Chambers is a chilling and suspenseful series that becomes too predictable and a tad bit puzzling.
This post for Chambers Season 1 is spoiler-free.
Chambers Season 1 (2019, created by Leah Rachel) follows 17-year-old Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Alyra Rose) who receives a heart transplant from a stranger named Becky LeFevre (Lilliya Reid) after facing a sudden heart attack; strange occurrences starts to happen to Sasha when she recovers from her heart surgery, and develops a friendly relationship with her donor’s family.
Filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Chambers has cinematography that feels like you’re watching an episode of Breaking Bad (yes, I’m not kidding). The aesthetics and attention to detail in this show is thoughtful and carefully planned (just look at Sasha’s nails in every episode). There are also certain camera shots in Chambers that can appear to be quite jarring and uncomfortable to watch—like the dinner scene at the LeFevre family home in “Into the Void” (S01E01), which features tons of close-ups.
Even though the technical elements of the show is stunning, the plot of Chambers fails to be anything more than a story about a spiritual wellness centre with cultish beliefs. Chambers’ first few episodes is good enough that it keeps audiences curious to find out what happens next. But when the series reaches its mid-point, the narrative becomes scattered and seems to lose its suspense, and moves on to tell a predictable cult-like storyline. And it certainly doesn’t help that the final episode ends with a cliffhanger—which is something that all Netflix Originals seem to be doing these days—even though the show is not officially renewed for a second season.
That being said, everyone in the cast does a fantastic job at portraying their individual characters. And of course the name talents here are Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn, who respectively plays Becky’s parents Nancy and Ben. Thurman gives an emotionally captivating performance as a grieving mother who can’t let go of her dead daughter (there’s even one whole episode dedicated to this), but apart from the whole grieving mother act, Thurman isn’t given more in this show to expand her character. All I would say about Goldwyn is that, he’s a really hot daddy.
The newer and much unknown teen actors are all terrific in their roles. Rose who stars as the lead Sasha, IMO looks way to old to be 17, but hey it could be the no make-up look that is taking the youth away because she’s actually 20 (born in 1999) in real life. Becky’s twin brother Elliot (Nicholas Galitzine) is so good as the problematic angsty child of the LeFevre’s, and I’m really interested to see what happens to him and Nancy if this show gets a renewal. Also sidenote here, but Lilliya Reid who plays Becky looks exactly like Josephine Langford in the very little scenes that she appears in, and Nicholas Glitzine looks exactly like Nick Robinson of 2018’s Love, Simon.
I think Chambers fails to expand further on the cultural aspects of Native Americans and white privilege on the show. With 10 episodes in total, more could have been done to incorporate the Native American culture, and have a discussion between the rich and the poor, rather than just simply mentioning these differences in passing. But I guess the show wanted to focus on the “supernatural” aspects of Becky and Sasha, rather than making a social commentary about society.