Critical Condition: The Split

The Split | TVNZ 1, 8.30 Friday

☆☆☆☆ “The story of two generations of lawyers working the high-end divorce circuit in their respective firms … The interplay of family and office politics, the shifting perspectives on marriage from people at different stages of loving and being left, the ramifications of abandonment and failure, the fragility of family, all of it refracted through a primarily female lens is a meal by itself.” — The Guardian.

☆☆☆☆ “’Do you enjoy watching people tear themselves apart?’ an uncomprehending civilian asks one of the many divorce lawyers during the opening episode of The Split. It was obviously intended to be some sort of put down, but the question might have been better directed to the audience who, me included, were watching this drama mostly on the basis that they would indeed be enjoying watching people tear themselves apart; nothing wrong with it, either.” — The Independent.

☆☆☆☆ “The question, though, is whether a knockout performance can sustain a series that, on this evidence at least, looks pretty humdrum. If divorce law is to be interesting, then we need to care about the people involved. And, frankly, I didn’t care one jot about the clients in the first episode … If the series moves away from the boardroom into more domestic waters, it could be very good indeed.” — The Telegraph.

☆☆The longer I watched, the more compelling I found it. What a relief to be presented with a drama in which women are allowed to enjoy their work, and even to be wildly good at it, without their private lives also being offered up as a total failure. [Abi] Morgan’s characters do not wander the lonely tundra after hours, bottle of white wine in hand; they have – just imagine it! – families, friends, and even lovers.” — New Statesman.

☆☆☆ The Split is gloss and glam (everyone lives in fabulously large houses and dresses impeccably – but then, they’re all presumably very well paid) and drew some flak when it screened in Britain for some nonsensical legal jargon, but at its heart are universal themes, about the personal choices we make, how events are shaped by the past and how the years affect our perspectives towards love and marriage.” — Sydney Morning Herald.

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