Many a mystery show has emulated the likes of Lost, and Peacock’s new comedy/thriller The Resort appears to be another in a long line of imitators. What initially masquerades as a silly dark comedy soon reveals itself to be so much more. Hiding just underneath the surface is a burgeoning unsolved mystery just begging to be picked apart. A rogue hurricane once destroyed Oceana Vista Resort in one fell swoop. Now, fifteen years later, a couple on a trip for the anniversary of their marriage will find themselves embroiled in the odd event, intermingled with the disappearance of two young tourists who vanished just before tragedy struck.
Multiple timelines occurring simultaneously keep the viewer from ever getting bored, even through some of the more head-scratching moments. Shortly after arriving at the Bahia del Paraiso Resort, Emma (Cristin Milioti, A to Z, Palm Springs) and her husband, Noah (William Jackson Harper, Midsommar, All Good Things), are out on an excursion when Emma comes upon an ancient-looking cell phone. Emma, whose own marriage has become something of a chore, takes it upon herself to purchase another phone and trade out the SIM card to uncover whatever has been left behind.
It turns out the phone once belonged to Sam (Skyler Gisondo, Vacation, Santa Clarita Diet), who happens to be one of the tourists that went missing fifteen years ago. This appears to be the first bit of evidence anyone has ever found regarding the incident. Before long, Emma has fallen down a rabbit hole in her research of Sam, his cheating girlfriend, Hannah (Debby Ryan, Insatiable, Every Day), and the sweet Violet (Nina Bloomgarden, Good Girl Jane), the other missing tourist. Whilst Emma drags in her husband Noah for the wild ride, viewers get a glimpse into Sam’s world. We see the action play out over both timelines, drawing several parallels along the way that playfully work as each episode ends in an exclamation mark.
All manner of twisty hijinks occur, though when one expects The Resort to stick the landing, it tends to stumble. Emma and Sam get dragged into researching a fashion phenom and shadowy figures following them about; Sam finds solace in Violet as he discovers moldy professor dick pics on Hannah’s phone, and is utterly lost at how to proceed with his longtime girlfriend. A strange book may hold the answers, or perhaps the remains of the Oceana Vista Resort will be the key. Rambling conspiracy theorists, shady resort assistants, fathers roaming the jungle, and an intense author run amuck in the background.
The Resort starts out strong, but eventually devolves into a rambling mystery with an unsatisfying conclusion. A soaring ensemble cast including Cristin Milioti, William Jackson Harper, Skyler Gisondo, and more, make the majority of the series a breezy watch. For a show that uses its mystery box elements as a crutch, The Resort needed to either be way funnier, or way more intense. Instead, the end result is a passable experience that would benefit from a finer touch. If only the entire show were as rave-worthy as the performances—a script is only as great as its architects.
The Resort get lost on Peacock when it debuts on Thursday, July 28th.