Contemporary Family Drama 'Us' is Coming to Masterpiece in June

Photo: Courtesy of Drama Republic and MASTERPIECE

MASTERPIECE “Us" Sundays, June 20 & 27, 2021 at 9/8c In a drama tinged with humor and heartbreak, Tom Hollander (Baptiste, The Night Manager) and Saskia Reeves (Luther) play a couple who embark on a long-planned grand tour of Europe, despite the wife’s wrenching proclamation that she wants to leave the marriage. The four-part series is based on a novel by best-selling author David Nicholls. The Daily Telegraph called it a “brilliantly witty and heartfelt drama about a family on the edge.” Shown from left to right: Tom Hollander as Douglas, Tom Taylor as Albie and Saskia Reeves as Connie For editorial use only. Courtesy of Drama Republic and MASTERPIECE.

Drama Republic/BBC/Colin Hutton

British drama Us will arrive on PBS' Masterpiece this summer, a heartfelt, witty story about a family on the edge of breaking apart. 

Based on a novel by best-selling author David NichollsUs follows the story of a couple who embark on a long-planned grand tour of Europe (remember traveling?!), even though the wife has already decided - and told her husband - that she thinks she might want to leave their marriage.

Baptiste's Tom Hollander and Luther's Saskia Reeves play Douglas Peterson and his wife Connie, who head off to see Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, and Barcelona with their distant teen son Albie, despite knowing that their relationship is essentially over. Tom Taylor plays Albie and the series also features Roadkill's Iain De Caestecker and Sherlock's Gina Bramhill as younger, newlywed versions of Douglas and Connie, at a when their unsuitability as partners seemed stimulating rather than stifling. 

The story opens in suburban Britain, with Douglas and Connie twenty years into their marriage. He is a left-brain type — a scientist — organized, numerical, and obsessively rational. Meanwhile, she is an artist with her right brain firing on all cylinders—visual, creative, unconventional. Out of the blue one night, she wakes up Douglas to announce, “I’ve been thinking about leaving. I think our marriage might be over.”

This is all news to Douglas, who has been blindly contented with matrimony. He immediately decides to change his ways in order to change her mind. She agrees that they should at least go ahead with their planned European holiday, designed to introduce art-school-bound Albie to the glories of continental culture. At seventeen, he is not exactly thrilled to be doing the tourist beat with his parents.

Yet all three embark on a grand tour—three weeks, six countries, twelve cities—that is less about museums, monuments, and cafes than how family members can’t help driving each other over the edge. The contentious incidents abroad are interspersed with flashbacks to happier days, showing how Douglas and Connie met and fell in love, despite their differences. These scenes also reveal a long-ago tragedy that bonds the couple, and that has deeply affected Albie.

Watch the trailer for the series below.

The four-part drama will air on Masterpiece in two feature-length installments on Sunday, June 20, and Sunday, June 27. 

What do you think of the look of Us? Have you read the book it's based on? Let's discuss in the comments.

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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