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Every episode of Totally Completely Fine begins with a trigger warning, and rightly so—the show’s entire premise is about mental health, grief, and self-harm. Vivian, the lead (a captivating Thomasin McKenzie), is an orphan who goes on benders and ideates about killing herself. Things escalate when she inherits a cliffside house that doubles as a popular suicide spot and gains a prying (albeit good-natured) psychiatrist as a neighbor. All these elements, and a couple more, force her to confront her repressed trauma once and for all.
It sounds bleak, and it should be difficult to watch, but the show is a successful dark comedy. It strikes that rare deft balance between tragedy and comedy, highlighting painful truths with cutting humor and delivering jokes tinged with poignant insight. Vivian and her siblings are not entirely likable, but their brokenness and vulnerability make them all the more relatable, the perfect guides to hold your hand through this totally messy, completely enthralling, and finely compassionate show.
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