Stonehouse: Stonehouse (Full Season)
February 12, 2023 7:54 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A bingeable three-episode series on Britbox/Amazon Prime about "the life and times of disgraced Labour politician John Stonehouse, a high-flying minister of Prime Minister Harold Wilson's government who vanished from the beach of a large luxury hotel in Florida in November 1974, leaving a neatly-folded pile of clothes as he swam into the sea, intent on faking his own death." (IMDB)
posted by Countess Elena (3 comments total)
I thought this was delightful, purely as an excuse for Matthew MacFadyen to go on face journeys, although he is matched evenly in that department by his real-life wife Keeley Hawes, who plays his wife on the show. Terrific character acting from everyone. And the costume/set design from the '70s is amazing. At one point, a woman is wearing a crochet shawl that I liked so much that I literally tried to find a pattern for it online, but nothing doing.

But the show tries to have it both ways -- first setting this guy up as a pompous comic buffoon, for good reason, and then abruptly softening to show him reforming. It doesn't really land, especially since they never addressed his character formation or motivations besides naked ambition. You don't ever get the sense that he cared about anything besides himself, although in real life he seems to have stuck his neck out for Labour causes before things went south. Naturally, his family and historians of the time argue about how much of this could be true. Still, it's a good watch if you like your British comedy.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:05 AM on February 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

In case anyone was wondering - I was, so I checked - the Stonehouse case was co-incident but unrelated to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin - David Nobb's original book was written before, but published after Stonehouse disappeared. There must have been something in the air in 1974.
posted by Grangousier at 9:16 AM on February 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

There must have been something in the air in 1974.

More like something in the water, surely.
posted by SPrintF at 9:29 AM on February 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

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