"Five Days", episode 1

Sometimes, you find a show that bowls you over with its awesomeness and you seriously question America and what it's doing wrong.

HBO and the BBC's "Five Days" is that show.

The simple premise given is this: "A mother vanishes into thin air. Her children, abandoned in her car, also end up missing. As police search for clues over three gut-wrenching months, the woman's husband and family learn that nobody's quite what they seem. In the end, five days prove critical in solving the case."

Um, this week on Understatement of the Year, starring HBO's PR people...

I was instantly hooked on Five Days. I'll admit, it was probably the accents that kept me riveted during the first two minutes, but after that it was all the show, which is comprised of never-heard-of actors... or at least to us across the Pond.

The story begins with Leanne Wellings, played by Christine Tremarco, taking two of her three children (the third begging off to stay home) to visit their great-grandfather in the nursing home he's been in. On the way, they see a florist selling flowers out of a rickety old van (creepy part #1). They make a stop to an animal shelter and buy a dog. However, it's the ride back that sets the story into motion. Ending a heated conversation with her husband, Matt, Leanne pulls over to the side of the highway with strict instructions to her children, Ethan, 7; Rosie, 4, to stay in the car and not to move a muscle. She crosses the street and buys flowers for their great-grandfather. But a large truck pulls up, obstructing the children's view of her. When the truck drives away, the van is packed up and Leanne is nowhere to be found. The van then goes the way of the truck, leaving Ethan and Rosie alone.

At this point, I'm like, "........ ohJesusChristonapogostickwhatjusthappened?"

The episode continues with Ethan, Rosie, and the dog leaving the car, Tanya (Leanne's oldest daughter, from another marriage) calling her mother again and again, to know answer, after her great-grandfather fears that something has happened and sends a police officer to check things out. Ethan and Rosie wander, and are soon picked up by a man who works out at the gym their father is an instructor at.

But after night falls and there is still no sign of them, the police become involved and believe they are dealing with a kidnapping.

The episode ends with a woman finding Ethan and the dog hiding in a tool shed on her apartment building's property. And I end the episode with an expletive, because I have to wait another week to see what happens.

Bastards. What a cliffhanger.

I love British TV. I love everything the British do. Total anglophile typing, here. This show, however, is something else. It lacks the camp of favorites such as Doctor Who and Absolutely Fabulous. It's gritty and real and the fact that they use unknown actors endears them to us more, since -- as far as the viewer knows -- they're everyday people, not celebrities.

The pacing is well-done and the dialogue is real. I was particularly affected by David Oyelowo's performance as Matt Wellings, Leanne's husband and the father of Ethan and Rosie, who is continually at odds with Tanya and having employment issues. There was a scene toward the end of the episode where he sits on Ethan's bed and puts his head into his hands. You could feel his despair, his helplessness. I misted up, which doesn't happen too often.

Five Days definitely gets my vote, and my Tuesday nights.

Just what I need, another show to obsess over.


Maria Lovella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mars said...

Once upon a time, I hardly watched any TV. *directs binoculars towards that temporal point and sighs wistfully*

Right then. Must check this new gorgeousness out.