice is served and loose ends are tied.
Unfortunately, the final episode fails to satisfactorily tie up a lot of those loose ends and character stories, even ending things on a cliffhanger of sorts. If The One remains as a standalone series, then for me it was a disappointment. But if it returns for another series then I’m not quite sure I could stick with it for another eight episodes either.
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