REVIEW Hollington Drive (S1 E4/4)

Every time I saw the name Hollington Drive, I kept mistaking it for David Lynch’s warped neo-noir, Mulholland Drive. Obviously, these two stories are poles apart in terms of tone and look, but what unites them is a sense of place – and an inference that the street the protagonists dwell in somehow influences their actions.

And, as I watched Theresa and Fraser move away from the Drive and start afresh (so that’s where the boat came in), I couldn’t help thinking that what Sophie Petzal (who’s a damn fine writer) perhaps wanted to do was something similar here; to show that the pristine, affluent, cookie-cutter upper-middle-class houses of Hollington Drive were a visual metaphor for unhappiness and uncomfortable uniformity.

Which is all fair enough, but like most of this series it didn’t quite go full throttle and see it through. Although the series always hinted at it, you never thought that the Drive was a character in itself when perhaps it should have been. We had an interesting sibling relationship – the real core of this show – that saw the downtrodden become empowered; an unhappy marriage that resulted in an overdose; we had a storyline featuring a woman who had been raped and was worried the child produced from that violation would follow in the footsteps of the father (in many other crime dramas that would have been enough to be the main driving force); and a woman who lied through her teeth to the police but suffered no consequences.

There was a lot going on in Hollington Drive, but much of it was kind of skimmed over.

For all its faults, however, you couldn’t accuse this finale of failing to tie things up. We found out who killed Alex (Helen, after the lad had caught her sneaking out of his family home from a secret tryst with his dad, Gareth), and saw Theresa give her up after a tense stand-off in which she finally regained the power dynamic in the relationship.

However, as I mentioned earlier, things from that moment onwards were skimmed over. Theresa suddenly became smiley and happy, despite suffering a family trauma so awful that you would have expected her existing anxiety to be exacerbated. David, who had (very) recently taken an overdose was also smiley and happy, and rebuilt his relationship with his daughter, who had also gone through the mill during the whole saga. Really? Surely social services would have stepped in to monitor the situation before he retained any sort of custody of Eva. And Eddie, who has been floating around throughout the series, was ultimately just a device. Poor Eddie – I felt I didn’t really know anything more about him at the end than I did at the beginning.

With all that being said, the whodunit element kept me going. Anna Maxwell-Martin and Rachael Stirling were just fine (as usual) and there was a pleasing sense of tension simmering away at all times.

But a classic? No. Mark this down as a competent, solid but (very) flawed domestic noir.

Paul Hirons

Episode rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Series rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith says:

    The drama of the final episode was far better than anything that had gone before. If the writers had shared it around a bit the series might have been better.

    But, as you say, all nicely wrapped up (although it dispensed with reality when the airbags in the Audi failed to go off…). What a bitch Helen really was!


  2. Elaine says:

    Competent sums it up. Nice enough watch without either being memorably bad or memorably good. There was an awful lot of clunky dialogue though, and a director who seemed to like to use mirrors and glass a lot. Perhaps it’s a metaphor for something but I am not sure what. Glad that Fraser adopted Ben, that was very sweet. And nice to have a responsible, caring teenager in the story rather than one who is perpetually in danger!


  3. Lyn Richards says:

    My recording failed where can I find a repeat of ep.4


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