This New Channel 4 Drama Starring Vicky McClure Will Be Your New TV Obsession And We Can Seriously Relate
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Featured Image Credit: Credit: Channel 4
We've binge-watched the latest seasons of Killing Eve and Line of Duty and there's only two weeks of Love Island left to go, which means there's a soon-to-be space in our lives for a brand-new TV drama.
Luckily, I Am is launching on Channel 4 this iweek and it's already shaping up to be one of the most anticipated series of the summer.
Directed by BAFTA-winning Dominic Savage, the all-star female cast reads like a who's who of British TV royalty starring Line of Duty's BAFTA-winning Vicky McClure, Chernobyl's Samantha Morton and Humans' Gemma Chan (who you'll also recognise from Crazy Rich Asians).
How good does that sound!?
Made up of three hour-long episodes, the series explores a whole number of relatable issues including turbulent relationships, debt and anxiety, with Savage saying: "I hope the audience takes and gets involved in the importance of the stories themselves...I think it offers hope."
"I think all films offer hope but take you on a difficult journey and I want people to feel challenged, involved in life through them. That's why we make drama, we make it so people understand a bit more about themselves, and care more. I think that's what I want."
Exploring the experience of three different women in moments that are emotionally raw, thought-provoking and personal, the trilogy kicks off with 'I am Nicola', which tells the story of a woman searching for a romantic ideal.
Vicky McClure plays Nicola, a hairdresser who finds herself stuck in a dysfunctional and coercive relationship. On expressing her concerns to her partner Adam, the couple become trapped in an endless cycle of arguments, guilt and reconciliation that will be sure to hit home for a number of viewers.
"The basis of this story and the reason that it's being told is to highlight the elements of control that can occur in a relationship," says Vicky. "Adam wants control over Nicola. He wants to control their surroundings and then it falls into an even deeper category of control over her appearance."
"The story is based around not being able to be yourself in a relationship, trying your best to make it work but knowing in your gut when something's not right. It's about trying to get out of a relationship that you know will be very difficult to do and staying for the wrong reasons and a whole combination of all those things."
Episode two is a raw and unflinching look at a dark world that many women have been pulled into without realising, as Kirsty (Samantha Morton) is left with spiraling debts by her ex-partner who has vanished. When her neighbour Ryan offers to help her out the hole she's in, Kirsty is forced into some dark and desperate decisions that go from worse to worse.
"Kirsty's story is deeply influenced by my own experiences and is autobiographical at its heart," says Samantha.
"Sadly the issues explored in this show - poverty, austerity, desperation - are all to real for so many people and I feel strongly that it's so important that we can speak openly about that."
The final episode follows Hannah, a single woman in her mid-thirties who struggles to satisfy the societal expectations that surround her. Played by Gemma Chan, Hannah may be a successful career woman but she still has to endure her mother's appeals that she settle down and start a family before it's too late. Cue a series of terrible blind dates that ultimately push her into a deeper sense of insecurity and anguish.
"Like many women, Hannah is struggling with the anxiety that comes with living in a society that constantly reminds women about their 'biological clock'", says Gemma.
"At its core, her story is about someone trying to free themselves from expectations, both internal and external. Dominic's unique way of working - relying on the actors' improvising - allows for moments or raw emotion and truth that I hope people can relate to."
Mark July 23rd in your diaries, because this is one show you won't want to miss.