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Talk To Me: Season 1 - Review

Talk To Me

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TALK To Me, written by Danny Brocklehurst, is a modern tale of temptation and forbidden love and stars Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon, Shameless) as thirtysomething Mitch Moore, a successful late night phone-in radio DJ on London station Life FM who dispenses glib and sometimes controversial solutions to callers’ problems.

But Mitch is a womaniser whose reluctance to commit to a long-term relationship has left a string of broken hearts. The exception is Claire (Laura Fraser), the long-term partner and soon-to-be wife of Mitch’s best friend and the producer of his radio show, Woody (Joseph Millson). And Claire is the one woman Mitch professes to love.

Complicating matters is Claire’s ditzy and promiscuous best friend Ally (Emma Pierson, also from Hotel Babylon), Mitch’s most recent ex-conquest who’s set to become Claire’s bridesmaid, just as Mitch is preparing to be Woody’s best man. Awkward….

And then there’s Mitch’s sister Kelly (Kate Ashfield), a school teacher married to Scott (Adrian Bower). Trouble is Kelly wants a baby and her spouse doesn’t. His excuse – that he isn’t a good father – is not so very far from the truth if what we see of his relationship with his daughter from a previous marriage is anything to go by.

In fact, if his preoccupation with his inane squirrel-related website is anything to go by, I’d say that Scott himself needs to grow up.

Which could, of course, account for Kelly’s affair with one of her young pupils. And if you see parallels in this carefully crafted sub-plot with the excellent Notes on a Scandal, you’d be right.

Meanwhile, Claire is becoming increasingly frustrated with the mundane aspect of her relationship with Woody and turns to Mitch for comfort – with the inevitable result. The ensuing sexual encounter leaves little to the imagination although it’s far from offensive, possibly because the ecstacy of the act itself is so obviously compounded by genuine emotion. But post-coital cigarettes – no!!

Strangely, it’s Mitch who calls a halt to the relationship and Claire who doggedly pursues her quarry – even after her marriage – until Mitch finally succumbs. I mean, what full-blooded man wouldn’t when presented with it on a plate?!! And Claire is beautiful. It’s just puzzling that a woman like her would find a man of Mitch’s disposition so attractive.

But affairs have a way of catching lovers out and when Claire’s father dies during one of her many trysts with Mitch, her guilt forces her to confess all to an unsuspecting Woody. It’s only when faced with losing not only her husband but also their young child, that Claire realizes the enormity of her actions.

As well as being highly entertaining – I might even go so far as to say compulsive viewing – Talk To Me has a very clear message and the clue is in the title.

Claire, disillusioned with a long-term relationship devoid of excitement (though to give her her due, she does try to rekindle the spark by tempting Woody in the back of a taxi and, following their unceremonious expulsion, in an alleyway), turns to another man – instead of talking it through with her husband. A familiar story and particularly ironic here as it’s Mitch who encourages listeners to “Talk to me” with their problems.

But if you think Mitch comes out of this unscathed, you’d be wrong. He does, however, take responsibility for his actions and in a moving farewell speech, live on air, gives Woody food for thought and ultimately, Claire reason to “hope”. An unexpected but welcome finale.

Well acted and well filmed, Talk To Me is definitely one to watch.

  1. Good review so much better than just a regurgatation of the publicity blurb. I thought the series was good well directed but a little short, needed a couple more episodes. The script could have been tightened in places.
    Laura Fraser stole the show. Her character, Claire, was fascinating. Both relationships have to be completely on her terms. she goes with Mitch because she’s dissatisfied with Woody. When she gets Mitch, its when she wants and how she wants and nothing else despite what Mitch wants.
    She tells Woody because she’s losing control, there have been a couple of close shaves, (phones Mitch.. gets Woody) Cassie knows and is a loose cannon, Mitch is losing it and could tell Woody at any time to force the issue. Mitch Cassie and Woody work together everyday, she’s not there, no control. Her not going on the home visit could pose awkward questions. Whatever else Claire is ruthless and tells Woody because she has to.
    Interestingly, after telling Woody when Mitch vists,it seems to me that Claire is really saying that Mitch can’t fulfill the role of father, she also says “The Filthy adultress is something I do in my spare time” i.e present tense, if she had really decided against all that she would have said “did”. The way she acts in that scene, its as though she is a little resentful of her position as a mother.
    For someone who is supposed to be desperately worried about her relationship with Woody, she is very tolerant of Mitch being there when, supposedly she is on tenterhooks for Woody to come back. Also she is not really over Mitch, falling into his arms,. Although the directing was great, and the cast brilliant, Joseph Millsons character , Woody was too much of a wimp.
    In real life, the injured party wants to know everything, goes through phone bills etc. Woody would soon find that there was a lot Claire had not told him. The questioning is relentless, where, when, what exactly did you do, how often etc. Its a form of greiving. He would soon realise that Mitch was not the initiator at any stage, it was Claire. but the series was too short. I hope there is a second series and that Laura Fraser features prominantly in it.

    M Henry    Jul 30    #