It might probably simply occur.
After getting off to a flying begin in its first collection, a TV present can shortly go off the rails.
It is a pity when it occurs.
And sadly that seems to be the case with Channel 4’s ‘Screw’.
When the first series of Rob Williams’ prison drama aired in January last year, it landed with fairly a swagger.
It was contemporary, pacy, tense, tongue in cheek and billed as a comedy drama.
In reality, although, the drama outweighed the comedy.
It additionally supplied an honest showcase for the abilities of Nina Sosanya and a put up ‘Derry Girls‘ Jamie Lee O’Donnell within the lead roles of Leigh Henry and Rose Gill.
Sosanya’s character was as a senior officer accountable for a wing in a males’s jail known as Lengthy Marsh.
Rose was a brand new recruit.
The present’s large hook was that Rose was in hoc to a criminal offense gang who her brother owed drug cash to.
This meant additionally answering to Ben Tavassoli’s prisoner Louis Costa whereas she was on obligation – smuggling a gun amongst different contraband into C Wing for him.
Collection one ended with Jack Bardoe’s rookie officer Toby Phillips gunned down within the jail after discovering out a secret about Leigh and threatening to show it.
He was murdered, nonetheless, with the gun Rose smuggled in.
Collection two takes the story additional.
With C Wing in disaster, new governor Barnaby Kay’s Mayhew has taken over.
Nevertheless we quickly uncover he and Leigh have a previous.
C wing is dealing with potential closure, with Lolita Chakrabarti’s Suella Braverman-like authorities minister Anya Forsythe placing it in her crosshairs.
In the meantime the affair we noticed within the first collection between Stephen Wight’s jail officer Gary Campbell and his colleague, Laura Checkley’s Jackie Stokes has gotten sophisticated.
She’s pregnant and is basically questioning whether or not she needs to finish her marriage for somebody who’s susceptible to rage.
As they fret, Leigh tries to introduce roles within the jail that develop the inmates, asking David Decide’s twitchy prisoner Wade Hemmings to man a assist desk.
C Wing is unsettled by rumours that an undercover police officer has infiltrated the jail, with the prisoners desirous to smoke out who precisely the cop is.
Unbeknown to them or to many of the workers, Lee Ingleby’s new arrival Patrick Morgan is that cop.
Morgan’s been despatched into Lengthy Marsh to collect proof on the crime gang Louis Costa belongs to.
Informing Leigh that the gun used within the killing of Toby was deployed within the homicide of a teenage lady, he tells her police consider a member of her workers is colluding with the gang and smuggled the weapon in.
Tensions are additional ramped up with the arrival of Leo Gregory’s Tyler Reeks, one other member of Costa’s gang.
His arrival is so worrying that Costa is starting to concern for the security of Rose.
However whereas he undoubtedly has emotions for her, Costa nonetheless leans on Rose for details about the undercover cop.
Will Rose be uncovered as a corrupt jail officer?
Will she uncover Patrick Morgan is working undercover?
Will Costa and the opposite prisoners uncover his true identification?
And with all of the effervescent tensions, can C Wing keep away from closure?
After the preliminary promise of its first collection, it is a disgrace that ‘Screw’ fritters every part away with storylines that turn into more and more exhausting to simply accept.
The introduction of an undercover cop into the wing looks like one other gimmick.
The way in which Morgan tries to control workers and inmates typically stretches credibility.
‘Screw’ additionally succumbs to cleaning soap opera ways.
Scenes the place Rose and Costa hunt on the emotions they’re creating for one another are too ‘Hollyoaks’.
The connection between Gary and Laura feels exhausted.
The notion that Leigh had a fling with the Governor up to now is hackneyed.
The introduction of a Suella Braverman type character looks like a very simple pot shot.
The thought of the Civil Service consenting to a reasonably free, uncontrolled go to to C Wing additionally is not credible.
Sentimentality will get the higher of the present within the ultimate episode with a toe curling scene the place Nicolas Lumley’s significantly ailing, aged affected person Larry is serenaded with a rendition of ‘The Streets of Laredo’ by Riley Carter Millington’s prisoner Troy, accompanied by Ron Donachie’s jail officer Don Carpenter on guitar.
Sosanya, O’Donnell, Ingleby, Tavassoli, Wight, Checkley, Donachie, Lumley, Kay and Decide are first rate actors.
Nevertheless they’re all poorly served with creaky scripts.
Of the principle forged, Faraz Ayub might be the one one emerges with essentially the most credit score because the mushy hearted Jail Officer Ali Shah.
In truth, you want his character was given extra to do.
About two episodes into this run, ‘Screw’ seems to have jumped the shark.
It is an actual pity and whether it is to get better it is mojo, somebody goes to want to ruthlessly overhaul the present.
Nevertheless ar the top of a fairly feeble second season, you need to say the percentages are closely stacked in opposition to it having the ability to get again on observe.
(Collection two of ‘Screw’ was broadcast on Channel 4 within the UK and Eire between August 30-September 14, 2023)
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