Review: Channel 5's Lie With Me strips out the drama in favour of cliche and stale 'thrills'

Oh, Channel 5, why must you do this to us? Stripping dramas across the week, committing us to four hours of primetime, rather than one hour a week, and then serving up dross like Lie With Me (Channel 5, Mon-Thurs, 9pm).

Friday, 16th July 2021, 5:00 pm

A thriller that wasn’t thrilling, a drama that wasn’t dramatic, this potboiler about a disintegrating marriage failed in many ways.

Starring Charlie Brooks (Janine off EastEnders), this was a tale of Anna (Brooks), her chiselled Australian hubby and two photogenic kids returning to hubby’s homeland down under to start again after some initially unspecified trauma in the UK.

We start – as these things so often do now – with blue lights, police officers and an unidentified murder, before a flashback to ‘five weeks earlier’.

Anna (Charlie Brooks) and Jake (Brett Tucker) settle into their new home in the Channel 5 drama Lie With Me. Picture: Fremantle Media/Channel 5

So far, so formulaic, but then Lie With Me throws in mental illness as a glib plot point and you really start losing interest.

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There are a couple of characters whose sole purpose is so that the stars don’t end up talking to themselves – I’m looking at you, Ray the gay taxi driver – while everyone is so unlikeable you can’t help wishing them all dead.

Meanwhile, it’s shot like a daytime soap, never using its Australian locations to best effect, staying resolutely indoors for most of the action.

So by the time Anna says “God, it’s such a cliche”, you really can’t help agreeing.

Cooking With The Stars (ITV, Tues, 9pm) was a light-hearted way to pass an hour – although you feel Tom Allen is stretching himself a little thin – but all the references to M&S turned into an hour-long ad.

The Two Ronnies: Ronnie Corbett’s Lost Tapes (ITV, Weds, 9pm) was a warm, funny tribute to a warm, funny man. Full of affection and love, it was heartwarming to watch those grainy cine films.

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