Best political thriller since Homeland: Bodyguard proves a hit with US critics

Bodyguard has proven to be a hit with US critics after Netflix brought the BBC’s hugely successful drama to an American audience.

The political thriller stars Richard Madden as a security officer assigned to protect Keeley Hawes’ Home Secretary.

Its finale, which aired in September, became the most-watched episode of any drama since records began in 2002, according to the BBC.

Netflix is now streaming Bodyguard across the pond and critics have applauded the series.

Richard Madden starred as David Budd in BBC political thriller Bodyguard (Sophie Mutevelian/World Productions/PA)

Much of the praise centred on Madden’s performance as protection officer David Budd.

Vogue magazine said Bodyguard was “probably the best political thriller since Homeland” landed in 2011.

Their reviewer said, “Madden’s face is the kind of canvas that you want to watch for clues” and nominated his jaw “for an entry into the annals of legendary televised facial feature”.

The Hollywood Reporter described Bodyguard as “thrilling, maddening but never boring” and said writer Jed Mercurio “has created a riveting piece of television whose minor flaws don’t tarnish it enough to reduce its effectiveness”.

Keeley Hawes
Keeley Hawes plays a fictional Home Secretary in Bodyguard (Ian West/PA)

Popular culture website Vulture labelled Bodyguard worthy of a “nail-biting binge”.

The review states: “Even when Bodyguard does get a bit over the top, that same British flair for understatement prevents it from feeling as ridiculous as it might in other hands.

“This series has business to handle, much of which will involve ratcheting up the audience’s blood pressure to agonising heights. And it does not let anything distract from what it came here to do.”

Screenrant praised Madden’s performance and said the show was “worth the wait” for its “clever” handling of the plot.

The review adds: “The end result is an engaging series that walks a very fine line between grounded political thriller and something far more outlandish.”

Scoring the series 8.5/10, IGN said Bodyguard delivers “a thrilling first season, proving why it’s the UK’s most-watched drama of 2018 so far”.

The website added Bodyguard is “definitely worth binging”.

Mercurio has hinted at a second instalment of the series.