Enter: The Durrells in Corfu
Amazon Prime might know you better than anyone else in the world. It sees all the searches for face masks and cheap sunglasses and mid-century coffee tables that you never buy, and it knows all about your Kindle Unlimited problem. So when it suggests a British miniseries that it’s just acquired from Masterpiece on PBS, you don’t even bother googling or checking reviews. You just tilt you head, check out the bright aesthetics of the key art, and click play.
The Durrells in Corfu is a period piece set on the island of Corfu in 1930s Greece. The Durrells are an English family who flee their tiny borough in favor of the tiny island in order to economize (British period speak for save money). The mother, Louisa (played by Keeley Hawes), is struggling to make ends meet years after death of her husband. Her children have not exactly grown up the way she anticipated, and she exasperatedly humors their eccentricities. I love any mother who can unabashedly yell at her kid, “Take a bath, get a ruddy job and change your personality!” I want to be her.
Her eldest, Larry, is a failed real estate agent who wants to be a writer. Josh O’Connor plays Larry, and if you don’t know him from Peaky Blinders or God’s Own Country, you’ll definitely get to know his very cute smirk when he shows up next year as Prince Charles on The Crown. (Sidenote: I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE CROWN MY GOD GET HERE GILLIAN ANDERSON IS MARGARET THATCHER). Once they get to Corfu, Larry spends his time drinking with his new ex-pat buddies and yelling that “he’s working” as he begins furiously and loudly typing every time someone in the family tries to get him to do something.
Leslie Durrell, played by Callum Woodhouse, is a gun obsessed teenage boy, but somehow in this era doesn’t come off as wildly unstable. He’s frustrating and unhelpful, and it works in this family because they are all frustrating and unhelpful, and their mother loves them anyway.
The only Durrell daughter, Margot, is played by Daisy Waterstone, and who’s only claim to fame in the family is that she’s considered a “bit dim.” Sunning on a rock in her bikini directly under an Orthodox church, filing a doctor’s patient files by order of height and falling into unrequited love with a friend of Larry’s, Margot is ridiculous, exasperating and a treat to watch.
The youngest, Gerry, is obsessed with wildlife of all sorts and jumps directly into a Dr Doolittle-esque lifestyle on Corfu. Meanwhile, his mother is struggling to get the money they need to live there, struggling to get any of her children to take that seriously or even help her, and struggling to figure out how all these disparate personalities spawned from the same place.
The show is heartfelt, smart and very funny. Plus it stars some up and comers that you’ll be happy to see succeed beyond it. Go watch. You’ll be obsessed and won’t even mind doing your laundry for once.
all images courtesy of PBS