Getting to Know the Flowers of ‘Flowers’
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The pitch-black comedy Flowers debuted on Channel 4 in the U.K. last month to rave reviews. But unlike other hot British shows, it’s not going to take months to arrive stateside. Flowers is now available for streaming exclusively on Seeso, the all-comedy, ad-free streaming service.
Created by Will Sharpe, who co-directed the 2012 BAFTA-winning indie comedy Black Pond, Flowers is a dark, surreal, but wholly original series about a flawed family of (mostly) artists in the British countryside slowly self-destructing and destroying each other’s lives. It’s hard to compare this extremely engaging show to much, but imagine if Neil Gaiman and Michael Chabon teamed up to make an emotionally realistic The Addams Family.
Here’s a rundown on the characters that populate the world of Flowers.
Maurice Flower (Julian Barratt, The Mighty Boosh) writes a series of dark, children’s books about “The Grubbs,” which are – without him realising – very allegorical to his own life. His publisher keeps asking him to tone down the dreariness and deliver, but Maurice is too distracted by the weight of his secret misery and hiding the resultant evidence, a noose he intended to use on himself. Deborah, his wife, does not realise the extent of this suffering and so is hurt by how distant he seems from her, instead turning to his friend and illustrator, Shun.
Music teacher Deborah Flower (Olivia Colman, Peep Show, The Night Manager) is just barely keeping it together; in fact she might be tearing it apart – the self appointed glue in the family, her well intentioned but misplaced efforts often make an already strained situation worse. She tries to have a nice anniversary party, to inspire interest from Maurice and even not to offend her lascivious neighbor… but her desperation to paper over the cracks and pull her husband and maladjusted children up often end in disaster, not least by her inability to see (or accept) the real issues.
Shun (series writer and director Will Sharpe) is the Japanese illustrator for Maurice’s “Grubbs” books, who often finds himself doing chores around the Flower’s crumbling country house or drawing the pornographic anime adventures of characters such as “Mr. Gay.”
Delusional Donald Flower (Daniel Rigby) is 25, still lives at home, and spends most of his time building unnecessary, cack-handed inventions. The rest of his time he spends inexpertly hitting on Abigail, the girl next door.
Amy Flower (Sophia Di Martino) is 25, Donald’s twin sister, a composer, an artist like her father who also seems to have inherited his erratic mental health. She longs to be free of her suffocating surroundings and is prone to wild, demented fantasies that distract her from reality. The subject of her art and affections is often Abigail, the same girl as Donald.
Hattie Flower (Leila Hoffman) is Maurice’s mother, and not long for this world. Grandma Hattie gets confused between real people, bananas and an imagined plumber called James. She’s also seen Maurice’s secret. At first, she sweetly tries to find a way to help Maurice, but as the series goes on her presence grows a little more sinister.
Sign up for Seeso—it’s only $3.99 a month—to watch Flowers, along with classic series like Monty Python and The Kids in the Hall, as well as Seeso originals like The UCB Show, The Cyanide & Happiness Show, and New York’s Funniest.