MotherFatherSon – I was in two minds about this before it began.
On the plus side, it has a fantastic cast.
On the other hand, the BBC only put out a rather po-faced trailer, plus the programme was not available for preview… and the latter is rarely a good sign.
(I would say this review has spoilers, but nothing that’s not in the trailer, and… well, you’ll see)
As it begins, Max (Richard Gere) is asked if he’s in town to pick a Prime Minister, or deal with his son? But what’s up with his son? Ooh, well, you’ll find out… maybe.
A woman called Tonia’s gone missing, a man gets murdered while listening to a recording of the phone call, and then Kathryn (Helen McCrory), who volunteers at a homeless shelter, is growing closer to homeless man Scott (Joseph Mawle). Later, she fills a bath, lets it spill over big-time, then takes a tablet, and all while some fancy music plays. Then, she was shooting the breeze over dinner with coke-head son Caden (Billy Howle), reminscing about old family days out at the beach.
Elsewhere, Angela Howard (Sarah Lancashire) is running for Prime Minister, and wants to take over from the current, black and male Prime Minister – writer Tom Rob Smith is covering all diversity bases.
Beyond that, all we had were random conversations that felt completely unconnected.
There are also members of the cast who want Max et al to fail. Again, these are all brief conversations which don’t seem to lead anywhere because this entire episode was completely up its own arse.
At 9.27pm, I was yawning my head off at this directionless toss.
At another point, Caden wanted to have intimate relationship with a woman, but make her pretend that she has no idea what a dress is, or how to do the business. He’s a bit weird. Fifty Shades Of Grey, this is not.
And then he tried to drive his expensive car and smashed into another expensive car.
And then he had a brain seizure… which is shown in the trailer, along with him undergoing an operation to deal with it all.
Okay, I get that when you have an eight-episode series, it can’t give away anything, but… at LEAST be somewhat coherent!
At the end of this first episode, all I know is that Kathryn is the mother, Caden is the son, and Max is the father. It’s a triumph of style over substance.
The comments on Twitter showed exactly what I was thinking…
#MotherFatherSon everyone else is as confused as me, right?
— T at Mummy Barrow (@MummyBarrow) March 6, 2019
That bath has a major design flaw, despite probably having cost 3 times the average monthly salary. No overflow. #MotherFatherSon
— Eve Moran (@EveMoran15) March 6, 2019
Why do I feel this is going to be a bit of a cliché? Black PM, silver fox who doesn't know what shortbread is, young buck on coke… Blah blah blah. I'll give it one episode in the interests of fairness 🤔#MotherFatherSon
— Michelle P 💜🐱💜 (@snowangelmrsp) March 6, 2019
MotherFatherSon continues next Wednesday on BBC2 at 9.00pm, if you care. The series is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on July 1st.
You can watch each episode on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission.
Episode 1 Score: 0/10
Series Directors: James Kent, Charles Sturridge
Producers: Lisa Osborne, Sharon Bloom
Writer: Tom Rob Smith
Max: Richard Gere
Kathryn: Helen McCrory
Caden: Billy Howle
Angela Howard: Sarah Lancashire
Lauren: Pippa Bennett-Warner
Maggie: Sinéad Cusack
Scott: Joseph Mawle
Nick: Paul Ready
Jahan Zakari: Danny Sapani
Charlotte: Diana Kent
Sarah: Pippa Nixon
Lennox: Tony Pitts
Charlie: Daryl Dale
Dee: Brigid Zengeni
Dee: Bo Poraj
10-year-old Caden: Orton O’Brien
Sophie White: Katrine De Candole
7-year-old Caden: Samuel Leakey
Sofia: Elena Anaya
Max’s Bodyguard: Neal Beagley
Walter: Ciarán Hinds
Mr. Howard: Hugh O’Brien
Journalist: Heather Pearse
Orla: Niamh Algar
Tate: Peter Sullivan
Andrew: Steven Cree
Saif: Idris Debrand
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.