- Year of Release
- 12-15 minute episodes
INSiDE is a TV mini-series set in New Zealand during the pandemic that follows germaphobe Rose (played superbly by Morgana O’Reilly) as she struggles with isolation and mental health issues. This has a direct link to her past, which is something she tries hard to forget. However, she is consistently reminded of it through bad memories that seem to haunt her throughout the day. We’re not fully aware of their meaning early on, but it’s weird, that much I’ll say. And that’s a good thing.
Rose is also someone I can connect with straightaway – she’s a woman with a solid technical background (not all that common), who struggles with making friends. The more we get to know Rose, the more we realise she spends most of her time online and working. Rose uses her work as an excuse to avoid her annoying flatmate Adrian played by Josh Tomson. They have a tense relationship, but it’s apparent that Adrian knows Rose’s limitations as a germaphobe and does many things for her that she can’t do. It’s safe to say that Rose is most likely suffering from a form of agoraphobia, but that’s unconfirmed. She is definitely afraid of germs, and she is washing or wiping her hands constantly and wears full PPE gear when she has to go outside. It appears like a lot of work, but Rose makes it look like second nature. I mean, who could blame her in the middle of a pandemic?
Her relationship with her family seems strained. When we finally discover what happened to Rose as a child, it neatly puts all of the puzzle pieces together – well, almost. Even though in Rose’s eyes, the past has always been with her everywhere she goes. It’s difficult to tell, but it feels like Rose is afraid of her past and even her childhood. There is one specific event from her childhood that dominates her thoughts and culminates in strange occurrences. This helps add a supernatural element to the show, which is both exciting and dangerous for Rose.
The pandemic is also worth mentioning because the show’s version of the pandemic is terrible, with thousands of deaths which is nothing like the actual situation in New Zealand. Thank goodness! While the Delta variant continues to spread in this country, we are still doing well compared to other countries. So that all adds to the stressful situation Rose and the other characters are experiencing. Adrian seems to be coping, but he attempts to reach out to Rose, who tries to avoid him at first until she can’t.
Rose is a tech support person by day who eventually stumbles upon someone from her past. This person discovers that Rose is the same person he used to bully in school, instantly triggering Rose. Eventually, Rose begins to let down her guard and allows for her connection with Sam to continue. We’re not sure why Rose would do this, but she’s willing to accept another person into her life which is a big deal for her – especially someone from her troubled past.
All of these elements combine to make Rose a fascinating character to follow, and her story is compelling and, on some levels, quite relatable. We all have skeletons in our closets – things from our past we don’t want to revisit. And a lot of people know what it’s like to feel lonely and isolated, particularly during the pandemic.
INSiDE is a TV show for the ages that combines technology and supernatural elements with entertaining results. And Rose is, without a doubt, the hero of this story, even though she’d probably disagree.
Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.