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41 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyed it very much

Author: Leilahali from Australia
14 November 2011

I really enjoyed watching every episodes of this series. I also watch The GOOD WIFE but at times do get very irritated with that series. Not with SILK. My son is studying law and so the interest in watching these courtroom dramas. The acting in SILK was very good, and the lead character Martha, a very likable character. This series gives you an insight into how law is practiced in the UK. It's not slick like The Good Wife, but more realistic. I can't wait for series 2. If you want to watch a really good drama with some fine acting, good realistic courtroom scenes and some office politics and intrigues then go no further than SILK. I wish the BBC would produce more fine dramas like this.

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26 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

One of my favourites airing so far on TV this year

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
3 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I like a good legal drama, Rumpole of the Bailey, Kavanagh QC and Perry Mason are especially great, so I had high hopes for Silk. And I really enjoyed it on the whole, as did my parents and sister, who is studying law at college.

Now I do agree about some parts of the drama being on the unrealistic side, the episode with the racist police officer wasn't as solid in the legal details as the rest of the episodes and I didn't completely buy how quickly Martha Castello came back to work after her miscarriage. In fairness though, I did find some aspects of Judge John Deed unrealistic.

That said, Silk is a great programme that ranks among my favourite TV series airing so far this year. Visually, Silk is quite stylish with skillful camera work and striking location shooting. I quite like the music too, the main theme is very driven and does stick in your head for a long time after, decide for yourself whether that is a good thing or not, I personally loved the main theme while my brother found it annoying. And the background scoring is beautiful, haunting and does a credible enough job to bring some flavour to the scene it features in without intruding too much.

I was quite impressed with the series' writing. It is often thoughtful and intelligent with the odd spot of wry humour, such as how Maxine Peake uttered some of her lines in the first episode. It is even better though in the courtroom scenes which are really quite tense sometimes yet always compelling, some of the verbal sparring and observations between Castello and the witnesses are a real joy. The stories are constantly interesting, well-structured and well-paced, the direction throughout is taut and the characters are at least credible and not too sketchy.

The acting also helps lift. I especially want to praise Maxine Peake, who is just wonderful here. Her facial expressions and gestures are wonderfully judged and her delivery of lines is a joy to behold in that she especially made some of the weaker dialogue of the first episode in particular seem credible! It was also great seeing Rupert Penry Jones playing a complete ass while also showing a somewhat sympathetic side. There were also some enjoyable supporting performances, with old favourite Adrian Dunbar in the final episode standing out amongst others.

All in all, a great series even with the lack of realism. I also hope there is another series, as this showed so much promise, though unlike some of the gems of last year like Garrow's Law and Sherlock, Silk doesn't fall into the trap of being too short. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Involving courtroom drama, more John Le Carré than Grisham…

Author: The_late_Buddy_Ryan from UWS, NYC, USA
3 February 2014

Rumpole fans already know the drill—solicitors (though we don't see much of them) deal with the clients and prepare a brief, barristers plead the case in court, either for the defense or the prosecution, and a small platoon of clerks take care of the business side. Experienced barristers who make the right moves can hope to "take silk," or be appointed to the privileged caste of Queen's Counsel (more prestigious cases, better money, even a bigger wig).

Maxine Peake is refreshingly unglamorous, with her crunchy Northern accent, and projects a wonderful intensity as one such barrister; Rupert Penry-Jones is well matched as a cynical, corner-cutting rival. This series does office politics extremely well; the first time we watched, I was blown away by a couple of brilliant scenes in which Neil Stuke, as Billy, the hard-nosed senior clerk, fights off a coup attempt and turns one of his big earners who's trying to defect. Apart from the climactic murder trial, court cases are a lot less flashy than you'd find in a show like "The Good Wife," but story lines are brisk, engaging, sometime surprising (Colombian drug mule explains why she's better off in prison); interesting that in the UK it's a criminal offense to own (or be) a pitbull. Supporting honors go to GoT's Natalie Dormer as a "spoony" (born with a silver one in her mouth, i.e.) pupil, Tom Hughes as a not-so-spoony pupil and Nina Sosanya as a mutinous junior barrister.

Here's hoping that the next few seasons will turn up before long on PBS and eventually on Netflix.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding production, real issues

Author: endura-1 from United Kingdom
26 November 2014

This show does not disappoint. It is so well done that you might forget you're watching a TV drama not real life events. The characters are believable, powerfully drawn, but the undeniable star of the show is Maxine Peake - her performance just superb! As Martha Costello she is everything that you'd imagine a superior barrister to be. Can't get enough of her credible acting to be honest. The rest of the cast deserves a praise too because it is thanks to them that this BBC drama is so uniquely authentic. Filmed in London (I think), it depicts daily life at Shoe Lane chambers and the work of British barristers, clerks and solicitors. I am professionally interested in law and find it hard to point out any flaws in how "Silk" presents the legal crowd in London. I do see a difference between an American show of this kind and a British one. The former tends to be focused on achievements, career and quirks of personality and the latter...hmmm...basically on the job, meaning you get a believable picture of the life at the chambers. If you're into this sort of thing just see for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

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13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

yes, but ...

Author: cookie_on_fire from Slovenia
2 November 2012

I believe that the comments of a solicitor (see earlier reviews) are completely true and the series is far from being realistic. But am I enjoying watching House (being a doctor of medicine myself) because it is realistic? Lol. Of course not, if I would judge it from realistic side, time, diagnostic, budget and ethical constrains we have in real life, House is an annoying and superficial series, turning medicine into a tragicomic theater - but I choose to relax and enjoy the show. Same applies to Silk.

Like House, the fun of Silk lies mostly in its dialogs and, to some extent, non verbal communication and narcissistic characters (in and out of the court). Note I agree Silk lacks building of the characters. We only learn about Martha. We are becoming almost obsessed with her, as the camera frequently stays on her face for loooong time. Thus, not much place left for others or to put in some more of a story. However, I need to disagree with the previous reviewer about Clive Reader character. The comment about him was: "When he is not being a jackass, he's as nice and loyal as a puppy." Emmm .... This sounds like a stereotype of a successful alpha man and I definitely know a few like him (unfortunately not that cute to be worth making use of it).

I am a bit puzzled how some characters (Kate Brockman? - I thought she was allowed to stay?) disappear completely out of series as new ones get introduced. We miss the old ones, too. Am very puzzled over John Bright character as well. We are allowed to glance at his stunning and gorgeous appearance in almost every chapter, never to touch under surface - I wonder about his work and why is he sitting in the office ... Acting is good, but many times slightly exaggerated (theater style) - an example would be Jake Milner character. Pushing it a bit too far (but cute anyway).

The series seems underrated to me at IMDb. I promise it wont insult your intellect if you understand the concerns I raised above and have no expectations of any realism. It will give you an interesting drama, tension and sublime interactions. I love it, even though it looses its way at times. I think it is very enjoyable, much more than any other series I have seen.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Love it

Author: PRSanyal from Columbia, South Carolina
2 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love British films and filmmakers. Its not easy while traveling to watch series as you have lots of things to deal with. But silk and black mirror have kept me awake for last few nights. I am gonna talk about silk here, cause I just finished the first season. I usually fast forward films if they are not that interesting to me. Series on the other hand, are more likely to go down that ally. Silk, fortunately, made me watch every bite. Why? Pure wit. British are stunning me with their makings. Martha Costello played by Maxine Peake, is a perfect British honest lawyer in the series. She portrays present day working woman, with highest esteme. The series in its first season showed how women in a country like England still face obstacles in climbing up the ladder, how they are defined by their gender, vulnerability, family and other discriminating criteria. Martha tries to uphold justice in between personal and professional life conflicts. She is pregnant with child of a colleague who is a charming playboy. Most importantly they are both contenders for silk which gives them freedom to practice, working in the same firm. They both have pupils who make things more complicated. Martha guides audience towards true and just features, shows there are more to which we think as naked truth. As in the fifth episode a judge puts it, "as a prosecutor, you don't win or lose. You just present the facts." I rated the series 8 on IMDb. I would like to encourage all to see it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Thoroughly enjoyable series

Author: Hairy_Scot from Auckland
27 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just finished watching all three seasons. Really enjoyed the series despite some of the inaccuracies that other reviewers have mentioned. Was disappointed that the pupils were dropped after season one. I thought there was the potential for some good story lines based on the two characters, and Natalie Portman is certainly easy on the eye. I was also interested in how Nick would atone for his shoplifting escapades. The final episodes of Season 3 did seem a trifle contrived and I suppose the rather odd ending of the final episode was intended as a cliffhanger to get us into another season. There certainly were enough additional unexplained loose ends in the third season to warrant a fourth.

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An excellent series - exaggerated drama, certainly, but that's entertainment

Author: j-monro from New Zealand
22 May 2016

We've had, and likely always will have, lots of legal dramas, from serious and dark to outright comedy. There's lot of dramatic gold to mine in this genre. In the US - Boston Legal, LA Law, Ally McBeal, Perry Mason and many more - in the UK - Kavanagh QC, Judge John Deed, Justice, Rumpole of the Bailey, The Main Chance (that was the 1960s), Garrows Law (historical) and lots of others. It's a well worn genre with plenty of scope for human interest, convoluted and clever story telling, contemporary themes, triumph of honesty over adversity, love and darkness. Now, I'm not a lawyer, and as to the accuracy of the portrayals of the protagonists, both legal and criminal, in "Silk" I'm not one to judge. For instance, I am a doctor, and had to stop watching "House" as the episodes became ever more bizarre and a travesty of medical life and practice. I couldn't take the drama seriously enough to continue to follow the series.. However, I'd rate "Silk" pretty highly - for its high production values and truly excellent acting, along with stories of contemporary interest ( many seeming to arise from factual occurrences), with underlying themes from episode to episode of the more personal dramas in the Shoe Lane practice with it's three main protagonists - , Billy, the Machiavellian clerk who has accumulated to himself much power through his misuse of his position of trust and his self-appointed role as a sort of Godfather of the practice; Martha - the out of place northerner and female to boot, a feisty, intelligent, articulate and scrupulously honest rising legal star; her colleague Clive - superficially charming but a rather devious, emotionally unreliable and inadequate personally, but who comes over as a surprisingly sympathetic character and is actually a very good and humane barrister. Their interactions with a few less prominent other members of the firm, and with a succession of legal apprentices, makes up the rest of each week's stories. In the genre of legal dramas I'd rate "Silk" very highly indeed - it's good television, entertaining, exciting at times, humorous at others and sometimes challenging and thought provoking. What more could anyone wish for sitting in front of their TV screen for an hour? I've been watching them again recently on Netflix, and without the intrusive adverts and with its improved picture quality, the series is even better than I remember when it was first broadcast.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

... when all is said and done.... really?

Author: bjarias from United States
31 July 2014

It truly was a pretty muddled, empty ending, to what for most every episode was a highly entertaining series. And it could have easily gone on for at minimum another couple seasons had they just maintained average storyline quality. But to end it the way they did really doesn't do justice to the exceptional character portrayal by one of the UK's top-notch actors. One with the greatest dialogue and integrity of the entire lot just disappearing into the night without comment... really??!! That's what they dreamed up this wonderful series coming to.. leaving all to the sleazy, office-manager screwing egocentric!! As it was nearing the end, a first thought was that would definitely like to see them keep the story going, but now they've pretty much ruined all future expectation and excitement for that ever happening. They've blown up that hope in such a way it could never be meaningful again... what an absolute, bs waste.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Preferred the first series...

Author: Natalie Brown from United Kingdom
14 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I only recently discovered this series online whilst looking for something to watch. I loved everything about the first series, I cant believe I missed it when it was originally shown on BBC. It follows all the drama inside the courtroom and back at chambers. Maxine Peake is brilliant as Martha Costello and Rupert Penry-Jones is equally as good as Clive Reader.

The main story of Series 1 is Martha and Clive working towards becoming Silks and in the last episode they learn that Martha has been accepted but Clive hasn't. Unfortunately, Series 2 didn't seem to have a theme! So I didn't feel like I had achieved anything by getting to the end of the series. Martha and Clive were working on separate cases for most of the series, so the banter and dialogue that made Series 1 entertaining just wasn't there. But I did like the introduction of the character of Caroline Warwick. Overall, Series 1 was fantastic, but Series 2 dragged on a bit. I hope Series 3 is an improvement.

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