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

Politics and scandals are a delicious combination, in reality as in fiction. Shonda Rhimes knows it well (Grey’s Anatomy, Bridgerton), which even involved a hypothetical President of the United States, capable of bringing his lover to the White House (in Scandal). Ryan Murphy is aware of this (Glee, American Horror Story), who instead took inspiration from the real leader of the free world Bill Clinton for his Impeachments. Julia Roberts is not immune, involved for script needs in Watergate (from April 24 on Starzplay with Gaslit). Nor did former Crown queen Claire Foy (in A very British scandal with Paul Bettany from April 21 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 real or presumed, as in the case of Anatomy of a scandalthe British miniseries, already a phenomenon on Netflix.

Not that this success surprises (it is the most watched series in the world on the platform), because it has the signature of David E. Kelley, King Midas of TV since the 1980s. He has created ingenious series of the caliber of Ally McBealto then collect other legal declensions (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, showed 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 based on the novel of the same name by Sarah Vaughn, but, while staging dynamics already seen, it still manages to make the audience hold their breath for six episodes.

Michelle Dockery takes care of the lioness in the storywhich has already proven itself not only in Downton Abbey (the second film is 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 suit. His Kate Woodcroft wants to check one of the most prominent political figures in the United Kingdom, James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend of Homeland), which enjoys the protection of the British Prime Minister. She has a seemingly perfect family, with the trophy wife met in college, Sophie (Sienna Miller), and two young children.

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

The issue of consent is not addressed with the usual rhetoricbut in a punctual, sagacious and courageous way (a bit like in The Last duel with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck). There are fine lines, 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 painted. The gray areas of morality insinuate doubts and suspicions, to the point of witnessing unexpected, unsettling, almost cheeky 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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