Tri­als of an Atyp­i­cal fam­ily is easy watch Trou­ble and strife as house­hold deals with life-chang­ing events

Irish Sunday Mirror - - TALK TV -

Casey (Brigette Lundy-paine). Elsa has been un­faith­ful to Doug, some­thing that comes to a head late in the se­ries and car­ries through to the sec­ond.

Sea­son two sees the fo­cus still on Sam but more ex­plo­ration into his The Gard­ner fam­ily fam­ily hap­pens, in­clud­ing his dad who can’t find trust for his cheat­ing wife again. The scope of the se­ries broad­ens and Sam’s autism is an as­pect of the busy fam­ily life, rather than the cen­tre of it.

The war be­tween Doug and Elsa rages for much of the se­ries while Casey be­gins at­tend­ing a pres­ti­gious pri­vate school on a track schol­ar­ship.

The fu­ture is scary for any­one try­ing to de­cide what they’ll do with the rest of their lives and this is true of Sam who won­ders if he can even man­age be­ing on his Joe on the ground after at­tack own. Where it does some­times fall down is the on-screen chem­istry.

Casey and Sam feel like real sib­lings, ev­ery step of the way. Casey shows un­wa­ver­ing pa­tience to­wards her brother – and is then an­noyed by him mo­ments later.

Their bond comes across as noth­ing but gen­uine, and this is largely due to the ex­cel­lent act­ing from Gilchrist and Lundy­paine.

How­ever, the mar­riage of Doug and Elsa is less than con­vinc­ing. De­spite the fact she cheated on Doug and lied about it, she doesn’t quite un­der­stand why he won’t take her back.

Her role as a mother is con­vinc­ing and the pa­tience of her char­ac­ter when Doug con­stantly knocks her back is ad­mirable, but you can’t help but feel this isn’t how life would be.

■Em­merdale: UTV, 7pm ROCK AND A HARD PLACE RTE One, 9.30pm Sky Sports, 6pm

STRUG­GLES

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