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Hold Tight is the latest Harlan Coben adaptation and much like The Woods, takes place deep in the heart of Poland. Our setting here is a small Warsaw suburb, with two concurrent mysteries that interweave together to form a rather tepid 6 episode series. While there are some nice ideas at work, they’re overshadowed by an overwhelming amount of mediocrity and a dragged out story with a pretty poor resolution.
In typical mystery fashion, the story focuses on a death. In particular, that of a boy called Igor. As everyone attends his memorial, Igor’s best friend Adam feels guilty and believes he’s responsible for what happened. Whether he is or not remains one of the consistent question in this show, but when Adam too goes missing, his parents -Anna and Michal – set to work trying to work out what it all means.
While that in itself would be fine, Hold Tight then adds another mystery on top of that, convoluting the story and muddying the waters. There are a number of other characters who appear to either be related or play some part in what happened to Igor… or they may not.
Alongside Adam’s disappearance is another plotline involving two kidnappers, Natan and Wiera. Those names won’t mean much though given we’re not actually told who they are until the penultimate episode. All we need to know is that they’re desperate for information on a laptop, which appears to be linked to one of the other characters in town.
I won’t spoil anything about the finale or the big plot reveals but suffice to say, the outcome lands with an indifferent shrug and a bit of headscratching rather than a triumphant blast of fanfare. The mystery itself is incredibly predictable and the story feels rushed, leaving many questions in its wake.
Whether this be the script or the mediocre acting, everything here just feels so perfunctory. The story has echoes of all the other Coben adaptations, including The Stranger, Safe and The Woods, but it all feels stitched together with loose bits of gaffer tape rather than forming a solid and strong foundation to build upon. This is something that’s not helped by the plot constantly throwing you off your game without any real direction or thought.
To be fair, the end reveal involving the identity of a blackmailer is foreshadowed and a definite highlight, but beyond that it’s hard to find many more positives. This isn’t a bad show per-se, but it’s not particularly outstanding either. It’s a very bland and average affair, with a poor pay-off for the time investment. In many ways Hold Tight feels like a hybrid monster of ideas; a grotesque, cobbled together mess that just does not work.
If you’re a fan of mystery thrillers you may find enough to like here, and Hold Tight does do just about enough to keep you gripped until the end. However, this one’s woefully mediocre. In this golden age of TV, average just doesn’t cut it anymore. Viewers deserve better and sadly, Hold Tight is not going to be one to remember for very long.
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