TV Review: ‘The Miniaturist’ on PBS

  • Variety
A solid edition of the PBS “Masterpiece” lineup tends to indulge some combination of the following: a plucky heroine, a secretly soft hero, a compelling romance and/or mystery, and a lush period backdrop to set it all off. “The Miniaturist” — based on Jessie Burton’s 2014 novel — technically works well as the latest entry, traveling back to 1686 Amsterdam for a tale laced with secrecy, intrigue, and even a hint of supernatural subterfuge. It features a determined heroine in teen bride Nella, sent to live in a new home with a rich and broody new husband Johannes Brandt (Alex Hassell), his wary sister Marin (Romola Garai), and a pair of servants — surly Cornelia (Hayley Squires) and loyal Otto (Paapa Essiedu) — who know much more about all of the above than they initially let on.

But things only start to take off once Johannes gifts Nella with a dollhouse modeled after her new home,
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