TV Show Review – Guerrilla
Rating: 3 (out of 5). Showtime’s new miniseries Guerrilla is set against the backdrop of one of the most explosive times in U.K. history and tells the story of a politically active couple whose relationship and values are tested when they liberate a political prisoner and form a radical underground cell in 1970s London. The critics describe this as a “smart” film that tells an important story with great performances.
The New York Times writes “This six-part series isn’t easy to climb aboard, especially for American viewers steeped in the misbelief that the passions of the Vietnam War era were exclusive to the United States. But it’s notable for its unromanticized view of a period that can be subject to mythmaking, and for its deceptively diffuse buildup to a fabulous final hour.”
Variety states “Guerrilla is a surprisingly wrenching story about good intentions going awry. The event series sketches out how radicalism happens by offering up a landscape where it seems not just sympathetic but inevitable, in a politically charged climate in the midst of the Cold War.”
The Boston Globe says “The path that Marcus and Jas take turns into a slippery slope very quickly. All their idealism and youth get twisted into unrecognizable shapes. It’s a tragedy, an old tragedy told anew, with vigor and insight, sadness and resonance.”
Entertainment Weekly calls this a “smart and solemn period piece that indicts unreconstructed post-colonial western society while taking the piss out of anyone who wants to blow it up.” They said “While the relational drama is intrinsic to the show’s investigation of revolutionary character, there are some twists and turns that got my eyes rolling. Still, the various storylines coalesce to produce a suspenseful, surprising finale, and the arcs of Marcus and Jas are compelling.”
The San Francisco Chronicle thinks “The series is graced by extraordinary performances, especially from Elba, Ceesay, Pinto and Kinnear. The concept of the series, as well as the dialogue, forms a solid foundation for the kind of great character development we expect from a Ridley product.” They say “There are few improbable moments in the first two episodes when you feel Ridley trying just a little too hard to make his points — almost, but not quite, at the expense of character credibility.”
The Guardian writes “This was drama informed by social history, as opposed to social history told as drama.” They note “this show, part-financed by the US cable network Showtime, is very much for the mainstream; it isn’t arthouse, a Timepiece documentary or a campaigning exposé.”