Right now, Netflix is a swirling vortex of unanswered questions. There’s the query of the way it will reply to all its just lately misplaced subscribers. There’s the difficulty of whether or not or not it’s going to begin to enable promoting on its platform. But most of all – miles above that, the best thriller of all time – is how the hell Anatomy of a Scandal obtained to be so standard.
If you haven’t seen it, Anatomy of a Scandal represents the newest step of David E Kelley’s malicious plan to churn out extra obnoxious hour-long dramas about objectively terrible wealthy individuals than anybody else in historical past. This time, David E Kelley’s One Idea has moved to London; or no less than a cartoon model of London the place everyone seems to be a dribbling cut-glass bellend and the House of Commons seems to have been made out of plywood in a rush.
And it’s horrible. Anatomy of a Scandal is a courtroom drama that hinges on a twist so silly that it might solely realistically be met with a weary sigh. It’s so preposterously overlit and soapily staged that it appears as if the complete sequence has crawled into your tv’s settings and intentionally reinstalled movement smoothing out of spite. The solely good performances are those who (like Joshua McGuire’s frazzled political adviser) appear to pay attention to the nonstop idiocy that surrounds them. It is de facto not superb in any respect.
Why then, regardless of all this, is Anatomy of a Scandal so standard, at the moment essentially the most watched Netflix present on the earth? Glad you requested. Here’s my idea. It’s due to the ultimate shot of the primary episode, which is maybe essentially the most gloriously silly factor that has ever been dedicated to tv. If you don’t need it spoiled, get out now.
So, episode one is all about charming MP Rupert Friend admitting to his spouse that he had a short affair with a colleague. He rides out the scandal however, simply because the fuss is beginning to die down, he’s accused of rape. How does Rupert Friend, the star of this apparently prestigious and strait-laced authorized drama, react to the accusation? Here’s how: by actually flying backwards by means of the air in sluggish movement, like he’s being flung backwards by an invisible explosion.
This occurs totally unannounced, by the way in which. Rupert Friend flying by means of the air comes after a full episode of just about complete nothingness. It’s like John Woo obtained wind of how boring the factor was going to be, and jumped out of a helicopter to gee issues up on the final minute.
Now, you’re not going to cease watching after one thing like that, are you? You’re going to sit down again in your couch, shocked past all comprehension, and maybe examine your drink like a disbelieving vagrant in a Nineteen Thirties cartoon. You’re going to take a deep breath and shut your eyes and suppose “Did Rupert Friend really react to a rape accusation by literally flying backwards through the air, in the middle of the street, like a ragdoll, or have I just suffered a debilitating blunt force trauma to the base of my skull?” And when you’re sitting there, questioning in case you have actually simply witnessed one thing as gormless as that, Netflix may have skipped the credit and began autoplaying the following episode.
And then – simply as you have got barely managed to scrape again the obliterated fragments of your exploded thoughts – it occurs once more. Although episode two of Anatomy of a Scandal is simply as dreary as the primary, it ends (once more, with out something even approaching a warning) with Sienna Miller tumbling backwards out of an imaginary raise and falling in sluggish movement by means of an empty courtroom. Nobody is aware of why. There’s no rationalization. There’s probably not very a lot of a degree. It’s only a factor that occurs, presumably to thrust you again into the identical cluster-migraine fugue state that you just’ve solely simply escaped, so episode three can sneak on to your display with out you understanding it.
Of course, by this level you’ve wised as much as the components. Anatomy of a Scandal is a nasty Channel 5 courtroom drama enlivened by deeply silly moments of heavy-handed fantasy sequences. So you scrub by means of the third episode simply to see the way it ends, and it ends with the digital camera spinning round whereas the Aimee Mann tune from Magnolia performs. So you click on “next episode” and instantly skip to the top and, like clockwork, Michelle Dockery is confronted by her youthful self.
By this level, you not care concerning the plot of Anatomy of a Scandal. You’re simply fast-forwarding by means of episodes to see what batshit second of ill-fitting tonal weirdness goes to return subsequent. And, within the second when one character says “I can look you in the eye” to a different character, earlier than they’re instantly plunged into what can solely be described because the set of Meat Loaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) video simply in order that they will look one another within the eye actually laborious, you might be lastly glad. You’ve watched a complete sequence simply to see how silly it might get. And Netflix logged this information accordingly.
And that’s why Anatomy of a Scandal is so standard.