Deborah (Olivia Colman) and Maurice (Julian Barratt) are a couple at the end of their tether, where things are as taut as a very taut piece of rope.
The patriarch is an author of childrens books, working inefficiently to tight deadlines with stories so dark that his editor has to question his work, while the matriarch is struggling simply to keep herself together, them both preparing for their wedding anniversary while their marriage is falling apart and with her suspecting he spends far too much time with his books’ Japanese illustrator, Shun (writer/director Will Sharpe).
Their twin children (who look nothing alike, but then neither did Brandon and Brenda in Beverly Hills 90210) don’t fare much better. Still living at home at the age of 25, despite each being up to 10 years old in real life, Donald (Daniel Rigby) is an inventor who can’t even manage the lows of Caractacus Potts, his unstable “Uber-caf” device making a cup of coffee with 8 times the strength of normal coffee, yet half the beans used, whilst looking ready to take off into orbit; and Amy (Sophia Di Martino), a hermit and frustrated musician, forever living in her bedroom, who Donald says is so weird that she’ll die a lonely, old spinster. Really? I thought she was rather fit 😉
There’s no help, either, from Maurice’s mother, Hattie (Leila Hoffman), suffering from dementia yet seemingly having many more marbles than the rest of the family put together!
Flowers contains very dark humour with many inappropriate things being said. It’s a comedy drama where you could frequently cut the atmosphere with the knife. At one point, Deborah refers to the wayward parents of a young boy called Hugo with “At the rate he’s going, he might grow up to be a murderer… or a solicitor!”; and, at another point, one of the builders asks, “What the fuck is going on?”
I often asked that myself, but the entire first two episodes were very entertaining with it.
With support from Georgina Campbell as Abigail – the object of Donald’s desires, and Angus Wright as her father, George (who I remember most recently playing the husband of April, lovely April, in Peep Show). For the first two episodes in a double-bill, I gave this 8/10, but by the end of the series, events did rather tail off a bit for me, so it was worth just 7/10 at that point, especially as it all gets a bit too confusing and weird at times, but I’ll leave you to discover why when you watch it.
I also keep meaning to see Black Pond, co-written by Will Sharpe, a film from 2011 which is controversial for casting Chris Langham.
Flowers starts tomorrow night on Channel 4 at 10pm in a double-bill and continues with single episodes each weeknight, this week, at the same time. There’s release date yet known for Blu-ray and DVD, but once aired, the show will be available to view on All4. Also, click on the cast image for the full-size version.
Episode 1 and 2 Score: 8/10 (double-bill)
Overall series: 7/10
Director: Will Sharpe
Producer: Naomi De Pear
Writer: Will Sharpe
Maurice Flowers: Julian Barratt
Deborah Flowers: Olivia Colman
Amy Flowers: Sophia Di Martino
Donald Flowers: Daniel Rigby
Shun: Will Sharpe
Hattie Flowers: Leila Hoffman
Abigail: Georgina Campbell
Barry: Colin Hurley
George: Angus Wright
Barbara: Zita Sattar
Carol: Desiree Akhavan
Doctor: Adeel Akhtar
Ryan: Hammed Animashaun
Hotel Waitress: Simona Armstrong
Carroll: Geoffrey Burton
Hugo: Rico Canadinhas
Matilda: Helen Cripps
Aunty Viv: Anna Chancellor
Steve: Christopher Colquhoun
Tommy: Alistair Green
Barman: Garry Marriott
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.