Critical Condition: Good Behaviour

Good Behaviour (SoHo, 8.30 Wednesdays)

“In the smartly played, agonisingly suspenseful Good Behaviour, Michelle Dockery plays Letty Raines, a con woman and thief newly on parole, but already back conning and thieving, and backsliding as well, in her attempts to stay clear of drugs and alcohol and reconnect with her young son. Terry Kinney plays her parole officer, a not untroubled soul going out of his way, and risking his career, to help her stay out of jail. In spite of some humdrum fanciness … the series is first-class Southern noir.” — Los Angeles Times.

“TNT’s latest drama, Good Behavior, has more than a few good things going for it — starting with a beautifully moody and exceptionally rendered pilot by director Charlotte Sieling (Homeland, The Americans, Queen of the South), a virtuoso performance from Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and the kind of intriguing loose ends that keep you wanting to come back … [It] may be the best drama pilot TNT has produced since Southland, while Dockery’s new direction as a bad girl is wonderfully realised — and a very welcome relief for anyone tired of the reserved Lady Mary.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“The true accomplishment of Good Behaviour, created by Chad Hodge and Blake Crouch (based on Crouch’s novel), is that none of this seems as hokey as it sounds. Dockery digs deep and gives a frenetic and often moving performance, clearly relishing the chance to play a damaged and unpredictable (and poor!) person, who, despite her fears of being sent back to prison, would fit in nicely among the general population at Orange Is the New Black, should it come to that.” — The Washington Post.

“The problem may be more in the execution than in the premise: Mr Hodge and M. Crouch, who share the writing in the early episodes, can’t seem to find the balance between suspense and incipient romance. The best part of the show is the sniping banter … but there isn’t enough of it, and it’s so out of tune with the mystery and murder plot — which is grim and rather pedestrian — that you’re never really prepared for it.” — New York Times.

“Like too many other cable dramas aiming for grit, Good Behaviour is a convoluted antihero crime drama, prone to episode bloat and pulpy titillation. Too little vision spread out over too many episodes, the blank spaces of Good Behaviour throw its limitations — plot, perspective, performance, and a lot of product placement for automotive brands — into sharper relief.” — Variety.

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