Matt’s Rating:

Fans of tear-jerkers who’ve felt a void since This Is Us ended final 12 months might flock to Dear Edward on Apple TV+, an emotional gut-punch of a drama from grasp manipulator Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood). The setup, which dominates the primary of three episodes out there at premiere, is past devastating: a aircraft crash from which solely 12-year-old Edward (the soulful Colin O’Brien) survives.

Fisher Stevens directs that first hour, which could be the most harrowing depiction of a doomed flight because the pilot of Lost. Only this time the folks you meet on board, except younger Edward, stay on solely within the reminiscences of these left behind, who present the main target of a collection that tackles with various levels of histrionic success the method of grieving.

Even gluttons for sentimental punishment might develop weary over 10 episodes of survivor guilt, manifested by a “grief group” of unhappy souls assessing their shattered lives. These embody Edward’s unhappily childless aunt Lacey (the wonderful Taylor Schilling), who takes within the delicate “miracle boy,” laboring to offer some normalcy.

Connie Britton in 'Dear Edward'

Uprooted from upscale Manhattan to suburban Nyack, the place working-class Lacey and husband John (Carter Hudson) stroll on metaphorical eggshells, Edward finds solace with outgoing neighbor and classmate Shay (Eva Ariel Binder), whose obsession with curler derby brings the boy out of his shell little by little. When Edward chooses to sleep on Shay’s bed room ground, conjuring reminiscences of sharing a room with the large brother he sorely misses, well-meaning aunt Lacey has to steadiness her personal feelings towards these of her inscrutable and now and again understandably flamable nephew. Her impulsive resolution to cover from Edward the torrent of “Dear Edward” mail pouring in may have penalties later.

If solely the remainder of the collection have been as finely drawn. The present’s theme, voiced by one other member of the grief group, is “Sometimes our path chooses us.” And so it goes as mourners forge new relationships, exorcise regrets and contemplate paths not taken.

The subplots are uneven: some compelling — Anna Uzele is particularly good as a politician’s idealistic granddaughter drawn to a person from Ghana (the charismatic Idris DeBrand) who has come to take care of his younger niece — however extra are sorely underdeveloped, together with the story of Linda (Amy Forsyth), a younger pregnant girl with no household to lean on, and Sam (Lin-Manuel Miranda lookalike Dario Ladani Sanchez), a father and husband whose confused sexuality is triggered by a high-school pal’s passing. Some of those tales come out of left discipline halfway by means of the season, feeling like afterthoughts.

And the much less stated the higher concerning the contrived state of affairs that includes an over-the-top Connie Britton as delirious Dee Dee, a pampered real-housewife stereotype. Even this professional can’t make the irritating Dee Dee sympathetic as she learns too late her husband’s many secrets and techniques. She does, nonetheless, lighten the tone of what can in any other case be a forbiddingly grim, although at occasions undeniably affecting, slog.

Dear Edward, Series Premiere (three episodes), Friday, February 3, Apple TV+

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