Is the TV drama still capable of delivering a truly surprising plot?

So what everyone has been saying, in the newspaper reviews and online comments about this Netflix show we’re talking about, is that the Tory MP must be guilty. But not because of the story; he must be guilty because it’s television, because conservatives are always bad guys, and because mainstream politics means that no channel would dare portray a fake rape allegation. At first I thought it would be a big twist if it turned out that the poor heroic innocent Tory MP had been totally slandered by a nasty alleged rape victim, but in fact the mainstream view that #MeToo would make a Such an impossible-to-filter result is now so overwhelming that everyone must have expected the same surprise – and now it will look like a twist if he’s guilty.

Slam! Just at the caretaker.

I’ve seen three episodes so far and they’re not perfect. If you’re going to get a lot of scenes involving students in white ties doing horrible things at an Oxford University dining club before they became the conservative establishment, then you better make sure it’s as good than Laura Wade’s play Posh, because she did it comprehensively and satirically over a decade ago. It sounds like old news; our current boss is unhappy to have a birthday cake in the office, let alone bump a pig’s head into the Radcliffe Camera.

If you’re going to have a sexy scene where a couple of adulterous lovers are enjoying a pre-coital dinner at Delaunay, don’t make them eat their dinner while they’re chatting because it’s kind of gross.

If your central plaintiff is going to be notable for her intelligence and her string of post-graduate degrees from Cambridge and her special work-writing speeches, she probably shouldn’t say “collegiate” when she means “collegiate.” And you must also have full control of when Lady Mary, her hair quivering in the dock, tells the judge that ‘the solicitor has spoken and we are satisfied that April 1st would be a suitable date for the start of the trial “. Are you?!

So you know. It’s kind of silly, it needs a few more idiosyncratic star performances, and if it’s not going to be predictable, it’s like it is, which isn’t much better. But this genre is still so much fun that I still enjoy it and will stick with it, so if our dishonorable friend turns out to be innocent, I’d be surprised. Or not surprised? Or surprised that I’m not surprised? Or not surprised that I’m surprised not to be surprised? I leave that to you.

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