Colin Hurley

From what I can best deduce from the first two episodes of Flowers, writer Will Sharpe is attempting to create some sort of British version of Arrested Development. He's certainly taken elements of the American show most notably a family full of eccentrics led by suicidal children's author Maurice (Julian Barrett) whose family pile is in the middle of the countryside. Maurice is married to Deborah (Olivia Colman) who is constantly trying to put a brave face on things despite having a husband who doesn't love her and two emotionally repressed children. Maurice and Deborah's twins Donald and Amy (Daniel Rigby and Sophia Di Martino) are both in love with their neighbour Abigail (Georgina Campbell) however both don't quite know how to show it. There are also a gaggle of characters surrounding the Flowers family including a sort of manservant played by Sharpe himself and Abigail's awful plastic surgeon father George (Colin Hurley). What Flowers was missing for me was a sort of proxy for the audience to show us how truly awful the family are, similarly to what Jason Bateman did in Arrested Development. But Sharpe failed to create any sort of normal character and therefore I struggled to relate to anything that happened to this catalogue of quirky arty types who didn't seem particularly well-drawn to me. Even the set pieces of the first two episodes, notably Deborah and Maurice's engagement party and the death of Maurice's mother, did little for me as their use of grotesquely-drawn humour has been done better elsewhere most notably in the work of Steve Pemberton and Reese Shearsmith. Despite the fact they were ill-served by a script that thought it was a lot cleverer than it was I felt the cast did well regardless. Olivia Colman did as much as she could with the material she was given and I at least found her character tolerable in small doses. Additionally I felt that Georgina Campbell did well in portraying the only normal character of the bunch in Abigail and I thought if she'd been more prominently placed in these first two episodes I may have watched more. But by the time Maurice's mother had snuffed it at the end of the second episode I felt my time to depart the Flowers family had come as well as they'd struggle to make much of an impression on me over the hour that I'd spent with them. Although there were small flourishes of promise in Sharpe's writing, I felt he over-egged the pudding too much with his characters being too over-the-top to care about and the situations far too outlandish to ever buy into.

Matt, The Custard TV, 1st May 2016

Unknown writer gets his big TV break with Flowers

Will Sharpe was born in London but until the age of eight he lived in Tokyo. He was educated at Winchester College, then went to Cambridge, where he read classics and joined the university's dramatic club, Footlights, subsequently spending a year with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Maggie Brown, The Observer, 24th April 2016