Doctor Foster TELEVISION REVIEW

CAPSULE COMMENT: This tale of a woman scorned, undermined and just plain underestimated is a first-rate drama that cleverly manipulates our emotions while asking us all manner of questions about sex and relationships, virtue, fidelity and honesty. Watching Foster tackle her unravelling life is brutal, uncomfortable and compelling. Essential television.

 

Dr Foster has it all. She is a successful GP with a thriving medical practice. She is a devoted mother and loving spouse. Everything is ticking along perfectly until a stray hair on her husband’s coat catches her attention and she begins to doubt the reality of her marriage and validity of the life she has made for herself.

At the heart of this five-part series is the proposition that it is not in the nature of men to be monogamous. Some lie about it, some come to an agreement with their wives and the rest – while tempted – never act on their impulses, implying that most are unfaithful in spirit if not in actuality.

The other interesting scenario at play is the analysis of the ‘woman scorned’. Says the son to Dr Foster: “Mum, why are you acting like a crazy bitch?” In order to preserve everything she has worked for, Dr Foster has to go to extreme lengths to overcome the innate social conditioning that favours the situation of men over women. Finding herself caught in a web of deceit she must use every tool in her arsenal to discover the truth about her marriage and life.

Dr Foster is an edge-of-seat drama that cleverly manipulates our emotions while asking us all manner of questions about sex and relationships, virtue, fidelity and honesty. Season Two is on its way, and it will be interesting to see what becomes of the good doctor now that she has cast herself free from her well-meaning but duplicitous circle of friends. Excellent stuff and Suranne Jones (Dr Foster) is one damned fine actor whose every turn is convincing.


* The Internet and ‘TV on Demand’ has revolutionised the way we watch TV shows. No longer beholden to television networks and their programming whims and scheduling, we can watch back-to-back episodes of new and old shows to our heart’s content without those annoying advertisements interrupting the narrative flow. TV viewing has suddenly become more accessible, democratic and a hell of a lot more fun. ANDREW JOHNSTONE scours the available channels and finds the best of the best, so you don’t have to.

 

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