If you're after a solid crime drama wrapped up nicely in just four episodes, then check out The Holiday, a story where four families gather for a dream luxury holiday but a dark secret triggers fears of betrayal and ends in murder.
What is The Holiday About?
Kate (Jill Halfpenny), her husband Sean (Owen McDonnell) and their two kids are joining three other families for a summer holiday in a villa in Malta. All four families have been friends since their college days.
From the get-go, it's clear that each family has its problems. There's tension and plenty of it. But what there isn't is communication – of any kind.
Kate finds text messages on Sean's phone and suspects him of having an affair with one of her friends. Jenny and Alistair don't seem to be able to control their very angry 17-year-old son Jake.
Rowan and Russ are barely speaking, Jake and Lucy have a very odd relationship, and when Izzy arrives, it's clear that she's hiding a secret. Despite this, the four women pretend that everything is okay and try to make the best of the holiday.
But as the tension rises, so too do the temperatures, and when a fire breaks out and threatens the lives of their children, everything comes to a head and a secret hidden by some of them is revealed.
Unfortunately, that secret also results in the murder of one of the holidaymakers. But who died, and who killed them?
The Holiday Trailer
Is The Holiday Worth Watching?
The Holiday is an okay series. With only four episodes, the story moves at a relatively decent speed, and from the offset, we, the viewer, know that somebody dies. We just don't know who or why. So the hook is there from the beginning.
Jill Halfpenny is bankable again as a police officer who knows that something is very wrong but can't get to the bottom of it. And the rest of the cast is suitably suspicious throughout.
It is a show that builds and builds, throwing little tidbits and scraps of information our way so that we never know quite exactly what is going on. Is somebody having an affair? What exactly is going on with Lucy and Jake? Is Kate just paranoid?
Of course, like most tv shows, The Holiday isn't perfect. For four families heading off on a dream vacation, some of them don't really seem to like each other very much.
The tension between the husbands is palpable, with no real explanation as to why, and the men in the show are largely cast as a little suspect and creepy. Again, for no real reason that makes any sense.
I also question how four best friends who have known each other for decades can be so secretive with each other. Some of the problems are very minor, considering how much they build them up.
And I can't actually recall if a single conversation took place without being interrupted at a crucial point. Everything is ‘we'll talk later' or ‘tell me later'. VERY annoying.
But overall, The Holiday is worth watching if you like a British drama with an edge. The cast is good but the script isn't up to scratch and is more melodramatic than it needs to be.
If you can get over most of the characters being unlikeable in some way, then maybe you'll like it.
The Holiday TV Series Cast
Jill Halfpenny as Kate, married to Owen and mother to Lucy and Daniel
Owen McDonnell, as Sean married to Kate and is suspected of having an affair
Lara McDonnell (Artemis Fowl) as Lucy, Kate and Sean's teenage daughter
Aidan McCann as Daniel, Lucy's little brother
Liv Mjönes as Jenny, married to Alistair and Jake's mother
Aidan McArdle as Alistair
Sean O'Callaghan Wade as Jake
Siobhan Hewlett as Rowan, married to Russ and is Odette's mother
Andrew Macklin as Russ
Molly McCann as Odette
Cat Simmons as Izzy