(CNN)With a mini-reunion of cardinal players from "Big Little Lies" astatine its core, "Nine Perfect Strangers" combines a publication by Liane Moriarty with Nicole Kidman and writer-producer David E. Kelley, past surrounds them with an arsenic awesome cast. The bid is different 1 of those riddles wrapped successful a mystery, managing to pique involvement portion remaining stingy astir disgorging large truths, overmuch little small lies.
In a way, the amusement has the misfortune of premiering truthful adjacent to "The White Lotus," different constricted bid built astir the dynamic betwixt vacationers and unit astatine a high-end resort. The differences are important capable to accommodate both, adjacent if the listings connection 1 of those reminders that successful highest TV genuinely original-sounding concepts are less and farther between.
The main hurdle the amusement faces, perhaps, is 1 of expectations, since it doesn't measurement up to the aforementioned series. The elemental conceit involves a radical of guests (nine, arsenic it happens) arriving astatine an exclusive health-and-wellness retreat, which promises them a transformational acquisition successful conscionable 10 days.
Pulling the strings is the facility's enigmatic director, Masha (Kidman), whose motives and tactics are each spot arsenic hard to decipher arsenic the origins of her accent. The strangers could hardly look much different, but successful hushed whispers, it's noted that Masha fundamentally casts each group, suggesting immoderate higher logic astatine enactment -- oregon worse, a bizarre rats-in-a-maze experiment.
Each visitant harbors immoderate benignant of secret, from the writer (Melissa McCarthy) to the writer (Luke Evans), the divorced pistillate with choler issues (Regina Hall) to the erstwhile jock (Bobby Cannavale), the 4 solo attendees. Throw successful a household (Michael Shannon, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten) mourning the decease of their son/brother, and a mates (Samara Weaving, Melvin Gregg) whose outward quality masks hidden insecurities.
The guests propulsion backmost to varying degrees against the regimen that Masha has successful store for them, a premix of new-age counseling and deprivation, ostensibly designed arsenic a spiritual, psychic and carnal cleanse. Yet determination are aboriginal musings by the tiny unit that the latest arrivals mightiness beryllium peculiarly combustible, raising questions arsenic to whether the proprietors tin power the wheels they've acceptable successful motion.
The astir basal thread connecting this amusement to "White Lotus" is rich-people problems, and the not-so-subtle connection that having a batch intelligibly isn't the aforesaid arsenic having it each erstwhile it comes to happiness.
While the crippled advances slowly, the penning compensates for that by spreading astir meaty worldly for the actors successful this big summertime camp, nary tiny feat successful this benignant of exercise.
In the equilibrium "Nine Perfect Strangers" doesn't execute perfection, but it is some beauteous unusual and reasonably compelling. That doesn't adhd up to the compulsive binge that "Big Little Lies" oregon "White Lotus" provided, but arsenic TV's mentation of summertime escapes go, it's not a atrocious trip.
"Nine Perfect Strangers" premieres Aug. 18 connected Hulu.