Riviera Season 3 has dropped in its entirety on Sky Atlantic and, with half the original cast now missing, it’s left us a little cold.
What’s more, it appears to have moved on from being a drama set in the heart of a corrupt family on the French Riviera to an Argentinian conspiracy thriller.
Not only that, one in which female protagonist Georgina Ryland – nee Clios – is drugged, kidnapped, sectioned and holed up in a mental institution for the best part of an episode.
Oh, sorry, we should have said. Spoiler alert!
How is Riviera Season 3 different to 1 and 2?
The first two series of Riviera were magnificent.
Watching Julia Stiles prance around the French Riviera in her stunning designer outfits and gorgeous high heels while sipping champagne was a perfect form of escapism.
We loved the spectacular Clios family home and the characters that filled it.
But gone are Irina, Christos and flame-haired Adriana.
Nico Eltham is only in three episodes of Riviera Seasons 3, while sister Daphne only appears in five.
Yes, things change, but to the point where a show is no longer recognisable?
What does Julia Stiles say about the third series?
Speaking in an interview ahead of the new series drop, Stiles said: “The beginning of Season 3 is really exciting, because it’s a new beginning for Georgina. At least she would like it to be.
“She’s shed the Clios family, she’s shed the estate, she’s changed her name back to her maiden name. Time has passed and she’s now teaching art restitution and trying to start a new life, free from all the trappings of her past.”
But does it work? We don’t think so, and some on Twitter seem to agree.
‘It isn’t quite the same’
“Just finished the third season of #Riviera on Sky,” said one viewer.
“Isn’t quite the same without the wonderful Lena Olin [Irina] opposite Julia Stiles, and the sudden genre shift to an Argentinean telenovela/science-fiction conspiracy thriller felt off brand from the previous two seasons,” they added.
“Still fun though,” the person ended the review.
“Yes, you nailed it in one,” said another. “It’s gone into a different direction but equally as gripping and fun to watch.”
We’re not sure we agree. We miss the antics of the Clios family.
Isn’t quite the same without the wonderful Lena Olin opposite Julia Stiles, and the sudden genre shift to an Argentinean telenovela/science-fiction conspiracy thriller felt off brand from the previous two seasons.
In their place, Stiles and her new wingman – Sherlock star Rupert Graves – are on a mission to return artworks to their rightful owners.
And, in tracing the provenance of a emerald rosary, they come into all sorts of trouble.
Namely because it was once given by an Argentinean priest to his lover.
However, a dodgy politician has got wind of the affair. And, keen to cover up what appears to be his role in a teenager’s death, he blackmails the priest.
So with Julia hot on their trail, Ellen Swann (Clare-Hope Ashley) and Alex Harewood (Synnove Macody Lund) – who are funding the political campaign – step in with their tranquilliser dark and lock her up in a mental institution while they try to figure a way out.
They don’t have long though before she escapes over the wall of the clinic and captures the politician’s son who’s been sent to capture her.
She then (private) jets off to confront said politician in Argentina.
We told you it was bizarre!
Bring back the days of parties at the Clios mansion.
Failing that, set fire to the whole thing, much like Georgina did to her million-dollar works of art at the end of season two.
Will there be a Season 4?
Season 4 has yet to receive the green light, namely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Head to our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and tell us what you think of the new series.