New to ThreeNow in November

Leading the swag of new ThreeNow dramas in November is the latest Jed (Line of Duty) Mercurio sensation, Payback (full season, November 7).

It stars Morven Christie as a mother-of-two whose life is upended when her accountant husband (Thoren Ferguson) turns out to have links to a notorious gangster (Peter Mullan) and she has to tread a fine line between the police investigating her husband’s assault and Edinburgh’s underworld.

Payback moves at a fair old clip,” The Guardian said. “It’s not going to set the world on fire or go down in television history, but it is one of those dramas that offers the inordinate pleasure of watching quality, understated actors do their quality understated work, without a weak link among them.”

Echoed Radio Times: “The show is perfectly competent, with good performances, solid scripting and direction, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.”

“The cast is fine and the drama isn’t terrible, it’s just deeply predictable,” said The Telegraph while The Times thought it “gripping [with] twists aplenty”.

Guilt (full season, November 10) is a soapy thriller about the rich and powerful that revolves around the murder of an American student studying in London.

When the victim’s flatmate becomes the chief suspect, her sister flies in from Boston to defend with the help of a dodgy lawyer. Promises the blurb:

As the search for the killer continues, the investigation twists through layers of London society, leading to scandal and intrigue stretching all the way from underground sex clubs to the highest levels of the Royal Family itself.

“With a twisty cliffhanger-before-every-other-commercial pacing and solid acting from a mostly British cast, this drama is an apt complement to Freeform’s similarly themed Pretty Little Liars,” Commonse Sense Media said.

But Variety dismissed it as “half-baked” and the Los Angeles Times “a silly and sexed-up murder mystery”.

Blindspot (full season, November 15) concerns a disabled woman (Beth Alsbury) who monitors CCTV live streams of a rough housing estate.

A victim of crime herself, she starts her own investigation when she can’t convince a jaded cop (Ross Kemp) that she’s witnessed a deadly assault carried out in a blind spot of the cameras’ coverage.

The Guardian called it “a plodding, cliche-ridden procedural” while The Telegraph said “Alsbury and Kemp try their best with the poor material“.

More promising should be Devil’s Peak (full season, November 21), a five-part Cape Town thriller about a disillusioned, hard-drinking detective whose last chance at redemption is tracking down a righteous serial killer.

Based on the first of Deon Meyer’s six acclaimed novels about Detective Benny Griessel (Hilton Pesler), it was adapted by Moon Knight’s Matthew Orton and co-produced by Lookout Point (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley).

Also new in November are The Big Swindle (full season 1, November 16), a docuseries about ruthless con artists; the soulful waitress drama that first screened on SoHo, Sweetbitter (s1-2, November 13); and a lusty swords-and-sandals blast from the past, Spartacus (S1-4, November 1).

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