DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
 
 
 
‘Liar’ Drops on Sundance Now
December 7, 2017  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment
 

Fair warning: If you watch the first episode of Sundance Now’s intense new psychological crime drama, Liar, you may never go on a date again.

Joanne Froggatt (top) and Ioan Gruffudd star in Liar, which premieres Thursday on the streaming service, as two single people, perhaps in their late 30s, who agree to meet for dinner.  

By all appearances, the date seems as innocent as the characters: Froggatt’s Laura Nielsen, a teacher at an exclusive private school, and Gruffudd’s Andrew Earlham (below), a successful surgeon at a nearby hospital and father of one of Nielsen’s students.

Instead, we get the butterfly effect gone mad, with the date triggering a series of psycho-romantic events and accusations that threaten to shred both their lives and the lives of pretty much everyone around them.

We won’t spoil the initial point of contention that turns an apparently pleasant evening into an emotional killing field. We can say the larger issue feels relevant to the real-life headlines of the moment.

Our initial meeting with both main characters intensifies the impact of where they soon find themselves.

Nielsen has broken up with her boyfriend, Tom Bailey (Warren Brown), who as the show begins is moving out of her flat. Laura turns for emotional support to her older sister Katy Sutcliffe (Zoë Tapper), who encourages Laura to get back into the game and not just sit around lamenting what happened with Tom.

Earlham lost his wife years ago and has been nursing his wounds since then. Even their son Luke (Jamie Flatters) prods him to date again, providing some of the impetus for asking Laura to dinner.

So they seem like two nice people who found each other, right up until the morning after.  

First, it’s Laura who senses something is terribly wrong. Then it’s Andrew, and by the end of the premiere episode, it’s clear we’ll be getting truths, angst, and confessions from almost everyone around them.

It’s an unintended consequence, but a real one.

This high-speed multiplication of bad things feels more plausible because there are multiple connections among the characters. Katy works with Andrew at the hospital. Tom is a police officer who is asked by Katy to look into Andrew’s past – specifically, the death of his wife.

Froggatt, in her second major dark role after playing the cheerful Anna Bates on Downton Abbey, does a fine job transforming herself from a good-hearted soul having a bad moment to a troubled woman we realize we may not know at all.

Gruffudd’s Earlham evolves more slowly. He starts as considerate, albeit still somewhat wounded, and becomes something else. That, too, is explained at a deliberate pace.

Liar, a joint production of Sundance Now and Britain’s ITV, will run six episodes. It has been renewed for a second season, which will air in 2019.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
YXWCY
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
1 Comments
 
 
Zeke
Just a warning. I watched it recently in UK. It is less than amazing.
I expected better, with Froggart in the lead.
Rather built more like a soap than a Nordic. To each their own.
Dec 7, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: