13 MAY 2020

"US", THE NEW BBC SHOW THAT BLURS THE LINES BETWEEN DRAMA AND COMEDY

The actors Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves; and Greg Brenman, the executive producer of the show and the CEO of Drama Republic, describe the plot of this brand new tragicomedy.

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What would you do if your wife wakes up in the middle of the night and tells you “I think our marriage might be over”? Under this premise unfolds the story of "Us,” BBC Studios’ brand new title. This tragicomedy is an adaptation by David Nicholls from his bestselling novel, and is produced by Drama Republic and Bandstand for BBC.

In the story, Douglas is blindsided when his wife Connie tells him that she’s not sure she wants to be married to him anymore. Agreeing to still go on their planned family grand tour of Europe, Douglas vows to win back the love of his wife and repair his troubled relationship with their son. As love takes a detour, Douglas fights to get his marriage back on track.

“This adaptation of David Nicholls’ book, which was a huge hit, is a tragicomedy about the break-up of a marriage, a couple that has been together for 20 years. The four hour-long episodes take place on a tour of Europe that they embark on as a final summer vacation, and they are also intercut with memories from when their first met. Even though they are breaking up, they also want to go on with the trip to spend time with their son, who is about to go to college,”  the actor Tom Hollander described to Señal News.

“Us” brings the Petersens' poignant and often hilarious story to life, taking viewers with them on their once-in-a-lifetime journey through some of the most beautiful cities in the world. To shoot the four episodes, the producers travelled all over Europe to film in-location and not from a studio.

“What I first liked about this project was the writing, which was so fantastic. Furthermore, we have to go to some different places during the shooting of this cultural family holiday, like Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Barcelona, and so much more,”  the actress Saskia Reeves, the co-protagonist of the show, told Señal News.

For Reeves, “David Nicholls has this amazing ability to upset you and make you laugh at the same time,” and according to her, that was very well placed in the characters. “All these things that can go wrong seem that may happen to anyone,”  she added.

Describing the show, the actress considers that while “Us” could be defined as a comedy, it also has some drama elements too. “You are dealing with the breakup of a marriage. These people have been together for 20 years, they have a child and a whole life together. The idea of a separation is really painful, but they try to get away from that pain and always manage to flip it. Characters have this feeling of panic, so the story is also witty, sad, and most of all, real,”  she detailed.

Greg Brenman, the executive producer of the show and the CEO of Drama Republic, prefers to define “Us” as a “drama with very humorous laugh-out-loud moments”. Although comedy might be a difficult genre in terms of sales, Brenman believes that “Us” has “an emotional depth,” so he assured: “It has no domestic humour; it is not a sitcom, it is a relatable universal story with universal themes. That will make its journey around the world easier”.

By Federico Marzullo

'Us' is a relatable universal story with universal themes. That will make its journey around the world easier” Greg Brenman Executive producer of "Us" and CEO of Drama Republic