True Love (BBC) – “Nick” Review

Rating:

 

When everything is going well in your world, there is nothing that acts more like a ripping hurricane than the turning up of an old flame. In she strolls, with that enchanting manner of hers and drags you away from everything you hold dear with no regard to the rubble she’s going to leave behind. This is the storyline of one of the episodes from Dominic Savage’s latests project True Love. Airing on BBC since Sunday he has taken us to the seaside town of Margate his hometown to share with us the more shady sides of love.

Savage’s shorts aren’t scripted, opting for improvisation he challenged the actors to bring their soul’s to the stage in place of memorised sentences. Was I watching David Tennant break down in the car or was it Nick; his character crumbling as the full weight of what he had done to the marital bed came crashing down upon his chest? I loved how the knowledge of the improvisation drew me ever deeper into the episode, I began questioning myself as to what I would do were I wearing Nick’s shoes.

What about his poor wife Ruth (Joanne Froggatt)? She knows something is up with her man, she’s spotted the Jezebel whose stolen her husband’s affections, bumping into her in town, she’s sweet enough with her pleasantries to invite her round for dinner and drinks! I don’t know if I can say my feet would be too comfortable walking around in her stilettos  and I wonder how many of the BBC’s viewers would have been able to identify with her lack lustre reaction?

Perhaps Savage is trying to highlight a different kind of strength, where love conquers all, where love is all forgiving, doesn’t bear grudges and seemingly does it all before the week is out?! To know your loved one inside out is to see when they’re behaving erratically, to see their phases, the glitches in their Matrix and thus be able to look past and through them. Is this what Ruth saw when she bumped into Serena (Vicky McClure), did her heart connected to her husbands hit rewind as she stood facing his old flame?

Perhaps in the moment that she stood before her husband’s temptation she thought of her own first love, wondered how she would react if stood eye to eye with him and saw that it wasn’t quite as black and white, rather she experienced a kaleidoscope of emotions, a fluttering and a stirring before coming up with a question mark. Perhaps this is why she took his sorry, silently accepted his infidelity, held his hand in acceptance of his humanity.

Savage’s lack of script served the production well, having selected a strong cast to reflect a loose outline of a story the screen was alive with emotion. The series continues with performances from Ashley Walters, Billie Piper and David Morrissey where story lines are laced with lust. From the forbidden feelings shared between a teacher and a 16-year-old student; to finding love at a bus stop on your way to work when your stale home life has you bored to tears!

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