Apple TV Plus’ The Essex Serpent is a slow, tense drama with lots of great sweaters

Tom Hiddleston in The Essex Serpent. | Image: Apple

How much you enjoy The Essex Serpent, an Apple TV Plus adaptation of Sarah Perry’s 2016 novel, might depend on how much you enjoy seeing Tom Hiddleston brooding in a misty field while wearing cozy wool sweaters. For a lot of people, that will probably be enough of a hook. (It was for me.) But thankfully, the six-episode series offers a lot more than great hair blowing in the wind — it’s a tense and heartfelt exploration of grief and belief and how much those two things can mess with you. The great sweaters are just a bonus.

The show primarily follows two characters. One is Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes), a recent widow and a budding natural history scholar who has quite the fixation with sea serpents. She spends her spare time researching…

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