We can’t quite imagine a modern teenager being happy if their parents upped sticks and moved the family to rural Corfu. There’d be important questions: is the WiFi signal strong? Will I accidentally drop my AirPods in the sea? And are there good TikTok opportunities on a Greek island?
Well, if this is 1930s Corfu we’re talking about, the answer to all of the above would be no. Instead there’s the great outdoors, wonderful wildlife and fresh sea air. A shiver just ran down a Gen Z adolescent’s spine.
But maybe after watching The Durrells they might come round to the idea. This ITV adaptation of the naturalist Gerald Durrell’s family memoir My Family and Other Animals is a cosy, nature filled treat. We relive the classic tale with Keeley Hawes as Mrs Durrell, desperately trying to keep up with her unruly brood as they gallop around the island – we’ve got 21-year-old Larry looking for a lady, his younger and equally foolish siblings Leslie and bonkers-for-boys Margo, plus the wildlife obsessed Gerry. (He’s our favourite).
Set on Corfu in the 1930s, the show is blissfully phone-free and full of gorgeous shots of coastline and white sand beaches. And it’s brilliantly funny. Not slap your knee and fall over funny, but you’re guaranteed a few gentle giggles.
Essentially, this is feel-good family telly at its best, providing blissful escapism, and it’s sure to have you scouring Airbnb for a dilapidated Greek villa for your next summer hols. Just remember WiFi not guaranteed…
Throughout its four seasons The Durrells received a lot of praise. The Telegraph’s Gerard O’Donovan called the first season “tip-top,” saying it’s “more than enough to lift the spirits [and] salve the soul,” whilst Meredith Blake in the LA Times says “it feels like a glimpse into a lost idyll.” Carol Midgley of The Times says the series “offers safe, life-affirming escapism, even though the plots are tissue-light,” and so wasn’t as keen on the final season which she says took a turn for the melancholic. However, it was thoroughly enjoyed by The Guardian’s Chitra Ramaswamy, who gave it four stars, calling it “cockle-warming family fare.” You don’t want to stumble while reading that aloud.
First shown April 2019. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.