Screw is a 2022 British six-part prison drama TV miniseries written by Rob Williams and produced by Channel 4 Television. According to the miniseries’ log line, Screw presents the uncensored, shocking and often darkly funny reality of life as a prison officer in an all-male prison in 21st century Britain.
Screw revolves mainly around two prison-officers. Leigh Henry (Nina Sosanya) is in charge of C wing at Long Marsh men’s prison and lives for her job, while young Rose Gill (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) is fresh out of training but with an attitude. While both women seem like polar opposites, they have something in common – they guard dark secrets that reveal their motivations for working this thankless task.
Like most prison dramas, the events that take place in Screw seem exaggerated and compressed in time. Drama and tension of course demands to be kept at a high level so that our dual main characters are put under as much pressure as possible. Thus, while it is easy for the viewer to be swept away by the connections and conflicts that come at them thick and fast, the stellar writing keeps any possible disbelief at bay quite brilliantly.
Both Sosanya and Gill stand out with dynamic performances – neither character is particularly likeable but slowly and surely, as more is revealed about their backgrounds and personalities, it isn’t difficult for the viewer to be invested in their respective fates. The supporting characters – both officers (“screws”) and inmates (“prisoners”) – are decently fleshed out to provide the counterpoints and catalysts for the ensuing drama and tension.
The finale provides a disturbing conclusion which is ambiguous at the same place, leaving the viewer with a mixed, somewhat conflicted reaction as to how everything is resolved at the very end. Highly recommended.
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