Going on holiday with friends is always a gamble. Will someone take the best bedroom and hog the shower? Or drink too much cheap wine and Say Something? Or will you all suspect each other of having affairs, cause a major environmental disaster and then be part of an improbable plot that leads to murder and rather a lot of awkward silences during a barbecue?
If you’re a character in The Holiday (Netflix) you will do the latter, because this show is an adaptation of one of those middle-class domestic potboilers written by somebody with initials instead of a name (TJ Hughes, PG Tips, TK Maxx) and a cover featuring a silhouette of a body in a swimming pool. And the tagline goes: ‘Three perfect families. One perfect holiday. Six hundred and ninety three deadly secrets.’
This was originally aired on Channel 5, where it definitely belongs, but it’s a lavish Netflix production filmed on location in Malta, with tough-yet-twinkly Jill Halfpenny in the starring role. Why they decided to treat it as if it’s actually a serious drama rather than a 99p Kindle thriller you read on the bog is anyone’s guess. But the effect is so unintentionally hilarious that it should become a cult classic, like The Room. I would definitely go to an annual screening of this so we can all have a drink every time a character:
• Cuts their finger ominously.
• Cuts bread ominously (with a KNIFE).
• Dramatically spills red wine (which looks like BLOOD).