Typically, when thinking about a wedding, a celebration of love, commitment and the promise of “until death do us part” comes to mind. However, this is far from the ceremony that unfolds in Netflix’s new Polish series “Family Secrets.” What is supposed to be a day filled with flower bouquets and too many glasses of champagne turns into an unveiling (pun intended) of the couple’s deepest secrets and tangled family ties.
The drama’s pilot starts off with a pregnant bride, who is later revealed to be the main character Kaska (Eliza Rycembel, “Corpus Christi”), running through the city streets until she reaches an intersection. The scene then flashes five years into the past and we see Kaska again at that same intersection where a man named Pawel (Piotr Pacek, “Sexify”) saves her from an approaching tram. As an act of gratitude, she offers to buy Pawel a coffee, to which he replies, “First coffee, then friendship, and in the end, marriage?” before the two part ways.
The flashbacks don’t stop there, though. Throughout the episode, the audience is transported through time, slowly introduced to new characters and grows privy to important plotlines, all of which involve Pawel. Nevertheless, on the day of her wedding, the audience is shocked to see Kaska marrying another man, Janek (Bartosz Gelner, “The Legions”). We’re left to wonder what, or who, exactly brings Kaska back to the intersection she found herself at five years prior.
“Family Secrets” does an excellent job of creating a web of relationships, and by the end of the first episode, it becomes apparent that each character is connected — though how, and why, remains a mystery. Yet that’s not the only thing we’re itching to uncover. As the pilot concludes, the audience is left with two pressing questions: Why is Kaska running from her marriage, and who is the father of her baby?
While the timelines frequently shift throughout the episode, the plot remains engaging and surprisingly easy to follow. With each additional character and narrative, “Family Secrets” continuously builds suspense by hinting at secrets like potential affairs and unexpected relationships. As a result, the viewer can’t help but want to binge the entire eight-episode series in one sitting.
So, for all those out there feeling deterred by subtitles, push your fears aside because “Family Secrets” is worth the extra reading. Between the countless storylines, mysterious character connections and unwavering drama, the show presents the most disastrous wedding of the century. Seriously, if you think the movie “Runaway Bride” is catastrophic, you have another thing coming.
Daily Arts Writer Molly Hirsch can be reached at email@example.com.