Review for Flack Series 1
Robyn works as a PR agent who works to help protect their clients from themselves and what the press can do to promote or more often destroy their career. She works for a cold, boss Caroline who is not happy unless people are scared or fired, or both. Alongside Robyn is her outspoken and slutishly high-end colleague Eve and Melody her new, skittish intern.
While trying to fix the lives of her clients, she also has to cope with her boyfriend who she is trying to have a baby with, while still being on the pill and also her sister, Ruth, who she moved to the UK with to get away from her Mother. Ruth has two children and a husband who walks the fine line between oafishly loveable and just oafishly stupid.
Flack can only be described as a ‘dramedy’ despite how much I hate that word. At times I wasn’t sure what I was meant to feel about these characters and their situations and this is definitely a dark look behind the world of the celebrity PR business. Moreso because you know that most of these stories are based on real-life events.
The six episodes of this series are connected, but you could probably watch them away from the loose arc of a story that it is. Each episode is dedicated to Robyn solving the issue of a celebrity. These include hiding the one night stand of a celebrity chef, covering up a facelift for a celebrity who promotes beauty care, doing damage control for a stand up who made a joke about transgender people, trying to help a singer become famous by creating a sex tape for her and helping to organise the wedding of a major footballer all the while trying to stop herself from falling for the mysterious Tom, who is a member of her Narcotics Anonymous group.
I wanted to love this show. I so wanted to love this show, but as I watched I couldn’t help but feel that the cast of characters were so unlikable that I did not want anyone to succeed. There was a slimy feeling to how Anna Paquin as Robyn dealt with the truly awful things that people do to avoid these horrible people getting their comeuppance. In some ways it is like a darker version of Ugly Betty and if they had focused on the wonderful Rebecca Benson as the intern Melody it would have had much more heart. Instead, this whole show just felt cold and even the moments I wanted to enjoy I really didn’t.
The DVD includes a number of extras including Interviews with the cast including Anna Paquin, featurettes regarding Making Flack and The Flack Look finishing with a Picture Gallery. These are all fine, but nothing spectacular. I had expected a commentary from the creators to see if there was something I was missing, but sadly not to be the case.
Flack is not an awful show, it’s just in comparison to other shows recently it pales greatly. This is a shame as there are so many things that the show does right. Sophie Okonedo as Caroline is wonderful, but vastly underused and Anna Paquin holds the show together well, it’s just a shame she is playing a character I don’t care for. The guest stars such as Alan Davies as the politically incorrect stand up comic or Katherine Kelly as the women trying to hide a facelift are fantastic and maybe if the client Robyn was protecting was a character who appeared in every episode it might have had more of a throughline for the series. As it is, it is not a show I would go out of my way to watch again and no one will give you any flack for not liking it.