starring: olivia coleman, david thewlis, katie o'flynn, and samuel anderson
REVIEWER: lyall carter
A devoted and mild-mannered British couple become the focus of an extraordinary investigation when two dead bodies are discovered in the back garden of a house in England.
There’s nothing I like better than settling in on a Sunday night and watching a good old TV murder mystery. And Landscapers is one of the best to have hit the small screen in a long time. With outstanding performances from Colman and Thewlis, Landscapers is told in a fresh way that pulls the audience into the story and helps to humanise the central characters making for one of the most innovative TV shows of 2022.
Mild-mannered husband and wife Susan (Colman) and Christopher Edwards (Thewlis) have been on the run from reality for over 15 years. When Christopher makes a startling call home to his step-mother, their role in a terrible crime that remained undiscovered for over a decade begins to emerge into the light. As their relationship is subjected to the glare of a full police investigation, the devoted couple are separated for the first time in their marriage.
From the opening scene where someone calls for rain, background actors and then ‘ACTION!’ you become acutely aware that Landscapers is all together different from your run of the mill TV murder mystery. It’s this unique approach to telling the story of the Edwards through the lens of their fantasies played out in Hollywood westerns and French romance films, that our understanding begins to grow in regards to their apparent motivations.
As well as using a variety of other highly inventive storytelling techniques to break down the formulaic nature of TV murder mysteries, the aces that Landscapers has up it sleeves are Coleman and Thewlis. Coleman manages to inject both a broken, gentleness and raging indignation into her character and is more than matched by Thewlis who brings an emotional depth and warmness to Christopher and also to his relationship with Susan. So much so that you find yourself drifting to their side, in spite of the horrific crimes that they stand accused of.
With outstanding performances from Colman and Thewlis, Landscapers is told in a fresh way that pulls the audience into the story and helps to humanise the central characters making for one of the most innovative TV shows of 2022.