Sorry For Your Loss

Elizabeth Olsen is a Widow on the Edge

BY: Claire Connors

Elizabeth Olsen used to be known as the younger sister of the Olsen Twins, the famous actors-turned-clothing designers, Mary-Kate and Ashley. That all changed after “Lizzie’s” starring role in the 2011 indie thriller, Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which she plays the escapee of an abusive cult. Her dizzying performance as an exploited teenager with PTSD garnered her a lot of award nominations, securing her position as an actor to watch—and not just the Twin’s kid sister.

She spent the next few years learning her chops in more independent films like Peace, Love & Understanding (2011), Kill Your Darlings (2013), and Very Good Girls (2013), before joining the Avengers team in 2014 as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. In terms of upcoming sequels of that film series, we don’t know what will become of Wanda since the ending of Avengers: Infinity War leaves the fate of our superheroes literally up in the air. But we do know what Elizabeth has been up to since finishing that movie. She’s currently starring in the new Facebook Watch series, Sorry For Your Loss.

If you’ve never even heard of Facebook Watch, you’re not alone. The concept of dramatic programming on the social media website popped up with little fanfare and a giant shrug of who-cares? Don’t we already have enough on-demand services showing exceptional content? Apparently not. And if Sorry For Your Loss is any indication of the quality of Facebook Watch’s future videos-on-demand, we’re in for a hell of a ride. Yep, it’s that good.

The 10-part drama series opens on the beautiful but deeply pained face of Leigh Shaw (Olsen), a recent and way-too-young widow still reeling from the unexpected loss of her husband Matt (Mamoudou Athie). But we soon learn Leigh isn’t the only one mourning. In the three months since Matt’s death, she’s moved back in with her overbearing but loving mother (the exquisite Janet McTeer, so thrillingly scary in the second season of Ozark) and her recently sober sister, Jules (Star Wars’ adorbs Kelly Marie Tran). They’re suffering from this shocking loss, too, but are trying to quell their own palpable sorrow in order to allow Leigh hers.

We follow Leigh as she tries to find her new normal in this cruel turn of events—through family, therapy, work—and feel just as queasy when she begins to find clues insinuating Matt wasn’t the man she thought he was. Who was he always secretly texting? Why did he disappear for hours at a time? And why is Matt’s brother, Danny (Jovan Adepo), a person she never had a close relationship with, suddenly there every time she turns around?

With each episode clocking in at only 30 minutes, it’s a bit of relief to not dwell too long a time per chapter in this emotional landmine of a show. But the hope for a happy ending for this grieving widow and her loving supporters is what will keep you coming back for more. That, and the truly wonderful performances by the entire cast.

The first six episodes of Sorry For Your Loss have been released on Facebook Watch, which, by the way, is probably the easiest of all the on-demand services: If you have an FB account, you can log in and watch it for free (two brief ads are your only “payment”). The final four episodes will be released two at a time on October 2nd and October 9th.