Everything wrong with The Durrells: season 3 review
The good, the bad and the boring: season three of The Durrells has been bitter sweet
Fluffy, silly and good humoured (at least it was this season thank heavens) The Durrells isn't without hope. If it returns for season four, here's what to avoid and to bring back:
We seem to have run out of storylines
Thank God this season we've been spared the melodrama that haunted seasons one and two (those strange storylines about serious mental health conditions that we were all asked to forget next episode). Season three is all light, laughter, nonsense and a bit of heavy drinking (but, like, in a funny way apparently). Unfortunately, we're still stuck with the occasional completely stupid plot points designed to stand-in for a bit of tension: Louisa Durrell careering around London looking for necklace apparently more valuable then the rest of her late auntie's inheritance for example (what?), or a whole episode dedicated to Laurence not actually breaking his leg. Please.
Are the actors getting a bit bored?
This season, Josh O'Connor's Laurence Durrell has been reduced to one facial expression. As the character has grown, and Louisa treats him as more of an adult (and less like the hopeless, feral lunatic he was in seasons past), Laurence's energy levels have deserted him and now he's just one long supercilious grin in a hat. Perhaps O'Connor is exhausted from becoming such a cinematic hit this year following his performance in God's Own Country and can't really be bothered with ITV anymore?
Half-baked new characters
With tired writing comes some very tiring characters. Gigi, the visitor from India in episode four, has one defining characteristic: well-meaning accidental disaster zone. He's not a Prince (disappointment number one) and he's also fasting, so goes around fainting on rugs underneath the drying fish he's ruining the garden with, before fainting out of windows and landing on verandas. Quick, save the silly Indian man from himself! Even worse, in episode five, we're introduced to a nasty Italian father (creatively named Mr Ferrari) who is one angry walking moustache with a nasty nature that shines through the smiling veneer immediately. Lordy, can we have someone with a bit more depth please?
Has Margot become even more stupid that usual?
Margot is the resident idiot. But this season we finally saw her grow up, get a job and ferment her relationship with her weird boyfriend. Thank goodness, because at the start of this series she was more ridiculous than ever before, moping about making soap statues, and forgetting where her mother was when she'd set sail for England (really). The grown-up Margot is a much better watch. Ditsy and daft, but not ludicrously stupid. More of that please.
We love Gerry's new love interest
Lets have more of little Gerry falling in love with girls that also like vultures. How lovely it was watching Gerry struggle to tell his old friend that he wanted some more alone time with his new leading lady, and going off on adventures with just her. It was like watching the best bits of Moonrise Kingdom.
Keeley Hawes still has perfect comic timing
Louisa Durrell is hilarious. 'It's a bit of England we've brought with us,' says Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes) presenting a table laid with afternoon tea to one of her son Leslie's (Callum Woodhouse) three girlfriends in episode one:'That and sarcasm, and a fear of emotion.' Whizz, bang, pop: Mrs Durrell is a constant stream of whispered criticisms and insights, and boggled eye facial expressions that tell you everything she's feeling. She was the star of the show when it started, and she's still the start of the show now. For all the show's faults, so long as Mrs Durrell is in season four, we'll be watching it.