Premiered: March 27, 2017
Starring: Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Dorothy Atkinson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Kate Fleetwood, Holli Dempsey, Douggie McMeekin, Edward Hogg, Richard McCabe, Danny Sapani, Hugh Skinner, Eloise Smyth, Roy Beck, Rosalind Eleazar, Rory Fleck Byrne, Tim McInnerny, Fenella Woolgar, Con O’Neil, Bronwyn James, Jordon Stevens, Alexa Davies, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Josef Altin, Jordan A. Nash, Ellie Heydon, Steven Robertson, Timothy Innes, Ziggy Heath, Ben Lambert, Gerard Monaco, Sean Hart, Amy Dawson, Eleanor Yates & Lottie Tolhurst
A female-led period piece with a fair amount of grit, Harlots is devious and a joy to watch.
Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) runs a brothel in 18th century England. While she’s not in a great part of town, her biggest competitor is high-class madam Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), whom Margaret started under.
With a main production staff almost completely made up of women, the show really develops the characters and makes them more than the common whores you see them depicted as in other period pieces. Each woman has a complex background and current storyline.
The cast is incredible, especially Morton and Manville. When they spar against each other, it’s absolutely delectable. You can hear the fire in both of their voices and savor the moments.
Final say: Let’s hear it for the girls. ★★★★☆