David Tennant is proving that there is life after Doctor Who. This is a moving family drama about a very complicated family and the trials it goes through when the mother is abruptly killed in an accident (this happens almost immediately, so no spoilers here--besides, the title itself is a giveaway). It is very well cast--the children are charming without being smarmy, and Laura Fraser as the wife and Suranne Jones as the love interest are both complex, multi-faceted women, each with her own appeal and her own faults. David Tennant plays a very believable harried father of too many children who is both overwhelmed by grief and trying to manage the day-to-day business of getting on with life. The dialogue is well written in general; there were no moments when I winced (yes, sorry, I wince very easily)--it's a pleasure to watch a series in which conversation is the main event.
One note: even though this series features young children, it is definitely NOT for young children. The box says recommended for ages 15 and up. While there is a small amount of violence (the mother's death as seen from blurry CCTV footage) and sexual situations, the themes are simply too disturbing and confusing for children younger than 15. ******** SPOILER BELOW************
I had a bit of a problem with the wildly implausible happy ending--it seemed too pat after all the drama. Obviously, we want these very likeable people to live happily ever after, but after all the pain and betrayal (both inadvertent and deliberate) they've been through, it all resolves a little too easily. I have to say the rapidity with which all the many tortured issues are tied up at the end detracted from my overall enjoyment of the series.
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