Tell me about an effective concept: a three-hour-episode miniseries that wraps up a true story that’s as intriguing as it is annoying, sir, without stretching the sauce or cutting off the narrative.
Posted at 6:15am
Yes, Dumas, a three hour story, it’s called a movie that will make my super critics laugh. Yes but no. Three-hour films that have no leeway don’t exist. On television, developing a storyline over three hours without slowing down works divinely well.
It’s the case for A very British scandal from the Amazon Prime Video platform, a “mini” mini-series offered in French and English focusing on the tumultuous – and 100% truthful – relationship between Captain Ian Campbell (Paul Bettany) and future Duchess Margaret Sweeny ( Claire Foy) focused, seen in The crown).
Toxic marriage relationships, amphetamine use, multiple adulteries, royal treasures under water, ruined then restored castles in Scotland, false paternity conspiracies, stolen diaries and daring exposed photos, all these elements fed the British tabloid between 1947 and 1963.
Before we continue, let’s clear up something confusing. Two series from the same producer bear an almost identical title. it is A very English scandal (Season 1) and A very British scandal (Season 2). The Tou.tv extra shows the first season of 2018 under the name ofA very British scandal with Hugh Grant. Radio-Canada was unable to purchase the rights to season 2 of 2022 with Claire Foy, who only resides on Amazon Prime Video.
Ah yes, and you don’t have to have seen the first chapter to see the second. These two mini-series live independently and have no connection between them other than dealing with real life scandals of nobility that have rocked the UK.
So, A very British scandal, the second story. The brilliant Claire Foy portrays Margaret, a free, drooling and modern day Londoner. Margaret’s wealthy industrial father finances her lifestyle as a princess. Lively, selfish 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 humble, even poor, family. The hook? Ian is on the verge of inheriting the title of Duke of Argyll, with a vast estate in Scotland that entices Margaret as much as her future husband’s strong character.
For the first few months, Margaret and Ian complement each other wonderfully, both in bed and in company. But two volcanic, intense, egocentric beings inevitably burn each other up. Fueled 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 glass of Scotch.
Seeking solace, Margaret, who also has a cruel side, resorts to one-night stands, the details of which she jots down in a red notebook that she always keeps on her bedside table. I’ll say it again: A very British scandal based on very real facts. Google at your own risk.
The miniseries culminates in Margaret and Ian’s very public divorce in the third episode, which contains no spoilers. What comes out in court, on the other hand, will make your hair stand on end. In 2022, a judge who uttered such backward and sexist words would be caught in the social media mill. We’re right in the middle bitch ashamed and sheer misogyny.
We agree that Margaret was never the “sorority” type with her girlfriends or the other women around her. Still, no one deserves to suffer such international humiliation for a naughty Polaroid that served as a weapon of mass destruction.
It surprises me that a lush and sulphurous series pleases A very British scandal didn’t make any selections ahead of September’s Emmy Gala. The list of finalists was unveiled Tuesday and brings together big guns like successor (Desire/HBO), Squid Game (netflix), euphoria (Desire/HBO), Teddy Lasso (AppleTV+), hacks (Desire/HBO), Only murders in the building (Disney+), The White Lotus (Crave/HBO) and intoxicated (Disney+).
Surprise, invent Anna (Netflix) crept into the top flight, as did the hilarious comedy Abbott Elementary School (ABC/Disney+), a big favorite. The best drama series category is full of good shows like Yellow jackets (longing), stranger things (netflix), severance pay (AppleTV+), Better call Saul (Netflix) or ozark (Netflix).
The cream of American television, like ours, is shifting massively to paid platforms. Many of you rant about this global trend that encourages expensive multiple subscriptions, I know.
Unfortunately for our wallets, this digital migration is set to increase in the years to come. The future of television content is via these online giants and no longer via traditional channels. And the youngest swear by this form of consumption “on demand”.
As a consolation prize, tell yourself that a year’s subscription to Disney+ or Netflix is the equivalent of two DVD boxes 24 Or from Sex and the City which we paid dearly for in the good old days.
In an earlier version of this text, it was mentioned that the platform Tou.tv offered the first season 2018 for free under the nameA very British scandal. However, this is only offered via the fee-based Tou.tv Extra.