Thursday, September 14, 2017

Liar

ITV's new weekly drama follows the popular theme these days of making us wonder which of two main characters is the villain of the piece. We have the smooth, good-looking and rich chap on the one hand and an intelligent, sometimes feisty, sometimes vulnerable, trim and fairly attractive woman on the other. Yes, it's a bit like Dr Foster with its baddy and maddy, although in Liar we are not sure which is which.

I do have a problem, though, with the first instalment. The woman is late for the meal date on the pier. She blamed traffic on the way. She gave the driver a note for the trip and it would appear to have been a reasonable distance travelled at normal speed as well as however far they went when stuck in slow-moving traffic that we didn't see. I think it's fair to assume that she didn't leave late and so there would have been at least 5 or 10 minutes at reasonable speed in the taxi. At 30mph, that's a few miles, at least, from her home to the restaurant..

That is one hell of a walk home!

The 'my phone's battery is dead' line may have been true but the natural next step would have been for the woman to make the call from her phone then and there. Then, on learning of the 40 minute delay, itself hard to believe close to a seaside town, there would have been some credibility in inviting the guy in. To ask him in to use a landline was an odd one for me. Even more odd was that she seems to have plugged his phone into a socket in the bedroom quite a lot later when they had loads of time before that, drinking wine, sitting around, to get the thing charged up.

Next, the taxi; with a taxi due after 40 minutes, and having spent a lot of that time drinking and chatting, you would have expected one of them to suggest that they cancel the cab if things are 'developing' in the bedroom. Only if the guy planned what would have to have been a very quick quickie would leaving the taxi to arrive and, presumably take it, make sense.

The suggestion is made that the guy drugged her drink at her home. The glasses, the woman says, were switched round when she returned from getting some old photos he'd apparently wanted to see. Never mind the fact that he would not have known that the photos were stored somewhere that would have not only taken her out of sight of the glasses but also that retrieving them would have taken sufficient time for him to add the drug, why would he switch glasses? That's an odd one. He would have simply added the drug to her glass, surely.

Lastly, saying 'No.' and the condoms. It was credible that the woman could not move or react if she had been drugged. But I have a problem with her saying 'No.' which indicates that she didn't want sex but also telling the chap where the condoms were in the bathroom which pretty much indicates that she did. He cannot have known where they were so she must have told him - or, if he'd invented that part of the story, we'd have heard some impassioned defence about that. If, on the other hand, she was in a crazy state and didn't know what she was doing, as she indicated in her police interview for much of the time, how could she be so sure she'd really rejected his advances?

The first instalment, therefore, has genuinely thrown up some nice intrigue and, at this time, I cannot be sure who is the baddy and who is the maddy. It does seem way too obvious for the guy to be the baddy. You know how these programmes go: they head you off in one direction and then switch you round. So, much as though we currently must be assuming that the guy planned this all and the poor woman is now seeking revenge, there are some big holes in the whole thing that are a bit annoying.

For all its faults, I look forward to the second instalment.

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