Tranquility, peace and major plot twists: welcome to the wild world of Nine Perfect Strangers.
Based on the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name, the new eight-part miniseries stars Nicole Kidman as Masha Dmitrichenko, an eccentric wellness guru who runs Tranquillum House – a resort where all is not as it seems.
It's the second time Nicole has worked with the Australian author, after the wildly successful adaptation of Liane's book Big Little Lies.
Boasting a star-studded cast, Nine Perfect Strangers also features Melissa McCarthy, Regina Hall, Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Shannon, Asher Keddie, Manny Jacinto, Samara Weaving, Melvin Gregg, Grace Van Patten and Tiffany Boone. Yep, that's a lot of big names.
It's already one of the most talked about shows of the year. So, here's everything you need to know…
The plot of Nine Perfect Strangers translates quite literally from the title, with nine people who don't know each other sharing in one of the strangest 'vacations' of all time.
These nine hand-selected people travel to a wellness retreat that claims it will help them shed their literal and mental baggage.
Masha, the retreat's enigmatic director, promises to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies through a series of activities, such as hiking or, you know, digging graves and living in silence for extended periods of time. All the while, a mysterious darkness cuts through the 'tranquil' nature of the scenic setting.
Though the novel is set in Australia, the TV adaptation has placed the wellness retreat in California in the United States. However, it was still filmed in the Byron Bay hinterland in 2020, at the Soma retreat.
Produced by Bruna Papandrea and showrunner David E. Kelley for US streaming service Hulu, keen fans were hoping that the show would be picked up by an Australian partner - much like other Hulu dramas Little Fires Everywhere and The Handmaid's Tale.
Luckily, Nine Perfect Strangers has been snapped up by Amazon Prime in Australia, meaning you can catch it on their streaming service right now. The first three episodes of the series dropped on the 20th of August, with weekly episodes to come thereafter.
After a 30-day free trial, Amazon Prime will cost you just $6.99 per month.
Based on the characters in the book, the series introduces us to a diverse group of people from all walks of life, facing unique challenges all their own. But they've all got one thing in common: the desire to heal from what's ailing them.
Get to know the characters - and the ensemble cast - below.
Masha (Nicole Kidman)
Russian wellness guru Masha is a former high-flying executive who transformed herself to become the founder of Tranquillum House. With a far-off look in her eye and an abundance of floaty white robes, there's something sinister about Masha in the tension-filled trailers.
While fans of the novel will be in on the secret, viewers are sure to be on the edge of their seats as they try to unpack the mysterious Masha.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Nicole revealed that Lianne actually wrote the novel's main character, Masha, with the Australian actress in mind.
"When she was writing the novel, she said, 'I'm writing a character for you called Masha,'" Nicole told the publication. "And then I read it and was like, 'This Masha character, should I be offended or flattered?'"
Nicole said she was drawn to the opportunity to do something "really weird and really strange as it unraveled, but also had these amazing characters for all these different women."
Nicole also revealed that Liane had requested for Frances to be played by Melissa.
Frances (Melissa McCarthy)
Known for her iconic roles in comedies like Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy and more, Melissa is stepping into a different kind of role in the drama series.
One of the book's central characters, Frances is a romance novelist who has fallen out of love with her life and is in desperate need of some guidance. She heads to the retreat on a whim, after a friend recommends it after her personal life 'fell apart.'
The actress will also be joined on-screen by her real life husband and frequent co-star, Ben Falcone, who will play Frances' manipulative ex-partner.
Carmel (Regina Hall)
Loved for her side-splitting parts in comedies like Girls Trip, Scary Movie, Little and more, Regina is also taking a step outside her more lighthearted roles to portray Carmen.
A recently divorced mother of four, Carmen travels to the retreat in order to cope with the drastic changes to her life. Though she is sweet and agreeable most of the time, violent outbursts and rage issues hint at something hidden beneath the surface.
The actress told USA Today she was drawn to the role because the show gives "an incredible peek into what it is to be human, on all levels."
Napoleon and Heather (Michael Shannon and Asher Keddie)
Michael (The Shape Of Water, Knives Out) and Asher (Offspring, The Cry) star as Napoleon and Heather, a married couple whose relationship has faced great strain in the face of a family tragedy.
Speaking to Marie Claire, Asher revealed a special connection to the role.
"Liane Moriarty is one of my all-time favourite authors, and I love Nine Perfect Strangers for its brave dive into the psyche," she said.
"Pair that with two extraordinary women I've always wanted to work with, Nicole Kidman and Bruna Papandrea, suffice to say the offer was intoxicating."
Zoe (Grace Van Patten)
Daughter of Napoleon and Heather, Zoe is struggling to cope with her parent's troubled relationship on top of her own grief. Youngest of the group at just 20-years-old, she'll have an interesting part to play in the dynamic between the other characters.
Fans may recognise the American actress from her recent role in The Meyerowitz Stories, alongside Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller, or her part in Netflix's indie comedy film Tramps.
Ben and Jessica (Melvin Gregg and Samara Weaving)
If you're thinking Australian actress Samara is looking a little different in that photo, you'd be right. The Ready or Not and Home and Away star has transformed her look for the series, playing the role of social media influencer and plastic surgery obsessed Jessica.
The only other couple of the group, Ben and Jessica are a married duo who have transformed over the course of their relationship to have vastly different interests. With their marriage on the line, the couple visit the retreat to try to restore their love.
Lars (Luke Evans)
From Beauty and the Beast and The Hobbit, Luke Evans is well known for his blockbuster roles. In Nine Perfect Strangers he takes on the sarcastic wellness retreat aficionado, Lars.
Regularly visiting retreats and events to try the latest cleanse or meditation technique, Lars isn't as easily affected by the activities and treatments of Tranquillum House as his fellow guests. But he is sharper and more aware.
Tony (Bobby Cannavale)
A former football player with a bit of an ego, Tony checks into the retreat after his recent divorce. His career may have been a success, but his marriage certainly was not. Single and struggling to come to terms with his past, Tony bonds with Frances during his time in the retreat.
This is Bobby's fourth time appearing on-screen with his friend Melissa, working together on Spy, Thunder Force, and Superintelligence.
"We strongly dislike each other," Melissa joked in a recent interview.
"We either beat each other up or kind of fall in love. Like, we're on a pattern of literally, physically punching each other or being in love," she continued of their on-screen history.
"Most of the time it just feels effortless," adds Bobby. "I think that's a testament to the kind of preparation that Melissa has, and her work ethic, and the depth of her well, really. There's just so much going on in there, and it's a thrill to be able to get to work with somebody like that."
Yao and Delilah (Manny Jacinto and Tiffany Boone)
Manny (The Good Place) and Tiffany (Hunters) star as Yao and Delilah, two employees at Tranquillum House. Their personal relationship faces challenges as Delilah doubts Masha's ways, while Yao is her dedicated right-hand man. Be sure to keep an eye on this duo as the miniseries develops...
Nine Perfect Strangers is streaming now on Amazon Prime.