• Benita Garvin

STRETCHING CREDULITY DAVID KELLEY STYLE


I’ve been fired up about the limited (I hope) series “Anatomy of a Scandal.” (SPOILER ALERT). Maybe it’s jealousy or maybe it’s feeling Netflix robbed me of nearly six precious hours of my life. I know the series is from a book. I know nothing about the book. But it had to be better than what the tv adaptation became.


In the first ten minutes (LITERALLY) I figured out the twist. I came home from USC screenwriting class and we talked about "convenient" writing. I'd actually call it sloppy but they're tender and I don't want to hurt their feelilngs. Convenient wouldn’t bother me as much as if the "twist" was even remotely plausible.


This isn’t the first story David Kelley has written that I loathed. Yes, loathed. I use that word because I feel duped. He’s an “A” lister who attracts A list talent. But in what world do we suspend belief enough, for example, to accept Nicole Kidman, with her mane of wild red hair and her eye-popping green coat, wandering around Manhattan in the dark of night, and nobody, NOBODY, sees her. Nor does she encounter one human being. I lived in NYC! I even lived in a part of the Village that only became hip AFTER I left. Yet, never, at any time of day or night, did I wander the streets without encountering another soul.


PHOTO: MICHELLE DOCKERY WONDERING WHETHER IT'S SIENNA MILLER WHO NEEDS THE GLASSES



Leaving other criticism of it behind (like Hugh Grant landing in the helicopter in the middle of the properly - "hi, thought I'd just pop in as one does when there is a manhunt for you because you're accused of murder.") and moving onto his latest "Anatomy of a Scandal."


Is there ANYBODY you knew and interfaced with daily at Uni, who, encountering them twenty years later, every day in close proximity in a courtroom, you wouldn’t recognize? Assume they lost fifty pounds, dyed their hair, and had a nose job? Would you still not recognize them? In the series Sienna Miller even asks Michelle Dockery how she was able to change “everything” including her voice. I want to know the answer, as well, because I want to change mine. I’d like Sienna Miller’s voice or Michelle Dockery but would settle for Rupert Friend’s because the main thing, for me, is the accent. (Confession: Complete Anglophile here). With the ability to totally transform yourself, why become a barrister? She could’ve become a Shakespearean actor!


It's always been true and remains so that if you have a hit in Hollywood, particularly if you’re a man, your star will only rise. All you need is one hit or a buddy with a studio deal, and you’ll work the rest of your life. And no doubt David Kelley will have another adaptation coming to a streaming service soon.












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