“Grey is very overrated”.

This is what a witness for the prosecution answers when the lawyer defending James Whitehouse, a British politician accused of rape, points out to him that she sees things in black or white, not in grey.

Grey, or gray areas, are however at the heart of the

Anatomy of a Scandal

series, a six-episode mini-series, which Netflix is ​​currently broadcasting and which has been among the most viewed series on the platform for 15 days.

And more specifically the gray areas around consent during sexual intercourse.

The one who accuses Conservative Home Secretary James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend) of rape is Olivia Lytton (Naomi Scott), one of his parliamentary aides.

The two had an affair for five months.

The politician, who is also married to Sophie (Sienna Miller), puts an end to it.

But soon after, a tense moment in the ministry's office pushes the two into each other's arms.

Olivia Lytton claims to have meant that after the first kisses, she no longer wanted sex and that Whitehouse penetrated her against her will.

The latter denies and claims that his employee wanted this sexual relationship.

Exploring “grey areas”

As often in rape cases, the trial ends up being a word against word.

However, prosecutor Kate Woodcroft (Michelle Dockery) seems determined to prove that James Whitehouse could not “reasonably believe” – in the words of British law – that Olivia Lytton was consenting.

But the magistrate, who also has her own "grey areas", will she manage to convince the jurors?

This political-judicial series, adapted from the eponymous bestseller by novelist Sarah Vaughan, is by David E. Kelley and Melissa James Gibson.

You probably know the name of the first one.

We owe him emblematic series like

The Practice


Ally McBeal


Big Little Lies

or more recently

The Undoing


Melissa James Gibson was one of the

House of Cards

showrunners .

Impunity and between oneself

As in

The Undoing


Anatomy of a Scandal

explores the theme of crime in the ultra-privileged classes and the feeling of impunity that can prevail among them.

Beyond the questions posed by the accusation of rape, we also think of the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his school, the prestigious Eton, often accused of favoring an interpersonal relationship among the privileged within the British political class.

If the direction is not always subtle (especially the fuzzy/slow-motion flashbacks that are a little painful) and one of the big twists in the series is a little too big to be believable, the whole thing is saved by a cast efficient, Rupert Friend (



Pride and Prejudice

) and Michelle Dockery ( unforgettable Lady Mary Crowley in

Downton Abbey

) in the lead.

Finally, and this is not the least of its merits,

Anatomy of a Scandal

allows us to continue to talk about consent.

Which, unlike gray, is never overrated.


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