LANDSCAPERS on HBO is a new True Crime series in four episodes. Told as a drama and black comedy, it’s also heartbreaking. Mostly because Olivia Colman is absolutely brilliant. Read our Landscapers mini-series review here!
LANDSCAPERS is a new HBO limited series. It’s classic true crime and seems almost unbelievable, but it really is based on a real and quite recent crime. Or actually, the crime took place a few decades ago, while the married couple, at the center of it all, was arrested a good 15 years later.
This HBO Series (which is a co-production with Sky) is told as a drama and black comedy. The black comedy is seen mostly in the way the police deal with the crime. The drama – which is also heartbreaking – has more to do with the married couple that ends up in prison.
Continue reading our Landscapers mini-series review below. You can watch the first episode on HBO now.
The delicate balance between drama and comedy
While a crime – or rather two, since two people were killed – is at the center of Landscapers, we begin with the married couple Christopher and Susan Edwards. Their love is as obvious as their life is heartbreaking. A British couple living in a rundown apartment in France, they are most definitely the definition of being “down on their luck”.
However, Susan Edwards (Olivia Colman) seems to have an unshakable belief that everything will be okay. Christopher Edwards (David Thewlis) is not so sure, but he can’t bear to break his beloved wife’s heart.
Their love is the beating heart of Landscapers, while the classic British black comedy, seen in scenes with the police, balances everything out nicely.
Mostly, Landscapers works so well precisely because of this amazing balance. It really should not work in practice, but it definitely does. Mostly due to the casting. Olivia Colman is absolutely brilliant as Susan Edwards and it breaks my heart to see her cry. That’s how you (as a viewer) can understand Christopher Edwards’ need to protect her.
Olivia Colman does it yet again!
As mentioned above, Olivia Colman does break my heart with this performance. However, I don’t want to downplay how much David Thewlis means. She is acting across from and off of him, as his “Christopher” and her “Susan” are two halves of one whole.
Of course, I have always been extremely fond of Olivia Colman. From the hit series Broadchurch, The Night Manager, and The Crown to her Oscar-winning performance in The Favourite. Olivia Colman has also been in lots of comedy (from the Fleabag series to Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz) and horror movies like Them That Follow.
Basically, she can do everything – and fortunately, she also does tend to work within various genres all the time.
David Thewlis is probably best known (widely, anyway) for his role in the Harry Potter movies. However, you may also know him from Wonder Woman or the 2006 remake of The Omen. Soon, we’ll see him in the Netflix series The Sandman which is currently in post-production and will premiere in 2022.
Watch the Landscapers limited series on HBO
The series was created and written by Ed Sinclair, who might look familiar to you if you’ve followed award shows (or red carpet events) in recent years. He’s always at the side of his wife, Olivia Colman. Watching Landscapers, I’m very happy that he has gotten into writing for television now.
This is a classic UK genre-hybrid series in all the best ways!
All four episodes in the limited series are directed by Will Sharpe, who also directed the recently released feature film The Electrical Life of Louis Wain starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, and Andrea Riseborough. Also, he directed and created the series Flowers as well, which also co-starred Olivia Colman.
While I haven’t mentioned the actors playing police officers, I do want to highlight them as well. They deliver funny and tight performances, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hopefully, you will too!
Landscapers premiered on HBO with episode 1 on December 6, 2021. The remaining three episodes will be released weekly on Mondays.
Writer: Ed Sinclair
Director: Will Sharpe
Stars: Olivia Colman, David Thewlis, Samuel Anderson, Kate O’Flynn, Daniel Rigby
Inspired by real events, Landscapers brings us the story of mild-mannered Susan and her husband, and asks us how they came to kill Susan’s parents and bury them in the back garden of their Mansfield home, in a crime that remained undiscovered for over a decade.