Critical Condition: Flack

Flack | TVNZ OnDemand, from Friday

☆☆☆☆ “The grim behind-the-scenes machinations of the glossy entertainment industry have always been one of TV’s favourite subjects, as are the people tasked with pulling the strings without anyone ever realising. Over just six episodes, the show manages to cover everything from serial harassers, to closeted athletes, to lazy comedians embracing transphobia rather than actual punchlines … Flack is often too blunt to be as interesting as it palpably wants to be, burying any shred of nuance by underlining its themes in red marker to make sure you can’t miss them.” — Variety.

☆☆☆☆ “UKTV has assembled an unusually ace cast for this public relations drama, with Anna Paquin starring as a firefighting US exec based in London, and Sophie Okonedo playing her formidable boss. Unpretentious and zippy, it’s a neat antidote to the antihero dramas clogging up our screens.” — The Guardian.

☆☆☆☆ “I might call it a mixture of Scandal and Nurse Jackie. You might have your own completely different set of comparisons. The only thing that’s for sure is that although Flack boasts a very good cast and some periodically sparkling dialogue, there isn’t a single surprising moment in the first six episodes … Each twist and turn is heavily filtered through traditional television storytelling, not through any lived experience that feels personal or authentic.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

☆☆☆ Flack is a new drama about PR, except not really. It’s also a show about Me Too and the changing gender dynamics in society, except, you know, not really. It’s technically about the hidden push and pull between truth and entertainment and the dark arts of perception management, except one seemingly using a script that’s been written entirely in emoji … So terrible it might just be unmissable.” — GQ.

☆☆☆ “UKTV launches a wickedly funny comedy-drama called Flack, with Anna Paquin as a public relations executive and Sophie Okonedo as her terrifyingly amoral boss. They specialise in cleaning up the image of awful clients. It’s topical: rarely have we seen so much professional effort in ‘reputation management.'” — The Times.

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