Critical Condition: Ordinary Lies

Ordinary Lies | TVNZ 1, 8.40 Friday

➢ “The first series of Danny Brocklehurst’s drama concerned the shenanigans among the staff of a car showroom south of Manchester. It’s an equally unglamorous set-up this time, with the daily grind occurring at the HQ of a Cardiff-based sports goods retailer. The drabber the job, the more colour in the stories, hence the play on ‘ordinary lives’ and the ‘lies’ that kick off each, ultra-modern morality tale. That’s the other hallmark of this series, serving up stories with a flavour of the Old Testament, yet also belonging firmly in 2016 … Clever, moral stuff and a million miles from ordinary.” — The Express.

➢”The new series is instantly much more engaging. Set in the offices of a sportswear firm, it kicked off with the mysterious case of the head of sales, Joe (Con O’Neill), who was convinced his wife was having an affair. He installed CCTV cameras all over his house, concealed within dud smoke alarms, and spent every waking moment spying on his family. What made that so credible was the hint of frustrated violence in Joe’s character from the start.” — Daily Mail.

➢”It’s quite a lot to ask of the viewer, in terms of plausibility. Con O’Neill is convincing, though, and excellent. And Ordinary Lies does ask some interesting moral questions, about relative evil and similar crimes, about revenge, about how well you know the people closest to you.” — The Guardian.

➢”While Ordinary Lies lacks the vim and vigour of its antecedent Clocking Off, and despite [Jill] Halfpenny and O’Neill cast to type as hardened housewife and desperate middle-aged man, there was enough narrative tension for it to remain compelling. It also made a terrific case for honesty being the best policy.” — The Telegraph.

➢“Five episodes in, it is time to acknowledge that Danny Brocklehurst’s episodic serial is one of the best dramas on television this autumn. Yesterday’s was a masterclass in how to achieve that rare narrative double: a story that is both unpredictable and true to its characters.” — The Times.

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