‘Casual Vacancy’ TV finale airs in U.K. to mixed reviews

Still from Episode 3 of 'The Casual Vacancy'

Still from Episode 3 of ‘The Casual Vacancy’

The finale for the three-part adaption of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy aired Sunday night on BBC One in the U.K.

According to the Guardian, the final episode drew in 4.6 million viewers, down from 4.8m with the previous episode and the series peak of 6.6m viewers for the premiere.

In terms of response, the episode (and series as a whole) received mixed reviews from critics, most of whom praised the actors but criticized the series’ story and plot development. A lot of fans of the book were disappointed with the show’s ending, which departed from the novel’s ending. However, fans were warned of this difference, as screenwriter Sarah Phelps expressed her aversion of the book’s “grim” ending before the show even premiered.

Spoiler Alert – Excerpts from the Independent‘s review of the episode:

While the cast were superb and the cinematography luscious, the show floundered without ever really working out what it was and you couldn’t help but feel that Rowling’s novel had been rather shoehorned into the three hours.

Sadly it was just all too predictable. Krystal’s junkie mother cleaned up her act before going back to the drugs, Howard had an affair then a heart attack, and almost every character was lumbered with a minor personal revelation in the last 15 minutes.

Finally, after the show, The Casual Vacancy author J.K. Rowling tweeted this message to the series screenwriter and director:

The Casual Vacancy will premiere in the U.S. on HBO on April 29.

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