‘The Baxters’ Review: A Faith-Driven Drama That Is Erratic In Its Delivery Of Emotions

Countless Christian dramas are being aired on television and OTT spaces that discuss in detail faith and its impact on human decisions. Faith has a huge role to play in families and friendships if they find themself at any crossroads. The Baxters is one such show by Amazon MGM Studios that focuses on a family that are devout Christians and is going through many obstacles. They chose to turn to each other, the church, and faith to seek answers to their problems. The show was released on Prime Video on March 28, 2024. 


The Baxters is a ten-episode show with a run time of twenty-two minutes to forty minutes, covering the drama that unfolds in the Baxter family. Kari Baxter, who is an interior decorator by profession, caught her husband of six years, Tim Jacobs, having an affair with his student on campus. Tim Jacobs is a professor at a local university and did not think twice before claiming to be in love with Angela, his new beau, and walking out on Kari. 

Kari is devastated, but she has hopes for her marriage, believing that her husband might come back. Her family, which consists of her parents, three sisters, and a brother, turned out to be her biggest support system. They encouraged her to consider divorce from Tim. The Baxter family is a god-fearing family that is well-connected and has good standing in the church community. They are known for carrying out several acts of charity for the church and the neighborhood. Kari refuses to give up on her marriage while her sister Ashley is struggling to be a single mother and happens to be the only person in the family who does not attend church. As the family is dealing with Kari’s breakdown over her marriage, she learns of her pregnancy and conveys the same to her estranged husband. Luke Baxter, who is studying to be an attorney, lives with his parents and falls in love with Reagan, who has just moved to his town seeking job opportunities. Does Kari agree to divorce Tim? Was Ashley trying to come to terms with her past to move forward?


The directors, Tony Mitchell, Alex Zamm, and Rachel Feldman, must be the highlight of the show. These three directors are in command of the story and the screenplay, and they play a huge role in taking the narrative forward and getting a grip over the plot of the show. The story was also interesting. Personally, this is the first time I have watched a faith-based family drama, and it was interesting to witness the direction was not all over the place but the story and screenplay were scattered. The screenplay did not complete many subplots that were introduced. Subplot involving Ashley Baxter are a mixed bag. There is a history involving her and Luke’s best friend, Ashford, but that is not explored in depth. Her struggle as a single mother and travels to Paris hardly had any depth or soul to understand her hardships. There is no deep understanding of why Ashley chose to renounce faith. 

Ashley overall as a character is not written well, and her arc is not clearly defined. The writing falters here, even though the direction holds the show like glue. Kari and Tim’s relationship is bland, and there is hardly any chemistry of love and loss between them. There is a lack of emotion, even though their relationship saga is supposed to make the audience teary-eyed for the most part. Kari’s arc has nothing to offer in the bigger scheme, as she is portrayed as a woman with no other layer but to remain upset and cling to her estranged husband in the hope he will come back someday. She had a job of her own, but there was hardly any time devoted to her professional life or the friends she had outside of her marriage. Tim Jacobs, too, is a flat character on paper and screen who jumps from one relationship to another without any time given to process such major changes in his life. The writers could have made Tim a character with multiple layers and complexities, but sadly, that never happened. The bond between the siblings and the tensions between them based on their pasts are hardly discussed by the writers. Their relationship and the conversation seem artificial and surface-level, devoid of feelings for one another. 


In the characters of mother and father with the most cliched names ever, Elizabeth and John Baxter, there is no sense of their love and marriage shared with the audience. They keep muttering bible verses and offering prayers to people with not an ounce of bad blood towards anyone. All the layers given to these characters in the show are either black or white. The shades of gray are lacking through the characters and the screenplay, which ultimately makes the show boring at points. The story and the screenplay come across as campy and over-the-top, with dialogues that are enunciated and not said with any feelings. There was no time invested in expanding several subplots. A lot of parts of the screenplay are added to the narrative, but they are soon forgotten. Since this is a faith-based family drama, the writers and the director should have invested their time in injecting lots of emotion. 

Even though the story was predictable, the emotions would have allowed this show to stand out. Case in point: the Indian film Hi Nanna was predictable, but the emotion added to the narrative made the movie different from other romantic dramas. The Baxters focused so much on the Bible verses and prayers that it lost the plot in the storytelling. 


The show also glorifies cheating and infidelity, as one of the main characters tries to come back into his wife’s life, and she accepts him wholeheartedly instead of giving herself time to process the betrayal. However, it is endearing to watch the entire show and not get preachy about the church. The Baxters would be an ideal watch for those who are devout churchgoers because of the emphasis on the psalms as they are mentioned through the show in one form or another. The production of the show was too tacky, as the house does not seem lived in. For a show based on family, the house and its surroundings look too perfect. It tends to become nauseating after a point. 

The performances in the show are plain and banal, and not one actor’s performance is worth mentioning. The actor portraying Elizabeth Baxter is one of the producers on the show, yet her character of a super-caring mother does not land. All the remaining characters have to be nice to everyone, which seems to be the diktat given to them when they began to work on the show. Overall, The Baxters is a show that is devoid of emotions and feelings and stretches after a point.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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