Sorry For Your Loss, Facebook’s new half-hour drama series from creator Kit Steinkellner, is a gripping and devastating tour through the stages of grief and the painful process of letting go while still keeping hold of the past in some way. It’s a tough look into the effects of death on someone: in this case, Leigh (Elizabeth Olsen), whose loss of her husband Matt (Mamoudou Athie), has torn her world apart.
The show smartly picks up the pieces of what impact loss can have on a person, as Leigh goes through the motions of boxing up the apartment, going to grief support group meetings, making new friends, and simply going through the day-to-day of life. It all adds up, the toll of continuing on. Sorry For Your Loss does this while still making sure the memory of those passed on is not always perfect, the fights and the disagreements and the secrets left behind and still open.
Its fourth episode, “Visitor”, is a wonderful encapsulation of what the show is going for when a dog enters the lives of Leigh and Jules (Kelly Marie Tran), Leigh’s sister. It’s about forming attachment and letting go, told in a brief manner but really boiling down the exact emotions the show had been hitting on a grander scale before this. The show is effective in giving its characters their faults and their anger in grief, but how life must go on, as hard as it may be.
Olsen is exceptional in the show, shutting down at times while also fighting with the overwhelming emotions of something still deeply new and raw for her. Tran, as her recovering sister, is a great energy for the show and really helps sell the bond between these two characters. The writing for the show can be a little too vague, feeling like it would be better served in an hour-long platform, but as is, it’s still touching and does a lot with its subject.
Sorry For Your Loss is a great reason to give Facebook’s television platform a chance. It’s a solid show with excellent performances, and knows itself from the very start. With Olsen at the forefront, it has an enthralling lead who really sells the show and the emotion it deserves. The series is never depressing, and holds its character in a real and impactful light.
Author’s note: This review is based on the first four episodes.