What’s Worth Watching: Deadly Family Ties on Bloodline

Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Bloodline, Episodes 1–13 (Friday, March 20, Netflix)

Even if just for the first-rate cast, this slow-burning and sultry 13-episode psychological thriller from the producers of Damages is worth a look. Set evocatively in the glorious but stormy Florida Keys, Bloodline introduces the prominent Rayburn family, led by Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek, who are about to celebrate their 45th year as successful resort operators. Tarnishing the glow: the return of prodigal oldest son Danny (Ben Mendelsohn, a riveting Australian actor who made a splash in the 2010 film Animal Kingdom). This unsavory drifter rekindles tension among his parents and siblings, including Kyle Chandler as upstanding county sheriff John, Linda Cardellini as peacemaker Meg, and Norbert Leo Butz as volatile Kevin.

“You don’t give up on family,” insists John, who finds it’s not so easy to practice what he preaches in Danny’s unsettling presence. As with Damages, the story plays with fragments of time, hinting at dark skeletons in the Rayburns’ past while foreshadowing dire events. Settle into the series’ subtle but engrossing rhythms and you may find yourself bingeing before you know it.