The pandemic drama The Help aired on our TV screens last night, and people have been blown away by the “amazing” and “incredible” performances by Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham.
Set in a fictional Liverpool care home in spring 2020, a woman named Sarah (Jodie Comer) finds her calling as a carer at Sunshine Homes. She shares a particular bond with patient Tony (Stephen Graham) who has Young Onset Alzheimer’s.
But in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hits. Now Sarah and her colleagues have to “tirelessly fight tooth and nail, ill-equipped, poorly prepared, and seemingly left helpless by the powers that be”, according to the plot synopsis.
Viewers seem to unanimously agree that the 98-minute drama accurately portrays the realities of what carers were up against during the height of the pandemic last year and many have praised the performances of Comer and Graham on Twitter.
People were particularly touched by Comer’s monologue at the end, delivered in the back of a police car, where she talks about society’s unwillingness to care. She tearfully asks: “When did our lives stop being worth the same, eh?”
The drama also reflected viewers’ own personal experiences and similar struggles during the pandemic.
The drama features Jack Thorne, a BAFTA-winning writer (His Dark Materials National Treasure), and Marc Munden, a BAFTA-winning director (The Third Day Utopia).
“There were carers who felt responsible [for the crisis], and that was the bit that felt unforgiveable for me,” Thorne told the BBC. “Carers are massively undervalued, and they were massively undervalued during the pandemic.
Munden told the same publication: “We were talking to people who hadn’t had time to grieve, and they felt responsible, but they also felt they’d been betrayed, and that was really upsetting. Because it hadn’t stopped by the time we’d started the research. I do feel the government completely betrayed the care sector compared with the NHS.”
The Help is now available to watch on All 4.