Sorry for Your Loss stars Elizabeth Olsen as a grieving young widow, Leigh, whose husband Matt (Mamoudou Athie) died three months ago. Avoiding the apartment where they lived, she’s moved back in with her mother Amy (Janet McTeer) and her sister Jules (Kelly Marie Tran), both of whom she also works with at a fitness studio called Beautiful Beast. As Leigh goes through the motions of teaching classes and going to group therapy, she’s constantly reminded of her life with Matt, as she tries to figure out how to live without him. And yet, Sorry for Your Loss plays with a beautiful balance that never allows the story to get too dark or mired in sadness. Life is happening to and around Leigh as she processes everything, and Olsen adds the slightest bit of wry humor to her performance that is both necessary and appreciated.
The series comes from Kit Steinkellner (Z: The Beginning of Everything); James Ponsoldt directs the first two episodes, followed by Jessica Yu and Allison Anders, all of whom imbue the series with an indie-film aesthetic that includes natural light, a minimal score, and an emphasis on true, relatable interactions. Leigh isn’t always easy to like — she’s sharp, dry, sarcastic, and overwhelmed by her sadness — but crucially, she’s easy to care about. As the episodes continue, the dynamic among the three women in the house becomes clearer, with Jules as the recovering alcoholic working hard to reestablish trust with her mother and sister, and Amy as the hippy-earth-mother who is also trying to succeed as a businesswoman. All of these actresses are outstanding, and like Olsen, give both the depth and the necessary lightness to such a difficult piece. It’s at this point, around the show’s third episode, that Leigh’s grief stops being the focal point, and instead, things settle into more of family drama — but one that Matt is still deeply a part of.