Amazon Prime’s White Dragon season 1 review


Amazon’s White Dragon doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression.

After eight episodes worth of White Dragon, there’s not really much to say.  Outside of a very good leading performance, White Dragon does little to set it itself apart from the plethora of political conspiracy and spouses with double lives sub-genres.

If there’s one absolute positive to be taken out of this it’s that John Simm is excellent even if Jonah Mulray feels like a role originally written with someone like Martin Freeman in mind.  Granted my only personal experience with Simm pre-White Dragon is his time as The Master, so it was really something to see the man so effectively go to the other end of the acting spectrum.

The rest of the cast though isn’t anything to write home about.  While nobody comes off especially bad here, with the exception of Simm no one really does enough to make me forget I’ve seen many of these actors in bigger and of course better things.  As is often the case when this happens, it leaves me with an urge to watch those very things instead.

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One character that absolutely gets shortchanged by the writing though is Lau.  Things started out well enough for her taking a very active role in the protests against Xo but after that, she doesn’t really do anything.  From then on, she’s mostly used as a prop to keep the plot moving. Becky getting hired by Sally to keep tabs on her, Xo’s blackmail money (and really the linchpin that blows up the whole conspiracy) being left to Lau, her getting kidnapped as part of the climax and really her very existence being used as a tool to blackmail Xo in the first place.

Possibly the most baffling part of the writing though is just how little the bigamy angle with Megan actually mattered in the end.  Her second marriage to Jonah has absolutely zero bearing on what get’s her killed and by all appearances, she seemed to be perfectly content with her double life before being approached by Sally (something the show only makes the most cursory attempts to address).

This is only made more bizarre by the series odd amount of focus being put into questioning whether Megan actually loved Jonah or David, to the point of using the show’s final shot to answer it.  This could’ve been a somewhat interesting plot line to follow if the answer hadn’t been painfully obvious from the get-go In the writer’s quest to make David a red herring, his marriage to Megan is clearly shown to basically be in-name-only starting with the voicemail to Jonah.  Between that, the passports and the bribe money, the whole thing paints a picture that Megan was ready to leave David high and dry by himself at a moment’s notice without explanation.  The fact that only Jonah warranted a departing voicemail answers pretty quickly where Megan’s heart was on that issue.

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On that note, I would’ve liked to see more exploration into how David feels at being left so thoroughly out of the loop in his wife’s life.  Then again that may have been a little too much to ask seeing as David himself isn’t really explored upon either. How did Megan and David get together? When did the marriage begin to fall apart? What motivated him to take the bribes that lost him his job?

Bottom line, I get the suspicion I’ll forget most of what happened in the show within a week or two.  Besides Simm, there’s not much to leave an impression let alone be memorable.

What did you think of White Dragon? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!