You possibly can add “Angela Black” to the record of riveting psychological dramas wrapped in a trope-y bow with the creepy, abusive husband and his long-suffering spouse who takes issues into her personal arms — by means of a collection of “didn’t see that coming” twists and turns.
Joanne Froggatt (“Downtown Abbey”) stars within the new Spectrum collection as Angela Black. On the floor, has all of it — a loving partner, the French-born Olivier (Michiel Huisman), a elaborate home in an unique neighborhood and two younger boys who idolize their dad and inform mother (or mum, it’s set in England) that they love her when she drops them off for college.
Or does she? The six-part collection, premiering Monday (Feb. 7), is billed as a “spellbinding thriller” for a motive. We study, shortly, that Olivier is a jealous, narcissistic monster. He beats Angela mindless over some imagined slight after a cocktail party at their home — “You wished to embarrass me!” he yells at her (she didn’t) — knocking out considered one of her entrance tooth and leaving her face bruised and bloodied.
Angela, who works part-time at a canine shelter, hides her bodily wounds with lots of make-up and covers up the reality about beastly Olivier with a string of lies — each to herself (she took him again after he fractured her ribs 4 months earlier) and to anybody who asks about her black-and-blue face (she says she ran right into a door). His “apology” is leaving her a bunch of money below her pillow a la the tooth fairy. Yikes.
Following that ugly incident, Angela is having a drink exterior of a bar when she’s approached by Ed Harris (Samuel Adewunmi), a personal investigator (of types) who admits that he’s been following her on Olivier’s dime to dig up grime for a fast divorce by which Olivier desires full custody of their sons. However there’s extra to the story: Ed doesn’t wish to assist Olivier — he feels badly for Angela, and he’s received his (sketchy) rules, in any case — and he tells her, elliptically, about Olivier’s sordid previous. “Your husband is a bit of s–t,” he says, offers her a burner cellphone and divulges that Olivier had a mistress from his office who vanished and is presumed useless. Use your creativeness.
That’s the fundamental setup for “Angela Black,” however there’s way more, after all, because the collection unfolds. Ed steers Angela towards extra incriminating proof vis-a-vis Olivier, the boys’ white rabbit is mauled by a fox (or is it?) … and it will get ugly. Actually ugly.
The collection has a superb artistic pedigree; it’s written by Emmy-winning producers and screenwriters Harry and Jack Williams (“The Lacking,” “Fleabag”) and Froggatt (resolute), Huisman (chilling) and Adewunmi (regretful for previous deeds) play their roles to the hilt. Heartily advisable for all and, if you happen to’re a fan of, these Lifetime “Lady in Jeopardy” motion pictures, contemplate this one a notch above that melodramatic franchise.