Reviews of today's British telly for Americans

TV Review: Keeping Faith (BBC One)

[Editor’s note May 2021: Lol, clearly this show keeps circulating, people get duped into watching it and then they go looking for answers as to WHY KEEPING FAITH HAPPENED. Re-reading my review I see typos that I could correct now, but they actual capture the utter rage with which I wrote this review, so the typos will remain.]

TITLE: Keeping Faith

GENRE: Melodrama



YEAR: 2017

RATING: I can’t even…

WHERE CAN I SEE IT? You shouldn’t. But if you absolutely must waste your time, the tripe is showing on Acorn.

Tell me. Really. Someone tell me who greenlit Keeping Faith? Because it is godawful and, short of having someone flogged with a wet noodle, I want to make sure I never watch anything by anyone involved with this snoozefest ever again.

Matthew Hall. You stand this up. You should be ashamed of yourself. There’s gotta be nepotism involved to get something so slow and devoid of plot or mystery on the air.

My other guess as to why Keeping Faith made it to air is that it points to a bad habit the BBC and ITV have of putting certain actor under contract and then having to stick them into anything that comes along (e.g. James Nesbitt, John Simm, Olivia Colman). I have a fondness for Eve Myles and her front-tooth gap from her turn as Gwen in Torchwood. In the case of Keeping Faith, she’s a good actor saddled with a shite script.

Here’s the plot: Eve gets up hungover as she does most mornings it would seem. As we’ll learn, she drinks a lot of wine. Edgy. Her bland guilty looking husband is already up feeding their three kids. The thing that keeps the youngest, a baby boy, from being annoying is that he can’t talk. The two little girls just look woeful and do dumb things throughout the series because Eve is, as many try to make her out to be, a bad mum. It’s the wine Andy that she’s a good lawyer and she doesn’t hesitate to tell people, “Fuck off.” Then her wet rag of a husband leaves for work and never comes back except in flashbacks being trash.

The next eight episodes are a slog through watching Eve unravel, speed off in her car to chase up some clue (really, there are at least two to three scenes of Eve kicking up gravel in each episode), and consort with “the wrong sort” who are really the right sort. Clue, chase, bad meet, repeat.

There is also, in each episode, usually at least one interminably long scene of Eve on the beach or in some high grass looking pensive and sad, solo or while her kids frolick about oblivious to the possibility that their dour dad is likely dead in a ditch next to the ringroad. And the soundtrack to these ponderous scenes are dreadful, knockoff Lillith Fair-type songs by someone who clearly must have an in with a producer or the director.

Why did I keep watching Keeping Faith? Well, “watching” is a stretch. The program was on in my vicinity because I wanted to see if my bafflement would turn into a fun hate-watch. Nope. Never did.

And I was hoping that the reason for the husband’s disappearance had nothing to do with sex, drugs, money or running afoul of some accented baduns. Yes, that’s a spoiler because you’ll guess exactly who did it and why within the first 20 minutes.

I wasn’t even going to review it because I was sure there was no way any streaming service would bother to pick this up. Boy was I wrong. Seriously, skip this show. Unless you want to watch it in preparation for the inexplicabley renewed season two.

Moral: every Jodi Picoult novel doesn’t have to be turned into a series or film. In fact, none of them do. I’ve got nothing against domestic lit, but I’m sure Jodi is rich enough without terrible adaptations mucking up her brand.




TV Review: This Country (BBCii!)


  1. Jim Thompson.

    I really agree with the comments above. This is badly acted mumbling rubbish. How much money was wasted on this drivel?

    • But soooo many people were raving about it on Twitter…which made me doubt my judgement until now. 👍🏾

      • Christine Haddad

        I was beginning to feel like something out of The Emporers New Clothes, feeling I was the only one who just doesnt get it. Keep watching it and it just gets worse and worse. I really like Eve Myles and great fan of Mark Lewis Jones but the script is terrible. That stupid inspector and idiot sidekick?? They arrest with no evidence, kids taken away by social services with no good reason. Honestly nothing has made me so angry to watch! Given up even though I dragged myself to episode 6, now I dont even care what happened to the husband. Shame on you BBC!😡

  2. Martin

    What an appalling drama, no doubt subsidised by the Welsh Government as it was also filmed in the Welsh language. What totally escapes me is how so many critics have endorsed the hype. Long scenes with music, nil dialogue, supposedly artistic camera shots that would not look out of place in 1960s’ shampoo commercials and not in anyway advancing the plot, limited as it is. More padding in every episode with long close ups of Evan’s eyes and out of focus backgrounds. Police who acted more like bystanders than a team involved in a serious investigation and so many gaping holes in the plot and continuity that they are just not worth listing. We jumped ship before the close of Episode 4. Save me! It’s unfair to compare these and other recent dramas from the same stable with Scandinavian dramas which even at their worst will at least hold your interest.

  3. Lynn Strachan

    We renamed it Losing Will!

    • Bah! I hope they go with that for the inevitable series 2…which I will not be watching. Or maybe I will “hate-watch” it…or write fan-fiction.

  4. Simon Baseley

    We got Faith looking thoughtful, Faith looking tearful, angry, distraught, frightened. Endless close ups of the heroine’s highly mobile face, looking out to sea, gazing into a wine glass, looking through a car windscreen or into the far distance presumably contemplating how five years at RADA or wherever had led to her ending up appearing in this mush; mush the ending of which has been left sufficiently open so as to hint that the commissioning editor who gave the green light to it in the first place actually still has a job and may well give the go ahead for another series.

    • I approve this summary of All the Looks of Faith as better than mine. *genuflects*

      • Vivien Lee

        Well, I did persevere through to the end of the first series. I do actually love the opening song, but that’s all. I’ve just seen episode 1 of Series 2….why did I ?! Well Eve Myles is a good actress but the character is even more irritatingly hyperactive, irrational, totally unprofessional and certainly not someone who’s fit to be a lawyer unless she goes into business on her own under the name of The Lone Ranger. I don’t think I’ll be wasting more precious time watching this.. I think they should have left the first series as the first and last.

        • Thank you for taking one for the team, Vivien, and posting about it! I was so tempted to check out series 2 just as hate-watch, but series 1 was enough.

  5. Debra Henderson

    Oh goodness now round 2 is coming. I actually hated her. I will never watch again.

  6. Elaine Hastings

    Eve Myles is having yet another bout of severe overacting. It winds me up constantly, so goodness only knows what it’s doing to her kids. The morning routine of getting everyone out of the house is giving me angina.
    I’m giving up on it now. Enough is enough.

  7. George

    Well – I made it half way through the second season. Enough! It’s hard to figure out what the most annoying thing is. The arty camera angles that constantly draw attention to themselves. (You can practically hear the camera crew say, “Hey we’re up here. Now we’re down there. Now we’re off to the side. Didn’t expect us to do that, did you?”.) The angsty soul searching poses. (Faith on her back. Faith on her knees. Faith shoeless and staring in despair. Faith with a tastefully isolated tear.) And then there’s the …………………….long pauses. And finally – the inspirational, spirited, defiant songs with harrowed vocals accompanying Faith’s possibly slow motion boxing movements. (I say possibly – because it’s hard to tell if they’ve slowed the film down.) I think I am now physically incapable of watching another episode.

    • Lolz, George. Please be good to yourself after this trying ordeal and stop watching. One day, you will be able to laugh about it as much as I’m laughing at your description of the Inner Lives of Camerafolk for Keeping Faith. Thank you for your service.

    • JojoM

      Ok, you win the internet hands down for this masterful review.

  8. sarjeant

    living abroad you find you need the BBC more than would be normal, but one can be too loyal, too desperate and too willing to turn to the Welsh for comfort after the terrible trials and ordeals of all the peoples from the East of London. Yes, we got through the entire series 2 without any remission or enticements. Dear God, how we have dreaded Tuesday nights and the endless crawl to the news. The pain in those close-ups, the replacement of tarmac by encroaching sands and the outright willfulness of hair dye.
    OK, here is the big question – is Tom more stupid than his ex-wife or does the Camel coated copper wipe the board? If you suffer with Angina please don’t even try to contemplate this one.

    • :standing ovation .gif:

      That was a magical and masterful review. If you want to write for this blog, is welcome the contribution.

      :genuflection gif:

      I’m sure so so glad I didn’t dare crack the seal on season 2.

  9. Valerie

    I agree. This show is ridiculous. Someone just shoot Gael and put everyone out of their misery. What a dunce Evan is. Terrible plot.

  10. JojojM

    Totally agree with the writer. I thought season 1 was pretty good because of all the suspense surrounding her husband’s disappearance but jesus, by late season 1, early season 2 I felt like I was in a hellish loop of Coronation Street, Welsh style. And must Faith punch the living shit out of everything in her environment when she feels irritated?

    • “a hellish loop of Coronation Street, Welsh style…” Why did this make me want to watch season 2? *sob* It must be pandemic boredom…

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