WarningMight contain spoilers.

Decent but not outstanding. It suffers from a staid, formulaic approach to the story. The performances are somewhat stilted and artificial, more theatrical than cinematic, which doesn’t suit the story. Anya Taylor-Joy builds Beth out of many specific mannerisms and tics, but those become very repetitive over the course of a full season. The dialogue leaves much to be desired—one particular exchange, when Beltik is leaving Beth, made me wince at the tortuous route it followed to justify a specific turn of phrase.

The chess games and related sections are much more interesting than Beth’s personal life. Her early life is especially uninteresting. The stereotypes in the guise of characters (women, people of colour, and so on), particularly Jolene, don’t help matters. The show also has a predilection for gratuitous sequences of Anya Taylor-Joy doing things in her underwear.

I didn’t like the incessant use of duotone—nearly monotone—colour schemes. There was nothing brilliant about them. They were drab and dreary like the rest of the series.