The Virtues: Series 1 (2019)


Critic Consensus: Stephen Graham gives a masterful performance in Shane Meadows' deeply personal depiction of trauma, gifting viewers with a raw account of self-destruction and a hopeful promise of renewal.


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Air date: May 15, 2019

Tv Season Info

A troubled man travels to Ireland to confront demons from a childhood spent in the care system.

Critic Reviews for The Virtues Series 1

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

nyone who'd seen the first three parts of The Virtues... might have predicted that the finale would not be candyfloss and hugs. But it did, in its own way, achieve something close to redemption.

Jun 6, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

There are times when The Virtues veers too close to abject "misery porn", taking an almost fetishistic glee in showing Joseph plummeting into new depths. Then again, Shane Meadows didn't create a name for himself making feel-good TV.

May 17, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Graham is an actor of raw emotional power, nakedly honest and unpredictable, but I spent whole minutes of the first episode wanting to be anywhere else but in a room with him, as he suffered and tried to deal with his suffering.

May 16, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Bleakness and despair were also in abundance in the feature-length finale of The Virtues. As TV dramas go, they don't come much darker. They also don't come more brilliantly acted.

Jun 12, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

There's never any danger of The Virtues descending into poverty porn - Meadows knows how to pile on the misery without making it gratuitous. Instead, suffering always has a point and serves a semi-religious purpose.

Jun 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Pavarotti luxuriates in beauty and pain, savoring everything. It's not just an introduction to its subject; it shows us how to live.

Jun 4, 2019 | Full Review…

It's early to be sticking my neck out, but I think we might be looking at one of the best dramas of the year.

May 24, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The concluding episode of The Virtues saw Meadows working on a new level, blending raw feeling and technical mastery to create drama that will live in viewers' minds for days, weeks, maybe years to come.

Jun 6, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[Stephen] Graham deserves a real Bafta for an outstanding performance in what is, in all honesty, a pretty harrowing tale.

May 30, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

I'd underestimated Meadows's ability to make you sympathise with nearly anything... The trick is not to give viewers the impression they are being manipulated, and somehow he manages it.

May 29, 2019 | Full Review…

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