Jimmy McGovern’s BBC1 sociopolitical drama Broken is unequivocally the best thing on TV right now. This week was the fourth instalment and its brilliance remains ever strong. It is brilliantly written and acted and has truly secured actor Sean Bean’s status as being a national living treasure.
Much in the ilk of a Ken Loach film, the beauty of Broken lies in its gritty realism. This programme is unashamedly hard-hitting about the depressing state of British society today. The overriding theme is the wide ranging damaging impact of the governments austerity cuts. For example, in the first episode we saw a young mother being that broken by poverty that she withdrew her dead mum’s pension, superbly played by Anna Friel I should add. Other hard-hitting topics we have seen have been about police corruption as well as a suicide storyline induced by a gambling addiction.
Episode four saw the utterly moving conclusion to this suicide and gambling storyline. Roz, played fantastically well by actress Paula Malcomson, was a middle class woman on the brink of suicide due to her gambling addiction which had made her embezzle hundreds of thousands of pounds from her work. Her torture was heartbreaking stuff to watch, but at the same time it was brilliantly written and acted. It was a hard emotive watch but it also in some way felt like a cathartic one.
This drama is the best thing that I have ever seen Sean Bean in. As Father Michael Kerrigan. he is completely believable in this role. He too is a tortured soul as we have seen him have regular flashbacks of his sexually abusive childhood at school. It is such a mature performance by Bean, that he deserves major awards for his compelling performance.
I look forward to watching the completion of this series because it drew me in straight away. I care about all the residents of this community and especially about the life of Father Michael Kerrigan. Each week I have marvelled at the greatness of Sean Bean and of the quality of this drama. AMEN FOR THE BRILLIANT BROKEN I SAY! 5/5.