Sunday, 11 September 2016

British TV Serials Worth Watching: 5. Doctor Foster

Another Netflix show, Doctor Foster (season one, five episodes) stars Suranne Jones as Dr. Gemma Foster, a doctor at a small medical centre who finds a hair and suddenly suspects that her husband, Simon (Bertie Carvel), is having an affair. Gemma doesn't want to confront Simon without more evidence so she decides to play detective to try and find the truth. What she discovers will send her down a dark path and create an obsession that quickly spirals out of control. 

Doctor Foster is such a dark intense drama, and has such a strong soundtrack, that it is easily dismissed as an absurd melodrama (absurd because Gemma’s actions don’t always feel credible for an intelligent character). But the show, which takes many twists and turns, can be viewed at some level as a vary dark comedy, which would negate that dismissal. I, for one, found Doctor Foster incredibly compelling, mostly because of Jones’s wonderful performance as a woman losing control (the rest of the acting is also very strong for TV), but also because, while Mike Bartlett’s screenplay might verge on the melodramatic, it is well-paced and unpredictable and contains a number of spellbinding scenes full of raw dialogue.

The ending defies expectations and will be hated by some as it will be appreciated by others. In general, I fall into the latter category. Doctor Foster is an original and compelling serial that I thoroughly enjoyed, so much so that I’m giving it ****. My mug is up. 

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