Hap­pily Never Af­ter

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

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.

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