Series Review: Kissing Game (2020)

A fairly engrossing and DARK Brazilian mystery, that for the most part I really enjoyed.  Not so sure about that ending though…?

Certificate: 18

Creator: Esmir Filho

Starring: Caio Horowicz, Iza Moreira, Michel Joelsas

Episodes: 6

Runtime: 45 Minutes Each

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

After an unapproved rave the night before, a young girl wakes up with symptoms of a potentially fatal disease.  As more and more adolescents in this small Brazilian town start to come down with the illness, they work out that is it spread by kissing.  Panic spreads faster than the disease as the kids try to figure out who is spreading the disease and the parents do everything they can to stop their kids getting sick.

This series was DARK!  It didn’t shy away from any of the hard topics that it was dealing with.  Sure on the surface it is dealing with a town racked with suspicion and grief as the disease spreads, but there are also serious messages here about social acceptance, about personal identity, homophobia and a lot of other serious subjects that this series deals with in depth.  I loved the way this story unravelled.  It was a slow burn, but as the show is only six episodes, It didn’t run too long, and start to get stale.  And it doesn’t give anything away, like a lot of the characters here, you are completely in the dark right up until the end, and even then, you may not be entirely sure what is going on.

The acting by all our young performers here was astonishing.  There were some really tough roles here, and some hard subjects to deal with and they all did a stand up job.  The stand out for me was Michel Joelsas as Chico, who has one of the roughest stories towards the end of the season and who gives a really impassioned and effective performance.  He is a light hearted character for most of the show, but then his story takes a darker twist in the ending episodes and my god was that hard to watch.  Excellent job!

The problem that I had was, that after the full 6 episodes, I still don’t really know what was going on.  Reasons behind the disease are hinted at.  It is implied that Alex finds out exactly what the problem might be.  But we aren’t ever really told for sure.  It was also implied that the leader of the strange cult like community, knows what is going on, but she also doesn’t share her information.  So we are left a little unsatisfied.  The end shot of Manu certainly implies they are hoping for a season two, so maybe that will be where our answers lie, but if that doesn’t happen, then really, nothing is properly resolved at the end of the season.

There is also a badly hidden message in this series that showed up in films like ‘It Follows’ which is, if you are a teenager, and you have sex, you WILL die.  I am sorry if I have to be the one to tell the adults in the room this, but there is no film or series scary enough to stop teenagers having sex. Overall, this one was fairly enjoyable, I am just left feeling a little let down by the ending.  It is a recommend though

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