MaryLand has Suranne Jones and Eve Best playing siblings

Suranne Jones and Eve Best in MaryLand

MaryLand, streaming in the U.S. on PBS, is a sibling relationship drama of only 3 episodes. Sisters Becca (Suranne Jones) and Rosaline (Eve Best) discover their mother’s secret life after her death far from home on the Isle of Man.

The MaryLand of the title refers to their mother Mary. When she dies, the two sisters head for the Isle of Man. Their father Richard (George Costigan) stays in England making plans for a funeral.

When Becca and Roseline arrive, they find a home owned by their mother and a whole other life she lived in secret. She had a gentleman friend, Pete (Hugh Quarshie), and a best friend, Cathy (Stockard Channing).

Their mother’s death had questions attached. The siblings were already confounded by her secret life and this news was even more disturbing.

The sisters had a rocky relationship. Each of them had issues of their own. They didn’t understand each other and had bitter feelings built on those misunderstandings.

In addition to starring, Suranne Jones also created the series with Anne-Marie O’Connor. The character she created for herself was insecure, unhappy with her marriage to Jim (Andrew Knott), and unsure who she was in the world.

Suranne Jones in MaryLand
This image sums up Becca’s personality

Roseline had been plagued with health problems all her life and resented Becca’s seemingly perfect situation.

While there were plenty of underlying themes of grief and shock and family, the main plotline was about how the sisters were going to find a way forward.

This was not a cheerful tale. Fraught relationships and grim events don’t make for many laughs. It was a chance to see two wonderful actors work together in emotionally powerful ways to explore the bonds of sisterhood. Each of the three episodes was beautifully directed by Susan Tully.

If you watch this mini-series, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments.

4 thoughts on “MaryLand has Suranne Jones and Eve Best playing siblings”

  1. I saw it and liked it very much. The mystery drew me in, and the series of reveals was extremely effective in driving reactions and realizations from the daughters, who each had her own interesting arc, and kept me transfixed. This is the kind of series that makes TV great: Far away from standard formula, with depth and humanity. True, it was not obviously cheerful in the moment, but under the surface there was definitely optimism.

  2. Agreed, a really well-done story. Reworking those fictions we tell ourselves over years is a lot of work, and worth re-examining. It doesn’t wrap up in real life quite as quickly as 3 episodes, but a good job by the cast & writers.

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