Happily Never After
Sunday, 7.30pm, CI Isn’t February supposed to be the month of Valentine’s Day and romance? Looks like nobody told our stalwart TV programmers. From CI, the channel that brought you Wives with Knives, comes Happily Never After, a series that is part wedding show, part police drama and part Desperate Housewives. Each episode documents the murder of a newlywed (they found enough dead brides to make a series?), including flashbacks to happier, prewedding times — performed, of course, by actors. The Desperate Housewives part comes in the cheerful pizzicato strings in combination with a smug voiceover, in this case supplied by actress Marlo Thomas ( That Girl). Well, at least she doesn’t say ‘‘ yes’’ at the beginning of all her sentences, agreeing with the action as if she had contrived it herself, as Brenda Strong did on the Desperates. ‘‘ Tina Entwistle has dreamed about this day — it’s her day, finally,’’ gushes Thomas, as a lovely actress in a lovely gown primps and preens in front of a full-length mirror. Relationship expert Wendy Walsh sums up Tina’s situation: ‘‘ When you’re a single mother, your life is so hard it’s easy to have a rescue fancy — the thought that some Prince Charming is going to come in and make everything better.’’ It took a relationship expert to come up with that? Just a few hours after the wedding, in the middle of night, all hell breaks loose. The groom, bloodied but alive, is carried out on a stretcher as neighbours gather to gawk. The bride, still in her wedding gown, is found covered in blood on the floor of an upstairs bedroom. What is this — an episode of Dexter ? a fake company. She says she wants a missing alibi witness for her client, who has news possibly suggesting Harry’s brother, who apparently was killed 20 years earlier, is still alive. Troubled by horribly violent flashbacks, Harry pops into his ex-wife’s house for some desultory conjugal activity that very afternoon. She tries to convince him there is no chance his brother is still alive, that he is being set up and so on. But she wants him out of the house before their son comes home from school because he has been traumatised enough by their divorce. Everyone is so damaged and emotionless that it makes you want to take Harry’s head and do to it what he does to the ice maiden’s client in the jail interview with the prisoner. It would be more fun to dig your own grave in the snow. ultimately worth watching, but my goodness it takes a while to get off the ground. Just don’t expect it to soar.