Spending Christmas Eve alone can lead to binge watching on Netflix. Hence was the case yesterday between The OA and Doctor Foster, which I devoured last evening for hours on end. BBC has done it again with top-notch acting, great drama, and stories that tear your heart.
Meet Dr. Foster, an intelligent, beautiful woman who discovers her husband has been cheating on her with a younger woman. Suranne Jones plays Gemma Foster, giving a performance that truly proves that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
At first glance, you think that Dr. Foster is going to go off the deep end after she learns of her husband’s infidelity. In fact, you almost expect her to go “Gone Girl.” However, Dr. Foster has the ability to reign in her emotions to seek revenge against her lying husband, played by Bertie Carvel. You really want to see the man get his due punishment as Gemma continually drops the hint for him to tell her the truth that he’s been cheating. Instead, throughout the entire show, until confronted in the last episode, he lies to her face like a coward and dirtbag that he is.
What makes this drama works is that Suranne Jones does two things in her portrayal of Gemma – she tears your viewing heart with her brokenness over her husband’s betrayal, but also takes you along as the woman scorned who intelligently plots her revenge. Along the way of dealing with a failing marriage, her professional life crumbles around her as those she thought to be friends, turn against her in spite.
If you are a viewer who has experienced the agony of dealing with a cheating boyfriend or husband, these five episodes of season one may resurrect painful reminders of the agony you’ve endured. Having been cheated upon in my first marriage by a conniving husband who got another woman pregnant, I related to her pain and gloated at the end over her expertly wielded revenge. Unfortunately, I never had the guts to do what Gemma did — devise a plot in order to unleash the fury of hell. That’s the difference between a weak and strong woman who decides not to turn the other cheek because she knows she deserves better.
For more information, here is a good write-up on Digital Spy about the show, its rewards, and an upcoming second season. I highly recommend this great drama because the Brits know how to do them best. The awards prove it for the series and acting.
2016 – National Television Awards – New Drama – Won
2016 – National Television Awards – Drama Performance Suranne Jones – Won
2016 – Broadcasting Press Build Awards – Best Actress Suranne Jones – Won
2016 – Royal Television Society Awards – Best Actress Suranne Jones – Won
2016 – British Academy Television Wards – Best Actress Suranne Jones – Won