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Nicole Kidman is back on the screen in a new TV thriller about a bunch of delusional rich people with lots of baggage that they think will be fixed by immersing themselves in a high-end luxury lifestyle in a picturesque town with no poor people.
Based on a book written by the same Australian author that wrote that other book that Kidman also made a TV series about, Nine Perfect strangers tells the story of just that. Nine perfect strangers who descend upon a picturesque to detach themselves from reality and mercilessly gossip about each other.
The series centres around a mysterious Russian naturopathy guru played (Kidman) who runs ‘Tranquillum House’ – a sinister wellness retreat that is bordering on a cult.
The guests arrive in town with a drama-packed backstories and secrets, and begin to implode one-by-one, as they realise that running away to the leafy hills to drink smoothies actually doesn’t bring them any peace.
Given the premise of the TV series and the character archetype of extremely self-conscious rich people, it should be no surprise to viewers that the entire production was filmed in Byron Bay, New South Wales.
While the actual setting is ‘Cabrillo, California’ – the fact that the retreat is based in an exclusive white coastal enclave ‘well-known for its wellbeing industry and hippie residents’ makes it hard for the viewer to envision it all taking place anywhere but the Northern Rivers.
Samara Weaving’s character, a former nightclub rat turned Instagram influencer also comes across as someone who would be very much suited to Byron Bay. As does Melissa McCarthy’s narcissistic boomer novelist character, and Bobby Canavale as a prescription drug addict ex professional footballer.
In fact the only non-Byron thing about the place is the notable lack of a beige linen uniform for all it’s residents. Even the American accents feel right at home at a post-Damon Northern Rivers.
With only three of the season’s episodes available to stream, it is not yet known if the series will delve into the other rich people problems most commonly associated with Australia’s elite sea-change destination. Namely, the fear of vaccinations and 5G towers.