• Rose East

Brand New Cherry Flavor (2021) Ep. 1

Updated: Jan 19

A new Netflix miniseries, Brand New Cherry Flavor, premiered August 14, 2021 on Netflix. A horror drama based on the novel of the same title by Todd Grimson.

Straight from the trailer it’s clear that a mysterious, albeit naive wannabe artist is on her way to L.A. to be taken advantage of. What is given away in the trailer the show makes up for with Rosa Salazar’s performance as the lead, Lisa Nova.

Lisa Nova, played by Rosa Salazar, an aspiring filmmaker arrives in L.A. with tapes of her short film and a meeting set up with Lou Burke, played by Eric Lange, a semi-washed up L.A. producer with all the markings of a sleazy Hollywood user. After Lou decides to invest in Lisa’s movie and the two of them become a team ready to pitch the movie with her as a director things take a predictably dark turn.

In preparation to pitch the movie we get scenes of Lou teaching Lisa how to pitch herself. In between constantly cutting her off he interjects a story about his own inspiration, making a movie for his child self. We learn that Lisa’s driving force is making a movie her mother, who left her as a baby, would see.

While at a party to pitch to some rich bigwig a mysterious woman, Boro, played by Catherine Keener, approaches Lisa. The second they start to speak, the world around them silences and the air fills with intensity; she informs Lisa an important conversation is taking place without her. The implication being that Lou is betraying their newly formed “team” and pitching the movie to a big wig without her involved.

Fast forward to what is seemingly a revenge plot gone awry on the surface quickly grabs the audience with creative and beautiful film work paired with dry lines delivered perfectly by Salazar. A slow burn switches to hyper drive when Lou violently attacks Lisa in his driveway after she confronts him about stealing her movie.

Tears streaming down her face and in total shock Lisa gets in her car and drives to Boro, the address still on her arm from the earlier party. For the small price of puked up kittens from deep within Lisa, Boro will exact revenge on Lou for Lisa. Thus, we have all of the ingredients for a show.

The first episode is somewhat what is to be expected based on the trailer. With all of the set up out of the way and the main characters mostly accounted for we can move forward to the unpredictability that lies ahead. There are enough unanswered questions at the end of episode one to pique viewers' interest to keep watching. Why is she puking cats and why does Boro want them? What the hell happens in her short that no one can figure out the special effects behind? Is Boro really going to exact her revenge or is she using her for something far more sinister? What the hell is going to fill the next 7 episodes of this 8 episode miniseries?

All in all, an interesting watch and beginning to another Netflix miniseries. The whole miniseries is currently streaming on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.

Recommend score: 8/10