Riviera (TV series) – a personal review

I have lost 7 hours of my life that I will never get back. I watched the Riviera TV series.

Sadly, I have never been to the south of France, but I have watched ‘To Catch A Thief’ many times. Unfortunately, Riviera comes nowhere near that classic.

With a background of Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and John Banville (Booker Prize winner), this should have been interesting, exciting, and a joy to watch.

Instead, it was artless, shallow,  and, in my opinion, cliche-ridden.

It had no personality, no humour and most importantly, no soul.

Cliche-ridden? Well, check this out. A billionaire is blown up, surely killed, but is he really dead? Three children: a weak loser; a hedonistic addict; and a messed-up self-harmer. A new young wife, a former ex-wife, (different as night from day), plus ‘baddies’ of various nationalities. Plus, of course, a puke scene and the ubiquitous use of 20 f-words per episode.

What could have been a great cast struggled with the plot and dialogue. Julia Stiles, wonderful in Bourne, brought that deadpan attitude to Riviera, but unfortunately, she was the lead. Adrian Lester, usually so reliably interesting, managed to convey a stilted, bland character throughout. It is reported that Iwan Rheon auditioned for the role of Jon Snow before getting Ramsay Bolton. I can’t help but wonder how many roles he didn’t get before landing his part in this one. (The percentage of people who didn’t see the ‘twist’ in the ending must be between 0% and 5% , presumably those who fell asleep). At least Anthony la Paglia had the good sense to take the money and run and leave early on.

I dare say many, many people will laud Riviera from the rafters, but personally I believe that it should be buried under the floorboards as soon as possible.






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