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Netflix's 'Bloodline': Prodigal son with a twist

Netflix’s newest series stars Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard and Linda Cardellini.

Kyle Chandler (John Rayburn) in the Netflix Original Series "Bloodline."  
(Photo Credit: Saeed Ayani)
Kyle Chandler (John Rayburn) in the Netflix Original Series "Bloodline." (Photo Credit: Saeed Ayani)Read more

* BLOODLINE. Today, Netflix.

WHEN I TALK to myself, as I too often do these days, it may be to ask: Is this TV voiceover really necessary?

It's largely superfluous in Netflix's "Bloodline," a new series from the creators of "Damages," in which a prodigal son returns to his family's resort in the Florida Keys and things don't go so well.

Kyle Chandler, who did so much with silences in "Friday Night Lights," retains his spare delivery as John Rayburn, whose efforts to keep his black-sheep brother, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), from upsetting the Rayburn family's delicate balance are doomed.

We'd sense this even if, off-camera, Chandler weren't saddled with an Ominous Voiceover. Something bad is on its way. And if you don't believe the OV, the "Damages"-like flash-forwards and pounding music should convince you.

"Bloodline" doesn't need to spell things out because, it seems, in the three episodes I've seen, to have a story worth telling and actors - including Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek, as the Rayburn parents, and Linda Cardellini and Norbert Leo Butz, as John's other siblings - more than capable of telling it.

Florida looks beautiful and menacing, as Florida probably always should, and the title sequence is gorgeous.

Netflix, which releases all 13 episodes of the first season today, gives shows the luxury of not having to ferry viewers from act to act and from one week to the next.

The writers of "Bloodline" apparently don't trust us in the deep water yet. But it's worth wading into, anyway.

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