Roush Review: ‘A Very English Scandal’ Serves Viewers But Not Justice

A Very English Scandal - BEN WHISHAW,HUGH GRANT - WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 06/04/2018 - Programme Name: A Very English Scandal - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Norman Scott (BEN WHISHAW), Jeremy Thorpe (HUGH GRANT) -
Sophie Mutevelian/Blueprint Television Ltd

Corruption of the soul blots the fabled handsomeness of Hugh Grant as the embattled central figure of A Very English Scandal. Unlike ABC’s own now-shuttered Scandal, this is riveting because it’s absolutely true.

With rare economy over three witty and jauntily devastating episodes, writer Russell T Davies (Torchwood) and director Stephen Frears (The Queen) adapt John Preston’s book about Jeremy Thorpe (Grant), a politician of monstrously hypocritical character.

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From 1967 to 1976, he led Parliament’s Liberal Party — when he wasn’t secretly and haplessly plotting to kill his pesky ex-lover, Norman Scott (a typically brilliant Ben Whishaw).

Clueless Norman, a ragamuffin who just wants his national insurance card, threatens Thorpe’s well-honed public image with his repeated entreaties, never dreaming of the lethal consequences.

When a hit goes awry, Norman takes his story public, resulting in a sensational trial that sends Thorpe into deeper, soul-chilling denial. Justice may not be served, but the lucky viewer is.

A Very English Scandal, Series Premiere, Friday, June 29, Amazon Prime Video