Anna Paquin's 'Flack' is too slow, suffers from surface-level drama that leads nowhere
'Flack' is three episodes away from conclusion but the show fails to grab attention with characters who are lacking depth and scandals that just aren't gripping enough
'Flack' is halfway to finish line, but not at a pace that we would have liked. The Anna Paquin show — based on the life of a crisis manager Robyn — was marketed as a show featuring women who are tough, unapologetic and flawed.
The show partly manages to succeed in portraying women of strength, but this is not really visible throughout the show. It comes in fits and starts and, just when you think that there is something here, it disappears.
Firstly, the show is about women who are trying to balance work and personal life. They happen to be scandal fixers, which might be exciting on the surface but is nothing more than a world filled with lies.
In 'Flack', we don't see any character — including Eve, Melody and Caroline — speak of anything but work.
Robyn is an addict, she and her boyfriend are officially trying to get pregnant, her mother committed suicide and her sister is a mother of two whose husband has been fired from his job. While Robyn is packed in with so many flaws, the others lead the lives of robotic scandal fixers.
For instance, Eve is used mainly to entertain the audiences with her funny anecdotes and interesting take on life. She says things that no one would want to confess thinking about. When she meets an intern Melody for the first time, she asks her, "Did you let your mother dress you up?" Or when she meets Robyn's AA meet buddy Tom, she dives right in and asks him, "So, what's your story?"
There is so much potential in her character that a little bit more detail, a little bit more time spent on her personal background would have made her a great supporting character. All we have, though, is someone who appears solely to provide us with a contrast to the lead character.
We also have an excellent actor such as Sophie Okonedo play the role of a boss in the firm that Robyn works with. It is understandable that someone at that stage needs to maintain an image. So when she starts off looking like a caricature of all the stereotypes that one has heard over the years about 'female bosses', one tends to get wary.
In the third episode, we saw her sharp wit. This too was visible only for a little while, however, and in the succeeding episodes, she mostly returns to being an eccentric, tough boss.
Even the drama in the show is surface-level with most of the pronounced scenes not really leading up to anything. It takes four episodes for Sam to understand that something is not right between him and Robyn. While that might have worked for a 22-episode show, 'Flack' needs to be more fast-paced for a six-episode season.