OK – so I’m in a reviewing mood
The mix is an intriguing one. Take bleak northern industrial wasteland and the kinds of endless purgatory hills that we all dreamed of fleeing on that Camping Holiday we had to go on. Add a family that’s just lost a mother and an Irish traveller hit woman (Mia)who has been lumbered with their care.
Now take that as your base line.
Add into this the fact that she is actually a ‘he’ – a pre –operative transsexual and the father of one of the four children she’s been asked to look after.
Chloe Sevigny plays the Hit Woman Mia and this is not your coy PG-13 scenes of slightly manly tones. No no no – her physicality (in prosthesis) is there for all to see as well as her delirious breakdowns and internal struggles as she comes to terms with what’s being asked of her.
Sevigny of ‘Brown Bunny’ and 'Big Love' fame is an actor who transcends genres and refuses, as far as I can see from her varied career, to be typecast. Her acting is almost spot on. The accent has a few problems as she struggles to drop from soprano to tenor and in places there are moments when you just can't quite suspend your disbelief.
But that’s the point. For most of it we do believe she's a man. There’s been much in the press of Sevigny’s difficulty in switching genders, but this struggle is there for all to see on the small screen as she uses that anguish in the creation of one of the most interesting characters in TV.
I’m not suggesting this box set as a gift for granny or as a ‘TV night with the missus’. It’s challenging and in places difficult to watch. But I'm glad i did for the performances of Sevigny, Carla Crome as makeshift matriarch Riley and the detestable Vincent Regan as the evil Farmer John wanting to turf out the family.
I suggest on a rainy afternoon, once the Olympics have all packed up you give it a try.