Quick Critique: Rebecca Gold (REQUEST)

Rebecca, codenamed Agent Nine (Katie Sheridan) is having a routinal counciling session with her stone-faced psychiatrist Doctor Drew (Paul Coster). Hers is not an ordinary line of work-she’s a highly skilled assassin working for a mysterious company. A recent mission that went belly up has pushed her competency level from gold to grey. Her quippy, spitfire pop culture rhetoric isn’t fooling her psychiatrist, however, as Rebecca encountered someone on that mission that has shaken her: a girl she went to school with named Jackie (Alison Collinge).

Rebecca Gold is a webseries created by Ian David Diaz. The available episodes are all on YouTube currently, and you can even watch a half hour supercut of the entire first season. With the video streaming platform inundated with vloggers and gaming vids galore, it’s refreshing to find actual miniseries with a greater sense of production. Having it be spy-based definitely gives Rebecca Gold that extra bit of flavour, and I must say I quite enjoyed what we have so far. Even if (by design admittedly) it’s fairly sparse.

Let’s start with the good, because there is a lot of good. The acting, for one. Katie Sheridan is a charismatic and engaging lead. She gives her part a lot of empathy just by certain expressions; you always feel there’s something going internally. She also mules out the quips like a pro, so she’s well suited for the role of action heroine protagonist. Alison Collinge is great at depicting fear and awe/confusion to Rebecca, and both actors have great chemistry together. Paul Coster sells the mysterious and calculated  Doctor Drew. He has a presence that puts you at unease, yet has you wondering what’s going on exactly. Shout out to Lizabeth Venezia as Rebecca’s handler Genie Johnson, who gives a minor role a lot of weight.

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The fight choreography is also well handled. It’s got some fun dynamics and moves at a crisp pace so it ramps up the tension and stays exciting and engaging. There’s a really fun fight scene in the first episode that gets the series going from the starting point. I also really like Neil Myers score. Rebecca’s Theme in particular has a softness that crawls slowly into a dangerous edge, and completely matches her character. His score throughout is very well thought out and helps elevate the series’ pathos and action.

There’s some great cinematography on display here as well, shots are well thought out and gripping. The opening with Rebecca holding a gun to her head immediately snaps you into the story. It’s a shame then that it is so short, clocking in at just under 30 minutes in total. Again, this is by design, but there’s a decent momentum build up and then it stops. However, they are clearly gung-ho for another season, and with the aplomb it’s receiving it’s entirely possible we’ll see some of this set up really get going. I mean, it’s high praise when the worst you can say about a show is that there’s little of it.

There are a few issues with the story structure and writing. The first few episodes are told out of linear order and it can be a tad confused in its presentation. Some characters don’t get the development they need due to the time constraints. Also, Rebecca’s pop culture quips can grow a little overdone in places. It’s a fun character trait, I just felt they could be toned down. Some of them are great (loved the Doctor Who jab personally), and admittedly the show pokes fun of it and we’re only a season in! In some odd places here or there the restraint of the budget do pop up, but considering how wrong it could go for an action series, it’s impressive how sparse this is.

Rebecca Gold is fun, well directed, scored and acted. It’s got an engaging protagonist with a weighty backstory, a set-up with a lot to mile out for future stories, and impressive action for its scale. Any shortcomings I had did not affect my enjoyment; it’s a passionate and well-presented action spy caper that shows a lot of talent from its creative team and love for genre work. Can’t wait to see where they go next.

7/10

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But hey, you don’t need to just take my word for it-it’s gotten plenty of recognition!

Rebecca Gold is available on Amazon Prime. You can also check out the series, as well as some behind-the-scene work, interviews and related shorts, on YouTube.

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