Stretching the Rayburn Family to the Brink… and maybe its viewers, too (Bloodline, part 2)

Netflix’s Bloodline ultimately plays a storytelling gambit not unlike its antagonist’s approach to getting what he wants from his family: How many times will you reengage with Danny Rayburn before you finally lose patience and just let yourself off the hook?

Revealing a key event of the season’s ending during the first episode was a risk that wagered heavily on the pilot stoking viewers’ initial curiosity and establishing empathy with its characters  Several intense images and sounds of the Rayburn brothers struggling against the elements–the swampy morass of the mangroves and the choppy surf of the Gulf during a pounding rainstorm–with one of them apparently passed out or dead gave us a glimpse of a high-stakes “what” without any of the “how” or “why.” The tactic would act either as provocative inducement to keep on watching or as eye-roll-inducing gimmick that even the near-immediate goodwill produced by seeing Kyle Chandler on the small screen could not sustain. Continue reading Stretching the Rayburn Family to the Brink… and maybe its viewers, too (Bloodline, part 2)

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