Is 'Nine Perfect Strangers' a thriller? If you loved The White Lotus, this new Nicole Kidman show is for you

Before we start watching, is 'Nine Perfect Strangers' a thriller? Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and more star in this resort-set miniseries

Nicole Kidman in the new Hulu show, Nine Perfect Strangers, Is Nine Perfect Strangers a thriller
(Image credit: Hulu)

Between the HBO Max series, The White Lotus, and the M. Night Shyamalan movie, Old, summer vacations are taking a chilling turn this year. Hulu is jumping on the bandwagon and if you're wondering "Is Nine Perfect Strangers a thriller?" we've got happy news for you. 

Nine Perfect Strangers is centered on a wellness retreat run by mysterious resort director and guru Masha, played by Nicole Kidman (that wig though!), and the nine guests who come to stay at the retreat for a variety of reasons. 

This being yet another project from the production team behind Big Little Lies—this series reunites Kidman with BLL creator David E. Kelley—it goes without saying that there's something sinister bubbling beneath the surface of this luxury vacation. While you await even more high-priced hijinks from The White Lotus season 2, add Nine Perfect Strangers to your "privileged people get their comeuppance" watch list!

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What is Nine Perfect Strangers about?

The nine perfect strangers of the title are a group of Australian travelers who bring their baggage—literally and metaphorically—to a 10-day retreat at Tranquillum House, "a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and try to get on a path to a better way of living," reads Hulu's series synopsis. 

Of course, nothing is what it seems, and in between daily schedules of "noble silence" and meditation, secrets are quickly revealed, about the nine guests, the resort staff and the beguiling wellness guru, Masha Dmitrichenko.

Who stars in Nine Perfect Strangers?

The cast of Nine Perfect Strangers is littered with Oscar nominees, with Melissa McCarthy and Michael Shannon joining Best Actress winner Kidman, who reportedly stayed in character the entire time of filming.

Rounding out the cast are fellow familiar faces like Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, and The Good Place's Manny Jacinto. See the full cast list below:

  • Nicole Kidman
  • Melissa McCarthy
  • Michael Shannon
  • Luke Evans
  • Samara Weaving
  • Asher Keddie
  • Melvin Gregg
  • Tiffany Boone
  • Manny Jacinto
  • Grace Van Patten
  • Zoe Terakes
  • Regina Hall
  • Bobby Cannavale

Is Nine Perfect Strangers based on a book?

Like Big Little Lies, the Nine Perfect Strangers miniseries is based on a novel by Liane Moriarty. The New York Times bestseller was published in November 2018 and picked up for TV adaptation by Hulu in January 2020. 

Amazon, Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty ($20.60)

Amazon, Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty ($20.60)

Where was Nine Perfect Strangers filmed?

The Hulu series was filmed in Australia in Byron Bay, New South Wales starting in August 2020. Filming wrapped on December 21, 2020. Standing in for the fictional Tranquillum House was Byron Bay's real-life meditation retreat SOMA, reports Newsweek

Like most TV and movie productions, COVID-19 did have an effect on filming. The Australian location had to be chosen "from just photos and drone footage" due to travel restrictions, claims series director Jonathan Levine. "I was choosing this place where we were going to set this whole show from pictures, which is crazy. Normally you would go scout a location ten times if you were going to shoot there for 100 days."

Actors, many of whom are American, also had to quarantine for fourteen days upon arrival in Australia. 

When does Nine Perfect Strangers air?

The first three episodes dropped on Wednesday, August 18th. A new episode will drop every Wednesday thereafter until September 22nd, with each available to watch starting at 12:01 am Eastern Time. 

How many episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers will there be?

Joining the three episodes that are already available, there will be five more weekly installments, making an eight-episode miniseries. 

Titles of the first six episodes have been released, giving viewers room to speculate, but the names of the final two episodes are being kept under wraps so as not to spoil the big finale. 

  • “Random Acts of Mayhem” – August 18th
  • “The Critical Path” – August 18th
  • “Earth Day” – August 18th
  • “Brave New World” – August 25th
  • “Sweet Surrender” – September 1st
  • “Motherlode” – September 8th

Where to watch Nine Perfect Strangers?

It's a Hulu Original, so it's available to stream on—you guessed it—Hulu. Since it's an exclusive, so you will need a Hulu subscription to watch ($5.99 a month with ads, $11.99 a month without). Sign up below!

Watch the Nine Perfect Strangers trailer: 

Need more convincing? Watch the official trailer before you start that weekend marathon. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.