Marcella Backland left the Metropolitan Police for the sake of her family, only to have her husband leave her. She returns to her job on the murder squad, investigating a case that seems disturbingly familiar to her.
The Secret is the story of a real-life double murder. James Nesbitt plays Colin Howell, a respectable dentist and pillar of the community, who became a killer in partnership with a Sunday ... See full summary »
I must be very easy to please, I suppose. I've thoroughly enjoyed this, and as we approach the final episode, I'll be sorry to see it end. Yes, I agree, a Kay Mellor drama is usually fairly recognisable, since her style doesn't change that much, but then why should it? She has an enviable ability to write good stories and, most important, her writing appears to attract some very good actors. I like the way in which even the nicest (on the surface) of her characters have flaws; it makes them much more realistic. I'm sure I haven't been the only viewer wanting to smack Jasmine at various stages in this! The only character to whom I haven't managed to warm at all is Susie, because she's been so unlikeable from the start. I don't quite hold with the criticism that Kay Mellor can't or won't, write 'good' male characters either. Yes, Dev, Simon et al can be weak and daft; they can also be strong and sympathetic - just like men in real life are.
Last but not least, I think Ms Mellor's done a wonderful job of preventing 'In The Club' becoming overly sentimental, which it could easily have done, by leavening the pathos with humour. Much of the latter has been provided by the character of Roanna. Having admired Hermione Norris's comic timing and skills in 'Cold Feet' I think she's done an equally fine job here. The scene where Simon panicked like a headless chicken because he thought Roanna was in labour when she had foot cramp had me laughing out loud. Likewise her tearing a strip off his artist housemate. Brilliant.
In short, it's the kind of programme TV critics will inevitably be patronising about, but the kind that I look forward to every week. Good acting, good writing and a good laugh. What else do you need?
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