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It’s peak timeliness for this political thriller about a charismatic British politician trying to duck corruption charges, family scandals, and disturbing messages from a stranger. It brings the added lure of Hugh Laurie from House in the lead role as cabinet minister Peter Laurence, with Helen McCrory (Harry Potter) as the Conservative Prime Minister — Laurence’s boss, and possibly his nemesis.
While some critics have taken issue with plot holes and legal implausibilities, the quick-paced four-episode series weaves an intricate soap that has hooked fans overseas. Hinting at current events, it steers clear of representing any actual people or plots and avoids the trap of caricature. Yet you can’t quite shake the idea that its reveals — especially about the more clandestine workings of government — are rooted in some truths.
Political leaders dedicating their waking hours to dodging scandals are not native to the U.S., but they’re more fun to watch when playing out in a fictional version from the other side of the pond.
This one will expand the cross-generational PBS audience to the House fanbase — and anyone looking for a temporary escape from the non-stop real-life political dramas.