Last Night’s TV – Hope Springs

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This new drama from the makers of Bad Girls and Footballers’ Wives is the story of ex-cons Ellie, Hannah, Josie and Shoo who in last night’s first of seven episodes, embarked on the final stage of their long-held plan to retire from a life of crime and live in luxury in Barbados.

It started out believably/cleverly enough as the girls pulled off a con trick on Ellie’s nasty husband Roy to the tune of £3 mill, so while he was being nicked – which they’d set up – the girls headed to the airport, happy and rich, to await their friend Mandy who was supposed to bring them their passports on a flight in from Manchester…

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However, a very obese Mandy had a heart attack and – we assume – died on the luggage carousel, the brand new passports languishing on her not inconsiderable busom. So, when the girls witnessed this, rather than simply running up and grab the passports under the guise of perhaps helping a woman who’s going around unconscious/dead on a luggage carousel – being helped by no-one – the girls head off out of the airport to think of a plan B…

And that’s the point where it lost me as a potential long-term viewer. The unlikelihood of having an enormous woman simply going round and round on a luggage carousel with nobody helping her was ridiculous. And it got more ridiculous as it went on.

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Long story short, the girls need to go into hiding so find themselves in the middle of nowhere which, for them, is a village in Scotland where they then find a singularly drab and almost tumbledown hotel that’s run by a cantankerous old woman, Sadie.

Sadie’s pushy pregnant daughter, Ann Marie, is less-than-impressed by the newcomers, as is local lawyer Euan Harries and his hot-headed son, Ronan. To make matters worse, the girls find themselves attracting unwanted police attention from local DI Gil Cameron, Ann Marie’s fiancé.

However, despite all that, the girls buy the hotel from Sadie – to appear ‘legit’ when applying for new passports – and it promptly gets burned down, taking what’s left of their £3 million with it and leaving nothing but a case full of burnt £50 notes. And again, that scenario was completely unbelievable; who would be dumb enough to keep that amount of money a) all in one place and b) in something that wasn’t lead lined or otherwise fire/tamper proof.

Inbetween all that going on, the girls have to cope with irritating midges, a confrontation with sheep, and suspicion from the locals who aren’t as green as they’re cabbage looking. And all the time, Roy’s men are after them to recover their boss’s money and exact revenge for setting him up.

As the first episode ended, the girls were gathered around in mourning over the suitcase full of burnt money and with Ellie suggesting they try to make the best of it. Then the camera pans down and underneath the floorboards there’s a hooded dead body…

Tense? Suspenseful? No, I’m afraid not. Just yet more non-credible pants.

It’s apparently supposed to be a comedy-drama but it was extremely light on both counts and I can’t really see how it’s going to last a seven episode run, never mind a second series, but I suppose there’s a slight chance it may improve. I seriously doubt it but you never know… stranger things have happened, and maybe the superior cast members can pull something out of the embers of the literal and metaphorical Hope Springs.

With the likes of Alex Kingston and Annette Crosbie on board, you’d think that was all the show might need to make it a hit but so far, it’s most definitely a miss, for me anyway.

What did you think of it?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.