Damage, by Josephine Hart, was the Fifty Shades of Grey of its day, according to Helen Brown in The Daily Telegraph, "only much darker and much more elegantly written.
Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche starred in the movie version, and now Netflix has adapted it into a four-part TV series,
with "disappointingly cringeworthy" consequences. A brain surgeon named William (Richard Armitage) and his "sexy barrister wife" (Indira Varma) reside in a lavish residence.
He instead "locks eyes" with Anna (Charlie Murphy), his son's girlfriend, at a party, and "wordlessly inserts a rather small, grey cocktail olive into her open mouth."
"The romp begins" at this point. The series had all the sophistication of a US soap opera, despite the "admirably committed performances" by the two stars.
The relationship between Anna and William is supposed to be tumultuous and turbulent, but Barbara Ellen in The Observer said that it mostly appears to be "a chore."
They grip each other "like erotic Lego" when they first meet, "on the fabulous polished floor of a borrowed flat."
Later, "they sombrely copulate in toilets" and rut "mechanically" in alleyways.
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