Flack, season 1, takes a group of amoral PR people and sets them to work fixing the images of celebrities who have secrets to hide. This British series is billed as a comedy, but it’s more of a sad commentary on the state of the world. After airing in the UK and on Pop TV in the US, season 1 landed on Prime Video. There is a second season, but no word yet about when Prime Video may have it.
Anna Paquin stars in Flack. Paquin gives a brilliant, strong performance as the drink and drug addicted Robyn. Robyn’s life is a mess. It gets more and more fractured as the 6 episodes move along. She lies to the media about her clients, but she also lies to the people important in her personal life.
There are many scenes in season 1 of Robyn staring at herself in a mirror, looking for answers. The answers don’t come.
Robyn works with Eve (Lydia Wilson) and Melody (Rebecca Benson). Eve is a professional fixer and as unscrupulous as Robyn. Melody is an unpaid intern eager to learn to be as dishonest and ruthless as her trainers.
Their boss is Caroline (Sophie Okonedo). She’s the one directing everybody to get out there are do anything necessary to convince the public that their clients are good people. To do this, they suggest 17 year old virgins release sex tapes to revive a career. They encourage a woman whose face is bruised from a facelift to report her husband to the police for abuse rather than admit the truth. They tell broke footballers to pretend to be gay for the publicity and income. They suggest that kiddie p0rn on an actor’s computer is really research for a film.
In short, their clients are horrid people, and they are equally horrid in concocting ways to hide it.
Robyn moved to London from New York to be around her sister Ruth (Genevieve Angelson). One year ago their mother committed suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Ruth is married to Mark (Rufus Jones) and they have two kids. Ruth actually wanted to get away from reminders of her family and live a dull life, but that isn’t possible with Robyn around.
Robyn lives with Sam (Arinzé Kene). He believes they are trying to have a baby. Robyn is on the pill. She cheats on him with some regularity. He’s a sweet guy, a nurse. She can’t deal with someone loving her.
One episode of the six, the one with Bradley Whitford as Calvin Cooper, was the only one where Robyn showed the tiniest glimmer of moral rightness. This episode was strong in many ways. It took place on a plane. Bradley Whitford was excellent, which added to the power of the episode.
If Flack has a moral message, it’s that celebrity, wealth, and fame have an adverse effect on human beings. It turns them into the worst kind of people and lets them use money to make it all go away.
Here’s the season 1 preview.
I almost didn’t watch Flack because I didn’t like the trailer. I’m glad I did. It was a powerful indictment of the underbelly of celebrity and wealth.