If you’re a Netflix subscriber and like True Crime, you’ve probably already seen it The stairssaid Anita Singh in The Daily Telegraph – the documentary series by two French filmmakers that was a huge hit in 2018.
It told the story of Michael Peterson, a novelist, who one night in 2001 called 911 to report that his wife, Kathleen, had fallen down the stairs at their North Carolina home. He insisted it was an accident, but the sight that greeted police upon their arrival suggested foul play: there was blood everywhere and Kathleen had suffered “shocking” head injuries.
Now HBO Max has turned the Netflix show into an eight-part drama starring Colin Firth as Peterson and Toni Collette as his wife. It’s compelling for the same reason as the documentary: they genuinely want to find out the truth about what happened that night.
Though Collette is well cast here, it’s Firth who “steals the show,” Rachel Cooke said in The new statesman. He captures Peterson perfectly: “his cheerful compulsion towards those close to him; his grizzled, overworked, cracking indignation”. Yet the series still feels “redundant: a last breath for an already pretty worn story.”
Well, I was “banned,” said Hugo Rifkind The times. Yes, there are too many flashbacks, but watching Peterson’s character unravel is captivating. “No matter how many times we’ve seen a post-tragedy dynamic in a drama, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one like it. Never melodramatic, it’s cold and shivering and surreal and somber.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/culture/tv-radio/956724/the-staircase-hbo-max-review TV Review: The Stairs | The week Great Britain