sat 20/07/2024

The Reckoning, ITV1 | reviews, news & interviews

The Reckoning, ITV1

The Reckoning, ITV1

Suspension of disbelief is a problem with this clunky thriller

'Don’t worry sweetheart, it’ll all be over in two episodes': Max Beesley assures Ashley Jensen

I made the mistake of catching up with the darkly sumptuous The Crimson Petal and the White just before knuckling down to review this new two-part drama, and it was like moving from fine vintage wine to warm supermarket-brand lager. To begin with, I couldn’t dissociate Ashley Jensen from her perky but dim character in Extras, so the moment she found herself confronted with a game-show-from-hell scenario of committing a murder in return for five million quid, I expected Ricky Gervais to pop up in the next scene, giving her wisecrack-littered advice on what to do next.

I made the mistake of catching up with the darkly sumptuous The Crimson Petal and the White just before knuckling down to review this new two-part drama, and it was like moving from fine vintage wine to warm supermarket-brand lager. To begin with, I couldn’t dissociate Ashley Jensen from her perky but dim character in Extras, so the moment she found herself confronted with a game-show-from-hell scenario of committing a murder in return for five million quid, I expected Ricky Gervais to pop up in the next scene, giving her wisecrack-littered advice on what to do next.

‘No normal human being – particularly a timid middle-aged mum - would seriously consider committing a murder for a stranger, however much money she was offered’

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"Yet clearly I wasn't fully immersed in this nonsense, because all I could think about was that unnecessary “again” in her parting words. Surely, “You’ll never see me again” or “This is the last time you will ever see me” - but not a clanging collision of both formulations?" Surely this is a variety of anacoluthon suggesting the extreme excitement of the speaker? I dont think you would like greek tragedy much if you dont like this sort of rhetorical writing.

You could interpret it that way, Peter - and I would have done if the words hadn’t sounded so clunky and awkward: excited speech can still be aesthetically "right" The way they tripped and stumbled out of the actress’s mouth was just very clunky. So, bad writing or bad acting? I concluded it was the former, but it’s just an opinion. I really only drew attention to it to illustrate how amused I was by the fact I was dwelling on it during a scene in which I should have been gripped by the high drama (woman shouts at father, runs from house, and promptly gets killed by a hit-and-run driver – who somehow knew she’d be leaving precisely at that moment).

I agree with Peter. Are you related to Andrew, Howard? His Richard Ashcroft cover story in Mojo changed my life, all those years ago.

The Reckoning on ITV - what was that all about. Full of holes. I kept asking myself 'What's happening?'. I found it difficult to follow and just didn't know what was going on. It could have been good but it wasn't.

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