Patrick Melrose Review


Hi guys! Haven’t been chatting in this space for quite some time now. I’m finally done with the semester and assignments, and I’ve had the time to just catch up with some books and movies! I just plan to spend this weekend chilling. My newfound love to films and fiction material is crazy. More to getting drunk in books and movies, haha.

Enough about personal life!

I just want to talk about a TV series I’ve just finished today. It’s a TV series about a dark show skewering the drug-addled, abusive upper classes. Patrick Melrose is a 5-episode TV series played by Benedict Cumberbatch, which is just about a man seeking journey from brokenness to redemption.

It starts off featuring the main character, Patrick, who grows up with the horrors of a twisted, abusive father and an alcoholic mother who seems powerless and isn’t there to help him at times. To put it simply, it is really just a heart-wrenching story about what the implications of a broken home does to a child. A child haunted by his past. The poison dripping down from generation to generation. To see how these things can crush a child and affect his growth is almost unbearable to watch. I’m not usually a fan of childhood trauma storylines, but I got into this one because Benedict Cumberbatch plays the grown-up, damaged Patrick Melrose, 5/5 stars with fucking amazing acting. The hallucinations, the seizures from drug withdrawals, the sudden bursts of anger….it was so amazing that I was angry the series was so short, why are Benedict’s dramas always so short??!??!

The first two episodes I watched last month, in the middle of my school’s hell week period, and ugh, the themes were really dark and heavy. Drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, infidelity, drinking, smoking…the amount of cigs Cumberbatch smoked in the series is enough to give him lung cancer man. He swears every 5 minutes too. The amount of immorality there is astonishing, the brokenness apparent, but yet this series managed a good balance between light-heartedness and heaviness. I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to sneak a dose of wit and humour beneath the dark themes to make it somehow bearable for the audience. Even though there are sexual abuse and stuff, it’s implied, but not shown with actual explicit, graphic scenes, so don’t worry. But even so, the storyline alone is enough to make it horrifying to watch.

I think it’s so powerful because it’s a story about a man living in his past, and in order to walk out of his past, no one can help him except himself. I especially enjoy stories about good character development so I would say this is a top pick. Patrick was trying very hard and seeking some sort of salvation, and his recovering journey is just so accurately portrayed.

“Sometimes, those who deserve the most blame also deserve the most compassion.”

Besides talking about brokenness and redemption, it also talks about forgiveness and compassion. To forgive is to let go of his past. There are a lot of funeral scenes in the show, haha, and this tingling feeling of seeking…closure. The end of a chapter. Beginning of a new one. Things like that, all done in 5 episodes.

“poison dripping down from generation to generation”— to see Patrick treat his children poorly because of his own brokenness passed on from his dad, is quite crazy to watch because of the highly personal experience for me. The broken husband, shouting and nagging wife, and deeply troubled children. Child overhears the mum shouting at the dad, exposing all his dad’s faults, which leads to an utter disrespect and despise for the dad.

I don’t really wish to air any family dirty laundry here on my blog but I grew up in this type of family: where my mum constantly points out my dad’s flaws in front of me by shouting and nagging. I never consciously knew it had such an effect on me until I started watching Patrick Melrose. All too familiar, that I found my mum such a turn-off that I promised myself I would never take on the role of a shouting or nagging wife when I grow up. I wouldn’t say I disrespect my dad, I will still honour him and respect him, but I admit it was pretty hard looking up to him as a father figure with awe and admiration. I had wanted more than anything to be a daddy’s girl.


Not to mention the amazing cinematography and the colours used! Goshhh I love the aesthetics. Cumberbatch also got a few sex scenes in this show! He usually plays asexual, highly intellectual, gay, arrogant characters so this is a bit different hhahha.



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