Monday, 1 November 2010

The Little House - review

The Little House, which started on ITV this evening, is based on a Phillipa Gregory novel that I wasn’t aware of, but which appears to date back to the late 90s. I was drawn to watch it by a cast that includes Francesca Annis and Tim Pigott-Smith, and wasn’t I glad I did.

It’s a psychological suspense story, involving a young married couple and the husband’s charming but perhaps oppressive parents, played by Annis and Pigott-Smith. The wife, played by Lucy Griffiths, is a teacher, who is trying to understand a mystery from her own past.

When she falls pregnant, she is persuaded – against her will – to keep the baby and put on hold plans to research her past. Her husband also persuades her to accept an offer of a lovely home. This is the eponymous little house; the setting is wonderful, but the snag is that it’s right next door to her in-laws.

Once the baby is born, he appears more at ease with his grandma than his mother, and by the end of the episode it was plain that Annis, having packed her daughter-in-law off to a clinic, would be quite happy to be rid of her on a permanent basis. Annis is always excellent, I think, and here she shows a menacing side beneath the surface charm. A good story - and good enough to warrant a blog post I hadn’t planned to write!


Deb said...

Martin, I think your line--

I was drawn to watch it by a cast that includes Francesca Annis and Tim Pigott-Smith, and I wasn’t glad I did.

--Was supposed to end with the words "and wasn't I glad I did."

I thought I was about to read a negative review, but it seems you liked the show very much.

I've loved Francesca Annis since she was Lillie Langtry and, later, Tuppence Beresford. She still looks marvelous.

Martin Edwards said...

Deb, you are absolutely right. Thanks for pointing this out to enable me to correct it. It certainly was meant to be a very positive review!

Glynis said...

Well we watched it and did enjoy it but thought the performance of the young mother was poor. I also thought the ending was very contrived. Nobody thought it was strange that Elizabeth fell over the balcony. Why would they want to stay on in the house with all its horrible memories. 5 out of 10.