'Murdered By My Boyfriend' (UK Airdate: 23 June '14) // Words: Jordan Andrew
I rarely review a show solo on my Telly Text column but after seeing 'Murdered By My Boyfriend', I felt compelled to review this truly hard-hitting gripping one-off drama. 'Murdered By My Boyfriend' tells the true story of Ashley (Georgina Campbell) a teenage girl who falls in love with the wrong man Reece (Royce Pierreson) - sending us on a draining emotional journey.
We get to see Ashley and Reece’s relationship develop through the months and years, from the first time Ashley and Reece meet until the end of their story. In the beginning everything is sweet, Reece is treating Ashley like a princess while she is still studying at the age of seventeen. Three months into their relationship, Ashley ends up pregnant and we start to see Reece’s controlling nature take over as he manipulates Ashley into keeping the baby.
Six months on and the pressure of their newborn baby and finding a place is where we start seeing Reece’s rage take over him by pushing Ashley to the ground. She is shell-shocked but is quick to forgive him as the good he has done outweighs this scenario.
Fast forward three years and this “happy” family are being dictated by Reece, with their child Jasmine unaware of the problems that mummy and daddy are having. Ashley cannot even dress without the approval of this evil man watching. He has completely brainwashed her and only once she feels she is free, her true bubbly personality shines. Unaware that Reece has logged into her Facebook account, he suddenly is quick to gain back control by texting and phoning constantly. Any hope of seeing her staying happy is gone in a flash.
There are so many warning bells for the audience of emotional (as well as physical) abuse. You are stuck in Ashley’s world and you simply cannot move yourself although you know that what you are going to witness will be as horrify as the next. You are praying for Ashley to escape or for Reece just to get hit by a car so that this nightmare can be over. Rooting for Ashley after a while becomes draining, and as you reach to the ending, the title becomes more and more realistic.
The young love story turns into a never-ending nightmare as the hour long drama goes on but I am not going to ruin the ending as words cannot describe the visual image you will see as you watch it. Even as I write this I can see visualise the scene in my head.
If I were to ever meet Georgina Campbell and Royce Pierreson, I would shake their hand on a job well done. They were convincing for such a sensitive subject - this was no soap opera acting. Supported by the strong acting, we cannot forget Regina Moriarty for having the courage to write this and stick to much of the true story.
BBC Three as usual are willing to do the hard-hitting dramas but with their pending cancellation, it is sad to think such dramas might not make it on to television for everyone to experience. Domestic violence is an issue felt by many, regardless of gender. The sad part is that many that are going through this fear getting help but I do hope after watching this one-odd drama, they can reach out for help.
Catch 'Murdered By My Boyfriend' on BBC Three and on BBC iPlayer. Find more from Jordan at @jrory.