Volume two of Fatal Seduction is out, and it completes the tale of a forbidden relationship that eventually becomes a murder mystery whodunit. The audience always enjoys a good pulpy thriller, they always make for a guilty pleasure watch. Viewers need not apply their brains while watching such shows and movies because the makers spoon-feed them well enough till the end. There is a sense of gratification one achieves while watching such media, for there are neither underlying layers to decipher nor complex characters to inspect. The predictable elements of the narrative allow the viewers to enjoy such shows and movies thoroughly. While some thrillers do sometimes surprise the audience, they manage to change the viewer’s opinion of how cinema should be made in this genre. But that is a rare instance. Below are some of the exciting yet guilty pleasure shows and movies you must watch if Fatal Seduction enticed you towards this genre.
365 Days (2020, Netflix)
This Netflix Original Romantic thriller, set in Europe, had everything going its way, just like Fatal Seduction. The entire movie is about an Italian mafia kingpin whose obsession about a woman makes him do unspeakable things to get her to fall in love with his persona. The movie managed to draw a lot of flak because of the story. The only similarity between this movie and Fatal Seduction was the overemphasis on the intimacy between the lead protagonists. The lather, rinse, and repeat of the narrative got tedious after a point. If the makers were keen on justifying the genre, they should have established context and connection with the screenplay. Sadly, there was none.
Fatal Seduction became redundant, and eventually, the viewers resorted to trying too hard to find a story in the show. This does not set a good precedent for the makers, but sadly, there is a market for such cinema, and the makers must oblige what audiences want. That is exactly why 365 Days had a sequel in 2022, and why there’s a third film in the making. Fatal Seduction season two is yet to be announced, but it is understood that Netflix will probably not get rid of this show.
Sharp Objects (2018, HBO)
A psychological thriller presented with a murder investigation makes Sharp Objects a good watch. A small-town story that is shaken up by a series of murders made for the thriller genre as the local sheriff and police officer from out of town are trying to find out the killer on the loose. Only a handful of characters in the Sharp Objects were keen on finding out who the culprit is, meanwhile, the rest of the sleepy town are just pretending to be worried. A similar pattern can be found in the Fatal Seduction as well where it was only Vuyo and Roxanne who were keen to find out who killed Brenda. Her sudden death brings forth an ugly past of many people related to Brenda and Vuyo. The shows cannot be compared when it comes to screenplay for one is a gripping tale of small-town America which is stuck in time capsule whereas the other story had a steady first half but became a victim of the shoddy writing, and baseless overstretched commercial bits.
You (2018, Netflix)
Personally speaking, I would not recommend this show because it glorifies all manner of illegal life choices, and it goes against my values of how cinema shouldn’t glorify such acts by promoting them through one of the biggest platforms of recent times, Netflix. Stalking, manipulation, and obsession presented as love is what made the show hugely popular. There is a big similarity between You and Fatal Seduction in terms of the screenplay, where the leads are consumed by emotions, that makes them take some extreme steps to justify it. But what makes them different is that Jacob in Fatal Seduction is considered morally wrong, and the makers do not justify his act. Meanwhile, in You, the lead’s actions are not considered problematic. After a point, the show romanticizes the way he seeks women. But as mentioned above, there is an audience for shows like You which does not stop the makers from churning out such stories.
Big Little Lies (2017, HBO)
One of the best television shows made in the thriller genre is this multi-starrer, Big Little Lies. The lives of several rich suburban women are shaken up when a murder takes place in their community, and the screenplay takes the viewers through their pasts, concluding with ‘who committed the murder?’ There are elements of the thriller genre in this show added for the screenplay’s sake. What makes Big Little Lies and Fatal Seduction alike is the treatment of female characters and the underlying topics that the shows cover. The makers of this show wrote about the crimes committed against women in depth. Fatal Seduction, though in the first half meticulously made this topic a part of the narrative, soon lost its grip over it. It would have been interesting to see how they tackled the same topics in the second half, but it was sadly forgotten. Big Little Lies never lost its hold on the storytelling aspect and the elements mentioned above. Fatal Seduction did the suspense part decently, but it kind of lost momentum by the end of it. This HBO Original has a good repeat value, which cannot be said about the Netflix series.
Obsession (2023, Netflix)
Obsession is one such Netflix Original that tried to mimic The Fifty Shades series but ended up becoming a cheap mockup which hardly resonated with the audience thanks to its appalling screenplay and performances. The haphazard screenplay marred by a bad direction is what makes Obsession a lot more like Fatal Seduction. The reason could be that the makers tried to gather viewer’s attention through risque storyline and scenes at every juncture of the respective shows but forgot to work on the story and the screenplay. Fatal Seduction became unnecessarily convoluted, and the ending of the Obsession was confusing as it was difficult to comprehend what the deal was with the leading lady. But by the looks of it, there was a definite conclusion to the story in Obsession, and that cannot be said about Fatal Seduction. The audience is expecting season two.
Bad Sisters (2022, Apple TV+)
Just like in our previous lists, we leave the best for last. Apple TV + has been churning out good stories, and one of them happens to be a thriller laced with black comedy, Bad Sisters. The show introduces us to five sisters, with whom a tragedy takes place. One of their husbands turns up dead, and from there on, the investigation begins to catch the real killer. What makes the show interesting is the intricate schemes developed by the four sisters to get rid of their prickly brother-in-law, and when that happens, there is growing suspicion of how it happened and whether any of their schemes actually worked. Again, various kinds of crimes unleashed on women is the underlying theme of this show and Fatal Seduction. The mentioned Netflix series toys with the thriller genre with elements of suggestive and forbidden relationships. The thrill of finding out who killed the victim is well presented in Bad Sisters, while that cannot be said about Fatal Seduction. The latter series had ample opportunity to make the screenplay interesting, but it had to resort to commercial elements to make it engrossing. But give both shows a watch because they cater to a particular type of audience that appreciates such stories.
Studies show that women generally love good crime thriller shows/documentaries. Keeping that in mind, this is a highly opinionated piece compiled by the writer as per her views on shows in this genre. The readers can contribute their time and suggest some other ones they think fit the bill.