Allow me to say from the off that Living a Lie is awesome.
Like Borgen set in Wales instead of Denmark, Living a Lie (Byw Celwydd) is a delicious and addictive character-driven and conflict-heavy TV drama centered in the world of Welsh politics.
The central characters are Angharad Wynne (Catherine Ayers, Keeping Faith) and Harri James (Matthew Gravelle, Broadchurch). She is the Chief Political Editor of the “Wales News” TV news program, and he is the new Special Adviser to the leader of the Nationalist party. Angharad, now married and the mother of a young son, shares a bit of (unpleasant) history with Harri, and the small world of their work makes their paths crossing again inevitable.
In the series opener, a rumored hospital closure is big political news — but the building of the new hospital could be explosive news if Angharad can prove a connection between the current landowner and a senior-level politician. Elsewhere in Cardiff, the death of the head of the New Democrats triggers a leadership election in the party, and Angharad has to deal with work matters at all hours and family issues from all sides.
The second episode finds the First Minister pulling a fast one on members of the coalition government and later reshuffling members of the Cabinet. Meanwhile, more than one marriage faces difficulties not previously encountered by the couples.
Living a Lie features a large cast of characters, which includes Mark Lewis Jones (Stella) as Dylan Williams, a senior member of the New Democrats; Eiry Thomas (The Indian Doctor) as Catrin Williams, Dylan’s wife and fellow Democrat; Sara Lloyd-Gregory (Hinterland) as Lowri Ogwen Jones, Special Adviser to the leader of the New Democrats; Sion Ifan (Ordinary Lies) as Lowri’s husband and “Wales News” presenter Tom Ogwen Jones; Richard Elfyn (The Crown) as First Minister Meirion Llywelyn of the New Conservatives; Rebecca Harries (Body & Soul) as Conservative Health Minister Megan Ashford; Rhys ap Trefor (Torchwood) as Aled Gwilym, Special Adviser to the First Minister; Ffion Dafis (Glyn) as Rhiannon Roberts, leader of the Nationalist party; Caryl Morgan (Being Human) as researcher Ela of the Nationalists; Rhys Ap William (35 Diwrnod) as Ed Gregson, Head of News and Current Affairs for “Wales News”; and Rhodri Meilir (Hidden) as Angharad’s husband Owain.
Part political drama, part soap opera, the series is dense with juicy narrative details — from political and journalistic strategizing and scheming, to the secrets and lies people perpetuate in the name of love, whether the love of another, of one’s country, or of power.
It’s good stuff, this. Check it out!
Living a Lie premiered in the US today with its first two episodes exclusively on MHz Choice and the MHz Choice channel on Amazon. The remaining six episodes will debut in pairs of two on Tuesdays through July 8, 2019.
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