A Suitable Boy

Rating 7.0
Streamer BBC iPlayer
Seasons 1
Episodes 6 x 50 mins

It’s just possible that you have read Vikram Seth’s epic 1993 novel chronicling a young woman’s journey of self-discovery in post-partition India. It’s also possible that you are using this vast book as a doorstop, having given up any hope of completing its half a million words. If that’s the case here’s an epic dramatisation to save you the trouble of actually reading it.

With an entirely south Asian cast and the creative coupling of drama supremo Andrew Davies and Oscar-nominated director Mira Nair, this landmark series is a rich portrayal of love, family and a nation finding its identity after independence. The Spectator’s James Walton says that “Given the sheer amount of business that the first episode had to do, it’s perhaps not surprising that A Suitable Boy has yet to really catch fire. Even so, now that that business has been successfully done, it is warming up very promisingly indeed.” In The Guardian, Chitra Ramaswamy laments that this is a “staunchly traditional adaptation”, but concedes that the “production values are high, the performances poised and the locations stunning.” And, it seems that ‘stunning’ will be the word of the show, as Anita Singh in The Telegraph says: “If you think this looks a bit like an incredible India tourist advert – everything is gorgeous, suffused in golden light – then you would be right. But why not? It’s supposed to be a sumptuous Sunday night drama.” But is it all location, location, location, with no story, story, story? Fear not, Singh reassures you that whilst she also worried “they’ve messed it up. I’m relieved to say they haven’t.”

First shown July 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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