Hey all you cool cats and kittens. No, I will not be reviewing Tiger King. I watched it in bits and pieces but I haven’t seen the follow up yet so I will probably wait until I have seen that. Instead, I will ask you binge-watchers, you solvers of crime, you amateur detectives, part-time gangsters, Kings and Queens and paupers and peasants: What did you dissolve into this week? Which imaginary world, peaceful or perilous, did you become part of?
I myself just continued the binge from last weekend. After the highs of the season 1 finale of Doctor Foster, I held out high hopes for season 2. Simon (Bertie Carvel) the scorned ex husband returns to Parminster with wife Kate and baby girl Amelie. As soon as he sets foot in the small town things start to go awry for our heroine. Although, in this season, both Fosters are as bad as each other.
While trying to fight for her son back and move on with her life, Gemma (Suranne Jones) becomes obsessed with getting rid of Simon once and for all. When she finally succeeds, she loses something far greater and more precious. For all their fighting and harping on about being together for their son, the two revenge-driven psychos don’t realise just how far Tom (Tom Taylor) has drifted from them both.
I was so disappointed with this season as it went along. While the first season had threads of credibility, this season loses the plot, quite literally. Both Gemma and Simon become pantomime villains, suffering none or very little consequences for their outlandish actions. The only person that does suffer is their troubled teen, Tom. Tom Taylor puts in a fantastic performance in this finale.
The final scene is delivered by Suranne Jones straight to the camera. This type of shot and storytelling had never been done in the show before and completely took me out of the show. I was disappointed, but it was an interesting watch to finish off the story.
If you’d like to hear more about Doctor Foster, and you’d like to hear what my voice sounds like, I talk a little bit about it on my podcast/audio companion to this blog! That’s right, I have started a podcast. Stop cheering, guys, please… I released the first episode on Podbean yesterday, and episodes will be released on Spotify every week! I start off unsure of my material and grow into it in the end! So, please, give it a look and a listen and let me know what you think!
Something I watched last month was the unparalleled Happy Valley. Set in a quiet West Yorkshire village, Sarah Lancashire plays Catherine Cawood, a tougher than nails staff sergeant who learns that the man who was the cause of her daughter’s death has been released from prison. While trying to maintain her job performance, her relationship with her family, her ex and her grandson, she must also deal with the thought of Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) walking free and ruining more lives. Coincidentally, a local business man’s daughter has been kidnapped and held for ransom? Is Tommy involved??
This show is absolutely fantastic. It blends action, dark themes and dry wit seamlessly. Catherine Cawood is such a force of nature. Like Gemma Foster, she is battling demons, a troubled past and a complicated present. Unlike Gemma Foster, she puts her kids and family first, sometimes to her own detriment.
Siobhán Finneran (The Stranger) is brilliant as Catherine’s troubled sister Claire, a former alcoholic. She is the voice of reason to Catherine’s rash decisions, although sometimes she can cause problems for our sergeant.
This is one of my favourite shows that I’ve watched in a long time. The performances are all so real. There is an element of Irish interest in it also, with Love/Hate‘s Charlie Murphy playing the kidnapped Ann Gallagher.
I was extremely surprised with James Norton. Having watched him as Meg’s husband in Little Women at the beginning of the year, he is the polar opposite here. He is pure evil. You will hate Tommy Lee Royce.