Click Play above to watch our exclusive Quickfire Questions interview with Flack creator Oli Lansley and the show's star Rebecca Benson
Ready to get your teeth into some superb new drama?
Anna Paquin’s new TV show Flack has launched on W channel, and it’s well worth watching.
Actor, producer and writer Oliver Lansley has penned the show, and Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) has directed it, with Paquin both starring and acting as executive producer.
The result is a slick UK drama with a stellar cast, complex female characters, a glossy setting and a script full of dark humour.
Here’s everything you need to know about Flack on W...
When does Flack start?
Flack started on Thursday, February 21 at 10pm on W (BT channel number 311/383 HD), and will continue weekly at 10pm. There are six hour-long episodes in total, so the final episode should air on Thursday, March 28.
What is Flack about?
Set in the world of high-stakes celebrity PR, Flack stars Oscar-winner Anna Paquin as sharp and witty publicity maven Robyn (above right).
She’s a PR guru working within the glamorous yet often sordid world of showbiz - putting out fires to achieve the aims of her rich, powerful and outrageous celebrity clients.
Where was Flack filmed?
Flack is set in London, England, where it started filming on location in March 2018. Paquin's character is an American publicist living in London.
Paquin shared some behind-the-scenes photos at the time, including areas such as Balham, Brixton and Kingston-upon-Thames.
Who’s in the cast?
Anna Paquin (True Blood, X-Men, The Piano) plays Robyn; an expert at her craft but a self-saboteur in her personal life. It's her job to fix other people's lives despite the fact she is incapable of fixing her own. Plagued with inner demons, Robyn's high-stakes and fast-paced career offers an essential distraction from her own disasters.
Sophie Okonedo (Wanderlust, Undercover) plays Robyn's boss and head of PR company Mills Paulson, Caroline; a formidable and highly capable woman who takes no prisoners and makes no excuses. Dry as a bone with a sharp tongue and a sharper wit, she is an exceptionally observant character who's seen and done it all over many years at the top of her game.
Lydia Wilson (Requiem, Ripper Street) plays Eve; Robyn's foul-mouthed best friend and colleague. Eve comes from a world of money, influence and privilege, but knows it and owns it. At turns hilarious and deeply shocking, Eve represents the dark heart of the series, a morally bankrupt character who will ultimately face betrayal from those closest to her.
Rebecca Benson (The White Princess) plays Melody, the new girl in the workplace who is in her first week as an intern. Having only recently arrived in London, Melody finds herself thrown into the bear pit of Mills Paulson PR where she must eventually make a decision as to how much of her personal life she's prepared to sacrifice on the altar of her chosen profession.
Flack also stars Genevieve Angelson as Robyn's sister, Ruth, Rufus Jones as Ruth's comfortably old-fashioned husband, Mark, Arinzé Kene as Robyn's charming and tolerant boyfriend, Sam, and Marc Warren as damaged but charming ex-dancer, Tom.
Is there a trailer?
Yep! You can watch the official trailer for Flack below:
You'll love Flack if you liked…
Fleabag, Women On The Verge, Derry Girls, Good Girls Revolt, Scandal, Big Little Lies, Girls.
Three reasons to watch Flack…
1. It stars Academy Award winner Anna Paquin
It stars True Blood actress Anna Paquin (above), who’s also an Oscar-winner - she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 11 for her performance in 1993 movie The Piano.
But not only that - Paquin also helped to make the show. She executive produced the series alongside her husband, fellow actor Stephen Moyer.
Also, Paquin's character is totally fierce (more on that later...)
2. It’s set in the glossy world of celebrity PR
Plenty of TV shows have been set in the world of public relations or advertising - think Scandal and Mad Men - but few have been set in the UK.
Some of the storylines seem inspired by British celebrities and although we’re naming no names, it’s interesting to wonder which celebs they might be based on (like the episode with the famous chef, below, for instance).
The world of UK showbiz PR does make for very funny watching at times, even if the business is cut-throat!
3. It’s full of complex female characters
Flack is awash with strong, independent women, like Paquin’s character who’s a total badass in the first episode.
But she’s not on her own there - Okonedo (pictured with Paquin, below) expertly nails the ‘hold no prisoners’ attitude as the head of the PR firm, while Wilson is spot on as a privileged PR executive.
Paquin told Deadline.com that the characters in Flack reflect the new era of TV in which women on the small screen are imperfect.
“I see this era of television as one in which women’s roles are interesting, flawed and complicated, where they’re not necessarily perfect," she said.
“People are not going to mind that Robyn [Paquin’s character in Flack] is not very sympathetic, they’re going to be enthralled with the story, seeing a real human.
“There was a real fear [before] that people would switch off if girls weren’t nice, but those girls are boring to watch and don’t reflect who most of us are in general.
“It’s nice that entertainment is catching up with reality.”
No wonder the characters are so well-written when it’s from W - its Irish drama Women On The Verge aired on the channel to critical acclaim last year, and was named BT TV's must-watch comedy.
What do the fans think?
Well it seems as though viewers loved it! These are just some of the comments about the show following its February 21 premiere:
To tired last night to talk about it so will do it now. #Flack was Funny & Sharp. The beginning kept you watching & got you hooked. I won't download all episodes as I don't want it to go to quick.@AnnaPaquin @UKTVPress @UKTV @wchannel— Tony (@realtonyn) February 22, 2019
Omg! Just watched the series premiere of #FLACK and it was so much fun! Glad I taped it because I'm going to watch it again! Anna Paquin is 🔥!— SuzanneW (@IncaPrincess26) February 22, 2019
Just watched #Flack - W's new comedy drama set in the world of celebrity PR.— Ian Hyland (@HylandIan) February 21, 2019
It's well worth a watch - although I've never met a real-life PR who's as sharp and funny as this lot.
I'm now thinking about all the wonderful lies I've been told by PRs over the years.
My husband usually leaves the room when I put my tv shows on, but we’re both laughing at the first scene. It’s now 10 minutes in and he’s still here! #flack— Caroline (@Crinklebum) February 21, 2019
That is my favourite opening of a TV series since Breaking Bad #Flack— Natalie Tambini (@NatalieTambini) February 21, 2019
Flack airs Thursdays at 10pm on W (BT channel number 311/383 HD).
W is one of the 60+ premium channels available on BT TV, including UKTV channels Gold, Dave and Alibi.
Images: UKTV / Rex Features