Us, based on the David Nicholls written novel of the same title, premiered in the British Isles on Sunday, 20 September 2020. The four-part miniseries, mirroring the source material, begins with Connie Petersen telling her husband she wants to leave him. Douglas and Connie, respectively played by Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves, have been married for 25 years. Until this moment, noting Douglas’s reaction, it clearly hadn’t occurred to him Connie wasn’t happy with their marriage.
Albie Petersen, played by Tom Taylor, is the couple’s son. It seems his departure from the household, leaving home for college, is what inspired Connie to speak of her desire to leave Douglas. Douglas, Connie, and Albie, as a family, decide to take one last holiday together.
The holiday, with them intending to visit as many of Europe’s artistic, cultural, and historical gems, is reminiscent of the grand tours Britons used to enjoy during the nineteenth century. Albie, once the family arrives in Amsterdam, finds a way to dump his parents in favour of something more his speed.
People familiar with the source material will see how the miniseries flawlessly reflects Nicholls’ work. The story, not merely focusing on the couple’s present day issues, we see how they first met. The miniseries effortlessly transitions between the past and present scenes at various points throughout the miniseries.
Us, a delightfully well-executed adaptation, is a miniseries many Britons will relate to on a deeply personal level. The miniseries, with excellently well timed comedic elements, is Sunday night television at its best.
Hollander and Reeves do an excellent job bringing their characters to life. The younger Douglas and Connie are respectively played by Iain De Caestecker and Gina Bramhill. Bramhill, best known for playing recurring character Marianne Delacroix in Father Brown, is extraordinary as the younger Connie.
De Caestecker showing up in Us explains what he was doing when the other Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. casts member were filming the final season. The actor portrays a convincing young Douglas. It is easy to see how the characters De Caestecker and Bramhill play eventually become the Douglas and Connie personified by Hollander and Reeves, respectively. Their on-screen chemistry works perfectly.
Beginning with a London setting, Us was filmed on location in Amsterdam, Venice, Barcelona, and Paris. Geoffrey Sax, the miniseries director, takes full advantage of each filming location.
Further to Hollander, Reeves, De Caestecker, Bramhill, and Taylor, Us stars Charlotte Spencer, Thaddea Graham, Sofie Gråbøl, Rachel Coutinho, Andrew Hawley, Severine Howell-Meri, Jason Langley, George Webster, Giuseppe Bonifati, Franck Assi, Daniel Fearn, Dylan Mitchell, and Luca Matteo Zizzari in prominent recurring and supporting roles.
The following three episodes, televised on BBC One, are scheduled for the next three consecutive Sundays. Nicholls’ novel is available on Amazon.