The Rain review and opinion

Netflix Logo

The Rain (2018)

review & opinion

season 1

The Rain is a Netflix Original series, produced in Denmark by Miso Film.  There are 8 episodes over 1 season.  Each episode is around 50 minutes in length.

 

The spoken language is Danish, and Netflix offers dubbing and/or subtitles in several other languages including English. There may be more language options available in your area.

 

The Rain is rated TV-MA.  This series contains coarse language and situations that may be disturbing to some viewers.

 

The Rain, in short, is the story of two siblings and their quest to find their scientist father after hiding in a bunker for six years. Their venture is made difficult by a virus that lies within the rain; a virus so lethal, it kills everyone exposed within seconds. Only one person in the world is immune and holds the key to a cure that is desperately needed, and the siblings' father knows how to get it.

Downtown Copenhagen in season 1 of The Rain.

Downtown Copenhagen in season 1 of The Rain. (Source: Netflix)

They’ve emerged from a bunker where they have spent the last 6-years in hiding – not just from the rain, but also from other survivors.

 

Simone, the eldest, must protect her brother at all costs.  Rasmus is the key to everything, according to her father.

 

Dad is Frederik (Lars Simonsen), a scientist working for the Sweden-based pharmaceutical giant "Apollon" (pronounced apple-on).  Before the end-of-civilization-as-they-know-it, Frederik knew something that not many knew: The rain carries with it a virus that can kill any human within minutes.

 

Except for one.

 

It's your responsibility to protect your little brother.  No one can find Rasmus.”

 

The final words spoken to Simone by Frederik before leaving nearly 6-years ago.

 

Now, short of supplies, Simone and Rasmus must leave the bunker and discover what’s left of Scandinavia, and who survived.

Ominous clouds over Denmark in season 1, episode 1 of The Rain.

Ominous clouds over Denmark in season 1, episode 1 of The Rain. (Source: Netflix)

The trouble with telling the story of survival in a post-apocalyptic world is that there is no real-life precedent upon which to build a foundation.  It’s not like we’ve lived through an apocalypse (the Trump Administration notwithstanding) to tell the tale of how humanity survived.

It’s tricky.  Writers need to be neo and create a somewhat believable story with compelling, deep characters without straying too far into the “oh, come on!” territory.  That’s what separates the “Sharnado’s of the world from “The Walking Dead’s” (hey, the zombie apocalypse is just a “flu shot” away from being real).

Alba August as Simone & Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen as Rasmus in season 1, episode 1 of The Rain.

Alba August as Simone & Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen as Rasmus in season 1, episode 1 of The Rain. (Source: Netflix)

The idea of a killer virus transmitted by rain is sort of intriguing; at least just enough to want to binge-watch The Rain on Netflix if you’re a fan of the genre.  The backstory of each character evokes plenty of emotion, but they’re not explored enough to make viewing worthwhile for the casual binger, or a non-fan of the category.

As each episode passes, we learn a little more about the characters through a brief flashback of how they ended up where they did. Those stories, alone, leave you wanting more but it never comes to pass.

For example, very early on we learn the story of the team leader, Martin (a wonderfully cold Mikkel Boe Følsgaard).  We discern that he is a soldier who, just after the outbreak of the virus, had instructions to shoot anyone trying to leave the infected area.  When the moment arrives to carry out those orders, with the target being a young mother and her baby…

Jacob Lohmann as Thomas, is on the hunt for a cure in season 1, episode 7 of The Rain. (Source: Netflix)

Then there’s the story of Lea (Jessica Dinnage), a girl with a very strict and religious upbringing who had a little too much to drink one night and awoke the next morning to a horrific finding.  When her ultra-conservative mother discovered…

Patrick, Beatrice and Jean (Lukas Løkken, Angela Bundalovic and Sonny Lindberg) have an equally compelling past that is never fully explored. Their backstory, like the others’, is covered in a flashback, or two, lasting only a few minutes at most.

It seemed to me like the streaming was interrupted and somehow jumped forward a few chapters, skipping “Act 1”.

 

Did I miss something?”

 

More than once I checked the timeline to ensure it didn’t jump ahead.  I eventually understood what was happening, “Nope, that’s all I get to see about the backstory”.

Alba August as Simone, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen as Rasmus & Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as Martin in season 1, episode 5 of The Rain.

Alba August as Simone, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen as Rasmus & in season 1, episode 5 of The Rain. (Source: Netflix)

There’s an episode where the team comes across a mansion housing a group of “devoted” survivors expressing nothing but love and forgiveness; we’ll call it a cult.  The charismatic leader, Mark (an awesomely creepy Anders Mossling) says, more than once, “your past doesn’t matter here.”

 

He’s wrong. It matters to us, the viewers who will ultimately decide whether or not it will Rain another season.

The question now is, is The Rain’s story strong enough to survive on its own? Is the payoff at the end of the series going to be worth it?

To be a successful post-apocalyptic show, the characters need to be loved and admired – some, even hated by the viewers (here’s looking at you TWD) in addition to the apocalypse itself. Viewers must feel angry, sad, or happy when the characters do.

 

The Rain misses that mark, and I wish it weren’t so.  There are so many unanswered questions and I fear they’ll remain that way.  For a season with only 8-episodes, some as short as 35 minutes, there is barely enough time to tell everyone’s story.

Alba August as Simone, Jessica Dinnage as Lea & Bogdan Gorgos as Ivan in season 1, episode 7 of The Rain

Alba August as Simone, Jessica Dinnage as Lea & Bogdan Gorgos as Ivan in season 1, episode 7 of The Rain. (Source: Netflix)

The script relies heavily on the story itself (that of the killer rain) rather than those telling the story.  The motivation of the group is to get to Apollon headquarters in Sweden where, presumably Frederik is stationed.  To get there they must go through Copenhagen, a virtual cesspool of morally dead survivors who’d kill you for your food, or for food.

Simone is seriously protective of Rasmus, the “key” to everything.  It’s no secret. We learn of Rasmus’ importance very early on in the first episode and left wondering if dad is father of the year, or madman of the year.

 

Ironically, though, as the main characters of the series, we don’t discover very much about the family’s history or that of scientist dad…self-proclaimed “only one who can make everything better.”

What’s the payoff at the end?  What’s the climax of the season finale?

 

I’ll do what the show does and skip forward.

The impressive Apollon Headquarters in Sweden in season 1, episode 8 of The Rain.

The impressive Apollon Headquarters in Sweden in season 1, episode 8 of The Rain. (Source: Netflix)

in conclusion...

 

If you’re a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre or looking to kill a weekend when it’s raining out, watch The Rain.  If you’re not a fan and/or have better things to do, you may enjoy watching the actual rain instead.

 

I’m sort of in the middle.  I rated The Rain a 6 on IMDB.

 

My rule of thumb for IMDB is:

7 and above, watch;

5 – 6 is ok to watch once, or have it on in the background while working on something;

4 – 0 avoid unless intoxicated or really bored.

series & technical details

 CURRENT STATUS:

streaming on Netflix; renewed for season 2 (2019)

 GENRES:

sci-fi / thriller

 CONTENT RATING:

TV-MA

 SEASONS:

1

 EPISODES:

8

 RUNNING TIME:

approx. 35 to 50 mins /episode

 🍿 TOTAL BINGE TIME:

321 binge minutes

 ASPECT RATIO:

2.00 : 1

 SOUND MIX:

Dolby Digital

 ORIGINAL LANGUAGE:

Danish (alternate subtitle languages also available)

 CAMERA:

Red Epic Dragon, Cooke S4 Lenses

 PROCESS:

--

business details

 PRODUCTION:

Miso Film

 DISTRIBUTION:

Netflix

 RELEASE DATES:

4 May 2018

 PRODUCTION BUDGET:

--

worth noting

 NEWS:

--

The Rain logo black

The Rain stars Iben Hjejle; Alba August; Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen; Mikkel Boe Følsgaard; Lukas Løkken; Jessica Dinnage; Sonny Lindberg; Angela Bundalovic; Lars Simonsen; Johannes Kuhnke, and more!

About the Author

I used to be the guy who did that thing on the show you never heard of. Now I'm Head Nincompoop here, writing about binge-watching.

Website: https://8flix.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *