TV Review: Richard E. Grant’s 7 Deadly Sins “Lust” (Animal Planet – USA, 2015)

Kevin Mitchell once sang about his “animal” and being insufferable whilst in heat but it’s hard to know whether the Jebediah front man considered this “lust”. The latter is one of the seven deadly sins. It’s also the subject of a new TV series which questions whether the seven deadly sins are bad vices or just good old-fashioned animal instincts that are fundamental to evolution.

The series is directed by Richard Curson Smith (Pinochet’s Last Stand) and it’s a real genre-hopping documentary that is full of different vignettes. On the one hand you have the award-winning Richard E. Grant (Withnail & I, Girls) delivering pieces to camera that are equal parts dark, playful and mysterious and quoting the likes of Shakespeare and Dante, to name a few. But on the other hand there are interviews with scientists, behavioural psychologists and evolutionary psychologists who provide explanations about why lust is a good biological trait to have (for example it can improve social interactions between animals and it helps ensure the species doesn’t die out, etc).

This series is shot in 3D and it features some amazing nature photography. The visuals alone are on par with a David Attenborough documentary. But the actual tone itself is muddled because it tries to be inquisitive, cheeky and offer a light touch as well as being straight, informative and educational. This can make it hard for the viewer to reconcile that these different vignettes are all part of the one TV program.

Richard E. Grant’s Seven Deadly Sins is extraordinary and eye-opening. It means you will never look at the world in quite the same way ever again. This ambitious production features lots of amazing visuals and it is informative, it’s just a shame that things get a little too wild and woolly at times.


Richard E. Grant’s Seven Deadly Sins premieres on Foxtel’s Animal Planet channel on Tuesday 27th October at 8:30pm (AEDT)


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