Tell me about an effective concept: a miniseries of three one-hour episodes that wraps up a true story, as fascinating as it is annoying, sir, without stretching the sauce or truncating the narrative.
Posted at 6:15 am
Yes, Dumas, a three hour story, it’s called a movie, my super naysayers will laugh. Yes but no. Three-hour movies that have no slack don’t exist. On television, developing a plot for three hours without slowing down works divinely well.
is the case of A Very British Scandal from the Amazon Prime Video platform, a “mini” miniseries offered in French and English that focuses on the tumultuous -and 100% truthful- relationship between Captain Ian Campbell (Paul Bettany) and the future Duchess Margaret Sweeny (Claire Foy, view in The crown).
Toxic marital relationship, amphetamine use, multiple adulteries, underwater royal treasure, ruined and later restored castle in Scotland, false paternity plot, stolen diaries and revealed risque photos, all these elements fed the British tabloids between 1947 and 1963.
Before we continue, let’s resolve something confusing. Two series from the same producers bear an almost identical title. Is about A very English scandal (season 1) and A Very British Scandal (season 2). The Tou.TV platform offers the first season of 2018 for free under the name ofa british scandal with Hugh Grant. Radio-Canada was unable to buy the rights to the 2022 season two with Claire Foy, which is only hosted on Amazon Prime Video.
Oh yes, and you don’t need to have seen the first chapter to see the second. These two mini-series live independently and have no connection to each other apart from dealing with royal aristocratic scandals that have rocked the UK.
Then, A Very British Scandal, the second story. Brilliant Claire Foy plays Margaret, a free, drooling, modern Londoner. Margaret’s wealthy industrialist father finances her princess lifestyle. Lively, egotistical and sarcastic, Margaret loves social events, champagne and sex.
After a disappointing first marriage, Margaret falls in love with a married man, Ian (Paul Bettany), who comes from a modest, even poor, family. The hook? Ian is about to inherit the title of Duke of Argyll, with a large estate in Scotland, which seduces Margaret, as well as the strong character of her future husband.
In the first few months, Margaret and Ian complement each other wonderfully, both in bed and in society. But two volcanic, intense and egocentric beings inevitably end up burning each other. Driven by drugs, alcohol and violence (physical and psychological), the relationship between the Duke and Duchess is poisoned, while the fortune of Margaret, who pays for everything in the couple, melts like an ice cube in a Scotch whiskey glass.
Seeking solace, Margaret, who also has a cruel side, runs off on one-night stands, the details of which she jots down in a red notebook, which she always places on her nightstand. I say it again: A Very British Scandal It is based on very real events. Google at your own risk.
The miniseries culminates in Margaret and Ian’s very public divorce in the spoiler-free third episode. Whatever comes out in court, on the other hand, will give you goosebumps. In 2022, a magistrate who pronounced such retrograde and sexist words would go to the grinder of social networks. We are fully in shame of a bitch and pure misogyny.
We agree that Margaret has never been the “sorority” type with her friends or the other women around her. Still, no one deserves to suffer such international humiliation for a naughty Polaroid, which served as a weapon of mass destruction.
I am surprised that a sumptuous and sulphurous series like A Very British Scandal it did not get any selection before the Emmy awards gala in September. The list of finalists was announced on Tuesday and brings together big shots like Succession (Longing/HBO), squid game (Netflix), Euphoria (Longing/HBO), ted lasso (AppleTV+), hacks (Longing/HBO), Only murders in the building (Disney+), the white lotus (Crave/HBO) and fool (Disney+).
Surprise, inventing ana (Netflix) was among the favorites, as was the funny comedy Abbott Elementary (ABC/Disney+), a big favorite. The best drama series category is full of good shows like yellow jackets (longs), Strange things (Netflix), Breaking off (AppleTV+), Better call Saul (Netflix) or ozarks (Netflix).
The cream of American television, like ours, is massively moving towards pay platforms. Many of you complain about this global trend, which encourages expensive multiple subscriptions, I know.
Unfortunately for our wallets, this digital migration will only increase in the coming years. The future of television content passes through these online giants and no longer through traditional channels. And the youngest opt for this mode of consumption “on demand”.
As a consolation prize, tell yourself that an annual subscription to Disney+ or Netflix is equivalent to two DVD boxes of 24 or of sex and the city which we paid dearly in the old days.
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