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‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ has a great cast but is a waste of a time

Rupert Friend and Sienna Miller in a scene from Anatomy of a Scandal. Picture: Netflix

Rupert Friend and Sienna Miller in a scene from Anatomy of a Scandal. Picture: Netflix

Published Apr 25, 2022


Sex scandals and politics make for riveting TV shows. History has proved this with “The Good Wife”, “Scandal” and “House of Cards” exemplifying the success.

As such, I was drawn to the noise around “Anatomy of a Scandal”.

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Given the week that I had, I was ready to happily escape into this world that has been developed by David E Kelley and Melissa James Gibson.

Kelley’s track record with “Ally McBeal”, “Boston Legal”, “Harry’s Law” and “Big Little Lies” heightened my expectations.

Sadly, this six-part anthology drama, based on Sarah Vaughan’s novel of the same name, was a resounding disappointment and waste of time.

That it has a stellar cast that includes Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott and Josette Simon makes it even more tragically so.

The premise centres on the Whitehouse family. Sophie is the doting wife of James, an MP and close friend of Prime Minister Tom Southern (Geoffrey Streatfeild).

They seem to have a perfect life: happy marriage and two amazing kids. But a scandal rocks their privileged world when James’s affair with an aide is made public. He is apologetic. His wife stands by him.

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That should be the end of it. Not.

The story takes an ugly turn when he’s accused of rape by his former lover. Of course, while the old boys’ club were okay with turning a blind eye to his affair – these things are par for the course for them – they aren’t as public with their support when it gets messy.

And it inadvertently becomes a vehicle for patriarchal dominance.

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The script is pedestrian, at best. The twist is mediocre and the storyline, in the long run, is an unredeemable farce and waste of time.

If I wanted to watch an affair and the resulting meltdown, I would just catch reruns of “The Affair”.

“Anatomy of a Scandal” is streaming on Netflix.

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