Anatomy of a scandal, because the miniseries with Sienna Miller is already a cult

Politics and scandals are a very tasty combination, in reality as in fiction. Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Bridgerton), which even involved a hypothetical President of the United States, capable of bringing the lover to the White House (in Scandal). Ryan Murphy is aware of this (Glee, American Horror Story), who instead was inspired by the true leader of the free world Bill Clinton for his Impeachment. Julia Roberts is not immune, involved for script needs in Watergate (from April 24 on Starzplay with Gaslit). Neither did the former queen of The Crown, Claire Foy (in A very british scandal with Paul Bettany from 21 April on TIMVision).

In short, episode after episode, the dominion of the powerful is undermined by sins of various kinds. When they come to the surface, it doesn’t matter whether they are true or presumed, as in the case of Anatomy of a scandalthe British miniseries, already a phenomenon on Netflix.

Not that this success is surprising (it is the most watched series in the world on the platform), because has the signature of David E. Kelley, King Midas of TV since the 1980s. He has created brilliant series of the caliber of Ally McBealto then collect other legal declinations (from Boston Public to Harry’s Law). In recent years, however, you have turned to stories of sick, perverse and often hypocritical relationships. From Big Little Lies to The Undoingagain with Nicole Kidman, has shown what lies behind the facade of a perfect marriage and with this new serial creature is certainly no exception.

Anatomy of a scandal it is not based on an original subject because it is taken from the novel of the same name by Sarah Vaughn, but, while staging dynamics already seen, it still manages to hold the audience’s breath for six episodes.

Michelle Dockery is the lioness in the storywhich has already proven itself not only in Downton Abbey (the second film will be released in theaters on April 28) but also in important projects such as Good Behavior. Here he represents the Crown, the prosecution in a harassment lawsuit. His Kate Woodcroft wants to put one of the UK’s most prominent political figures in check, James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend of Homeland), who enjoys the protection of the British Prime Minister. She has a seemingly perfect little family, with the trophy wife she met in college, Sophie (Sienna Miller), and two young children.

However, his former lover and collaborator Olivia (Naomi Scott) accuses him of rape, a week after their clandestine relationship ended. The uproar breaks out and the government breaks up. But he, James, reaffirms his innocence over and over again. Not only Kate does not believe him, but Sophie herself, who puts together the pieces of what happened at university. Secrets and lies come out, as well as long-buried mysteries. The rhythm with which past and present intertwine, with exquisite visual balance, frames the story of incredible dynamism. No downtime, no arrest: the story is a pressing succession of twists, in a legal ping-pong that relies on justice but does not always believe in it.

The issue of consent is not addressed with the usual rhetoricbut in a punctual, shrewd and courageous way (a bit like in The Last duel with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck). There are subtle boundaries, ambiguities and misunderstandings, but none ever involving the word “no”. The decadent picture of a privileged class ready to get away with it is not the only one to be sketched. The gray areas of morality insinuate doubts and suspicions, to the point of witnessing unexpected, unsettling, almost brazen events.

The marathon of Anatomy of a scandal goes far beyond guilty pleasure: with such well-drawn characters and such a solid script, it would be a crime to miss a single line of dialogue.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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