Quarantine life means TV binging time. If there is ever a time to tune into a show you’ve been putting off, now is the time to dive in.
Through this COVID-19 isolation, I have cranked out five shows thus far. One of them was Love Is Blind, which I documented on an episode-by-episode basis. And for that I am angry at myself, because I will never be able to get that time back.
The other shows I watched BBC’s Bodyguard and Killing Eve, MTV’s third season of Scream and Netflix’s Tiger King. I have thoughts, so here I begin my TV chain.
Creator: Jed Mercurio
Stars: Richard Madden, Sophie Rundle, Vincent Franklin, Keeley Hawes
This show was EXCELLENT! Plain and simple. Bodyguard will blow everyone’s socks out with its acting, skirting story, and relentless anxiety. Six episodes, all of an hour length, will keep your attention and also make you pay attention. This is not a show to put cursory on the background. Take it all in.
The show is a crime/political thriller centering around the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. Richard Madden plays the titular character David Budd, a war veteran who is tasked with guarding Julia Montague, a conservative Member of the Parliament and Home Secretary. Julia is not a shy politician, in fact the opposite. She has ambitions plans for a counterterrorism bill that will grant unlimited surveillance powers. This political agenda fuels Julia’s ambitions to take over as Prime Minister for leadership of the Conservative Party. With danger in the headlights, it’s Budd’s task to protect Julia.
That’s the most basic storyline summary…and safe to say things get more complicated as Bodyguard progresses.
The first episode drops you into the tension right from the start, showcasing the emotional claustrophobia and superb acting that Madden puts on display. It is safe to say that Madden is most known for his role as Robert Start in Game Of Thrones, but that was SEVEN YEARS AGO. Madden’s portrayal of Budd earned him a 2019 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series. It should also be noted that Bodyguard was nominated for best Drama Series.
In case you want to watch Bodyguard (which you absolutely should), spoilers below.
In episode four, David Budd attempts to commit suicide. The only reason he didn’t succeed was because someone switched out his live bullets for blanks. The scene is traumatic and heartbreaking. Of all the shocking moments in The Bodyguard, this one ranks atop the list. It is raw. It is rock bottom. The sequence highlights the personal connection Budd had to Julia and his struggles with PTST from his time in the army.
The saddest part of the scene is when Budd’s separated wife Vicky Budd (Sophie Rundle) comes by to find him bloodied and dazed. She walks into the incident and runs through a series of emotions. Confusion, anger, guilt, sorrow. When the camera pans of to the notes Budd has written to her and their children, the selfish frustration Vicky emits is visceral, mainly for the fact it’s entirely understandable.
This scene in episode four is when I knew I was watching a show that I was completely invested in. Bodyguard didn’t pull back when dealing with the most complicated aspect of itself, instead the showrunners trusted Madden and Rundle. Safe to say that risk was well worth it.
Spoilers are now done.
Can’t leave Bodyguard alone without talking about Keeley Hawes as Julia Montague. Her character’s relationship with Budd is written beautifully soft. It’s the quiet moments between them and their conjoined hotel rooms that makes it so investing. Hawes is the voice of their feelings, both in the way she holds herself and the way the initiates conversation. The chemistry shared between Hawes and Madden on screen is a weird combination of tender and fierce. Its fire and ice when depending on the environment they are in. Credit to the writers for making a relationship between the Secretary of State and her bodyguard relatable and engaging. Hawes was nominated for Best Leading Actress at the 2019 BAFTA Awards.
Bodyguard also scores brownie points because it’s the perfect length. BBC really knows how to measure out their shows. I have never watched a show like Luther, Sherlock or Killing Eve and said: “they didn’t need that episode.” Bodyguard is six episodes, with each acting as part of a knockout combination. Tune into it on a rainy day when there is nothing else to do at all. Focus in on it. Don’t treat it like background noise. But even if you try to, Bodyguard will suck you in.