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The Politician’s Husband

The Politician’s Husband

Thu May 2, 9-10pm, BBC2

By Gabriel Tate
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Episode two
After his public humiliation, David Tennant’s wounded MP Aiden Hoynes tries to re-establish control over Freya, his rising-star wife (Emily Watson), in new, unpleasant ways: by tweeting anonymously, inveigling his way on to a key parliamentary committee and committing a profoundly shocking rape. But might Freya prove equal to his plotting, especially as she draws closer to Aiden’s assassin-in-chief, Bruce (Ed Stoppard)?

There’s more than a hint of ‘House of Cards’ about all this, with Westminster depicted as a den of vipers, explicit links made between political and sexual potency and a treatment bordering on camp. Paula Milne’s script, however, can be brutally unsubtle, spelling things out through assorted proxies, from Roger Allam’s grandee to Sylvestra Le Touzel’s journalist. And the son with Asperger’s feels like too much – a transparent attempt to humanise two political animals.

That said, it’s good, dirty fun and you'll probably want to know how it ends next week. But ‘The Politician’s Husband’ is neither as smart nor as compelling as it thinks it is – or, given the talent involved, as it ought to be.
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