This is Stephen Graham, Channel 4, Shane Meadows and just British TV overall at its very best. The Russians and the Poles can make movies this depressing but the Brits excel at it.
And this is one of those occasions.
I thought Stephen Graham was decent in Line of Duty, but that was a mere warm-up outing for this career-defining hour of TV. He is simply breathtaking.
The second act, in which he gets smashed to drown the sorrows of the loss of his son who has emigrated with his new ‘dad’ to Australia, is indescribably brilliant.
Doing a drunk is tricky. (Even Gillian Anderson struggled in All About Eve) but this captures it astonishingly, in no small part because of the direction of Shane Meadows and genre-bending camera work.
It was deeply disturbing TV from start to finish with a constant barrage of depression. But that’s what makes Meadows such a unique talent. What lies ahead one can only guess but you can be sure of one thing. It ain’t gonna be comedy.
Wonderful, wonderful TV. Thanks guys.