A star rating of 4 out of 5.

By the time most people reach their 30s, they like to think they know their parents pretty well, from hearing accounts of their childhood and career milestones, to listening to grumbles about next door's dog relieving itself in their front garden. But what if you discovered after three decades that your mum had lived a life that you had absolutely no clue about?


This is the question posed by Pieces of HerNetflix's star-studded thriller based on Karin Slaughter's 2018 novel of the same name. The eight-part series stars Toni Collette as Laura Oliver, a middle-aged physio living in a sleepy American town with her daughter Andy (Bella Heathcote), whose dark past comes back to haunt her after she stops a mass shooting whilst out for Andy's 30th birthday.

While the eight-parter's short synopsis sounds promising, it's the show's slow-burning exploration of the former life that Laura has tried so desperately to shield from her daughter that sets this show up to be as much of a hit with drama-lovers as similar Netflix thrillers like The Stranger, The Sinner and True Story.

Pieces of Her

Unsurprisingly, Academy Award nominee Toni Collette delivers a captivating performance as the complex Laura, confirming once again that you can't go too wrong with a drama that's been firmly placed in her reliable hands. While initially lulling the audience into believing Laura is your typical mild-mannered mother, Collette gives us hints of the character's hardened former self when she incapacitates the diner shooter with an expert slash to the throat.

While the violent, adrenaline-pumping seat pulls you to the edge of your seat, the real drama begins in its aftermath when a clip of Laura's heroic antics goes viral and the mysterious woman has to make snap-shot decisions to protect her family. Jumping back and forth between timelines of the modern day and Laura's memories of the '80s, the true story about Laura's dodgy connections are drip fed to the audience in satisfying titbits that'll keep you enthralled.

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Heathcote, who is best known for her roles in Dark Shadows and The Man in the High Castle, is equally impressive as Andy – a 911 operator who moved home years prior to care for her ill mother and feels useless after doing nothing during the diner shooting – however, Andy herself is one of the most frustrating parts of the series.

In every drama, there's a character who continually makes ridiculous choices throughout and has you shouting at the screen in exasperation. In Pieces of Her, Andy is very much that character and while you wouldn't have much of a thriller if there weren't a few questionable decisions to balk at, Andy really does push the boundaries beyond belief.

That aside, Pieces of Her is well worth a watch if you like playing detective and with a stellar cast at its core – from Jessica Barden and Joe Dempsie, to Omari Hardwick and Gil Birmingham – this eight-part thrill-fest is a strong contender for the next title to top Netflix's streaming chart.

Pieces of Her arrives on Netflix on 4th March. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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