Pick of the Week: ITV’s dark comedies have been just about the best thing on TV this year

Uncommon’s superlative films for the broadcaster have everything going for them.

ITV: the moment before impact
ITV: the moment before impact

The partnership between ITV and Uncommon Creative Studio is evidence of the outstanding results that can emerge when a brand willing to be creatively bold places its trust in an agency to achieve that ambition.

Starting in 2019, it gave us the powerful “Britain get talking”, which placed the broadcaster at the centre of efforts to encourage people to talk more openly about mental health – something that turned out to be a vital contribution as the pandemic took its toll. Press ads over the past year in support of dance troupe Diversity and the England football team, meanwhile, firmly placed ITV on the right side of history.

Since May, though, ITV and Uncommon have moved things up a notch with a superbly conceived and produced series of films talking up the high stakes and tension in both ITV’s drama and reality offerings.

Each instalment is notable for its expensive production values and prestige TV-esque scripts, but it’s the violence, malevolence and intensity of these films that make them so uproariously funny. Few other brands would dare to give us the gratifying image of celebrities being crushed to death by a falling skip, as happens in the most recent outing, “The trap”.

All four films so far have been shot by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper, and if there’s anything that deserves to get Hooper out of director’s jail after his notorious misfire with Cats, it’s this.

Brand ITV
Title Drama vs Reality
Agency Uncommon Creative Studio
Director Tom Hooper
Production company Smuggler

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