6 items from 2015
Addicted to cocaine, spread-betting and chasing impossible women, and saddled with a venomous bunch of clients, defence counsel Cleaver Greene is a compelling antihero
Cleaver Greene is not your typical TV defence barrister. His clients aren’t those unable to fight their own corner, and Cleaver isn’t driven by a need to correct some formative wrong from his past. What does drive him are his gambling debts, unpaid tax, and the feeling deep in his soul that his job might be a sham. A straight-talking scoundrel played with relish by Richard Roxburgh, Cleaver is the antihero at the heart of Rake, possibly the most underrated show on Netflix, and a scathing attack on the inequalities of the Australian legal system.
- George Bass
London — “House of Cards” executive producer Beau Willimon and Nancy Meyers, who was Oscar nominated for “Private Benjamin,” will be among the speakers in the latest series of lectures by leading screenwriters organized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the British Film Institute.
Other screenwriters featured in the series are U.K. writers Nick Hornby, who was Oscar nominated for “An Education,” and Jimmy McGovern, who created “Cracker,” and Australia’s Andrew Bovell, whose credits include “A Most Wanted Man.” The lectures will run in London between Sept. 23 and Oct. 3.
Now in its sixth year, the series “exists to celebrate screenwriters’ authorial contribution to film, and gives esteemed writers a platform to share highlights and insights from their careers with an audience of film-lovers and their peers,” according to a statement.
- Leo Barraclough
Set in a Manchester bed linen factory, Paul Abbott’s dramas deal with infidelity, rape and racism – and there’s no guarantee of a happy ending
When Clocking Off started its run on the BBC back in 2000, it quickly established itself as not just your bog-standard 9pm drama. Paul Abbott, who had paid his dues on Coronation Street and Cracker, created an ensemble cast of characters whose stories became more twisted with every scene.
Theirs are tales of ordinary people with complicated lives and dark secrets, set against the mundane backdrop of a Manchester bed linen factory, Mackintosh Textiles. It’s a place where real life is more shocking than the participants of any gossip-hungry tea break could ever imagine. Although the story arc unfolds week by week, each episode stands alone with stars such as Sarah Lancashire, Philip Glenister and Lesley Sharp taking it in turns to inhabit centre stage. »
- Hannah Verdier
Paul Abbott is in danger of having created a new character every bit as monstrous as Shameless’s Frank Gallagher, and he is so excited that the words can’t tumble out fast enough. Detective inspector Vivienne Deering (played by Joanna Scanlan from The Thick of It) is not shy of squirting vaginal deodorant in public meetings, occasionally confuses it with her mouth spray, takes the longest (singing) pisses in TV history, will do anything to protect herself, is pretty good at looking after others too, and is not to be messed with. No Offence is the first original UK TV series Abbott has written in more than a decade.
He has been working in television for 30 years, and »
- Simon Hattenstone
No Offence consists of eight hour-long episodes, and follows Di Vivienne Deering (Scanlan), DC Dinah Kowalska (Elaine Cassidy) and DS Joy Freers (Roach) as they attempt to keep the streets clean from crime.
Writer Abbott previously said about the show: "I'm a big fan of well-told cop shows and jet-black social comedy, and I wanted to see how explosively we could bang two genres' heads together.
"No Offence is reared on wilder-than-average seeds, and I've had a ball with the AbbottVision team in building this concept."
Setting his new series in 18th century Australia might seem like a departure for Jimmy McGovern - the BAFTA-winning writer renowned for using drama to address issues plaguing contemporary Britain.
"Jimmy adores the people he writes and he knows intrinsically who each of these people are, and the way that those characters interweave is inherent to him," Tovey suggests.
Buring - speaking to DS a few days later - is similarly effusive about McGovern: "He just gets straight down to the nitty-gritty of what it means to be human.
"You can be in the future, »
6 items from 2015
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