Signs, or Polish: Znaki, is a crime/thriller series on Netflix which stars Andrzej Konopka, Helena Sujecka, Magdalena Zak, Piotr Trojan and Miroslaw Kropielnicki. The series originally aired on AXN in 2018, but is now going for a wider release, courtesy of Netflix.
Signs starts off with new police commander Michal Trela who is faced with a challenge when a woman turns up dead in a quaint town in Own Mountains. The crime shares similarities with a murder which took place 10 years ago and he and fellow officer Adrianna Nieradka try to solve the case, come what may.
While the plot does sound exciting, with murder cases sharing similarities decades apart, but Signs will leave you dissatisfied and bored. The central murder plot is exciting, don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot that could’ve been done here, and the reveal of the murderer provides some respite in an otherwise borefest of a series. Although the reveal can be predicted early-on in the series if you’re diligent enough, yet it’s still shocking.
But that’s it. Signs depends on that trope where everything that is going on is connected one way or the other. However, for that to happen, you need to have multiple plots. And boy does the series have an insane number of subplots. There’s the murder, there’s a crazy amount of religious fanaticism, there’s WWII-era people (for some reason), there’s teen angst, there’s cheating and we also focus on a priest for far too long. With the sheer number of things going on here, it’s no wonder that the plot meanders way too many times, making it difficult to remember, and ultimately boring.
It’s difficult to keep track of who’s who and after the first episode, I lost interest in the plot completely. Sure, I wanted to know who ultimately committed the crime, but there was too much going on for me to concentrate. There are not a lot of shows that can pull-off plot twists like Dark. Also, it doesn’t help that the first season ends with a 5-second clip of the reveal. We don’t get closure on the subject after watching 8 45-minutes-long episodes. That’s mainly because a second season is already out in Poland. But come on. Give us something to work with!
Other than that, I think I quite enjoyed the beautiful Gory Sowie landscapes of Poland. It’s calming and peaceful, and seems like a perfect place for a small town to hold a lot of secrets. Andrzej Konopka as Commissioner Michal Trela is enjoyable as well, with his grumpy attitude and sometimes extremely rude behaviour.
The biggest fault of Signs is probably how many subplots it just forgets to tie off in the end. The WWII subplot, for example, we never get to know an end of. Did the priest find out who the killer is? Why was he running around with a camera? What happens to Targosz? We don’t know. And after a while, we don’t care either.
Summing up: Signs
Signs tries the formula of creating several subplots and twisting and turning them until we are surprised at the end. However, while creating the insane number of plots, the series loses the audience somewhere and that results in a boring (and sometimes confusing) 8-episode run. There’s a lack of tension throughout, and even when it does pop-up, it’s too less to provide the necessary push. There’s too much going on, with too-little explanation. Even with the surprise reveal at the end, it’s not worth the almost 8-hours you spend binging this.
Signs is streaming on Netflix right now.
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