There’s something about a flirty Dawn French pouting at Emilia Fox over a chopping block with a massive shiny cleaver sticking out of it that cannot be ignored. And that’s precisely why Sky 1 covered massive billboards with their likenesses. Mmmm delicious, I thought to myself, I wonder what that’s about. And then I thought about dinner, because obviously.
Well, episode one was at great pains to tell us, unfortunately via the means of a lengthy and extremely dull exposition not even saved by Iain Glen’s mellifluous tones. Yes, that’s another Game of Thrones graduate, more recognisable as Ser Jorah Mormont getting sunburnt and heartbroken in the desert with his Khaleesi. Mate, she’s just not into you. In Delicious he plays Leo, head chef at a fancy hotel in Cornwall. Beautiful skinny current wife is Sam (Emilia Fox) and his ex-wife who strangely seems to live in the exact same tiny village is Gina (Dawn French), the only person in it who actually looks like food is a pleasure not a burden.
So we’re set up nicely for soft focus, warm colours and stunning golden Cornish light. They’ve tried so hard to make this drama as glossy as an advert, but not just any advert. This is an M&S advert. Everyone is either making divine looking Michelin star food (sexy!) or having sex (also quite sexy, as you’d hope). The problem is that even with these top-notch actors there’s not much more depth than the average episode of Escape to the Country. And the cameraman operating the drone has done so many shots sweeping up the estuary that he’s getting seasick.
This set up of disharmonious neighbours with a past is all quite standard. Naughty Leo is having an affair and Sam suspects one of the hot young waitresses. The trick is that her husband is having an affair with his Gina, his ex-wife, long-term muse and all-round cooking guru. The affair doesn’t stay secret long, and there’s a shouting match on the front lawn because everyone needs an audience for these things, and it’s especially fun to ruin your son’s birthday party. Somewhat surprisingly the teenagers (Sam’s son and Gina’s unhappy daughter) seem less annoying than main cast. Dawn French and her ex-mother in law Sheila Hancock are pretty good at sniping at each other. Despite the fancy background that, at least, seems very relatable. I wonder about Sam though. Who smashes up a car that they then drive away in? Haha! I will destroy a thing you love, you cheating bastard! I will take a cricket bat to your beloved car! And then I will drive away in it, sobbing. Never mind.
Also, who the fuck is this doctor giving homeopathic remedies for stress and papering her office with posters on the effectiveness of herbs? Is that the only healthcare available in the village? It’d be more effective to consult witches on the moor by moonlight.
This lush drama with soap opera storylines quickly, and somewhat unexpectedly, becomes a tragedy, although by the time we get to the death it’s being telegraphed all over the place. At least the man from Michelin gets to start afresh. I hope he celebrates the new chapter in his life by getting the hell out of town and driving straight to the first KFC he can find on the motorway. Again, and trying not to give too much away, the plot twist at the end of episode one is not original but might be the spark that this soapy drama desperately needs. It’s only a four parter, so I find myself tempted to stick episode 2 on and hope for at least another hour of Sheila Hancock and Dawn French sniping at each other.
Delicious is on Sky 1 Fridays at 9pm and available to catch up now.