Mammals is an English comedy drama series that centres around the lives of two romantic couples and stars James Corden, Melia Kreiling, Colin Morgan, and Sally Hawkins as the shows main characters.
While on holiday with his pregnant wife, Michelin chef, Jamie Buckingham (James Corden) finds out a devastating secret about his wife Amandine Buckingham (Melia Kreiling) that will change how he feels about her and could potentially end their relationship.
Meanwhile, Jeff Wilson (Colin Morgan) and Jamie‘s sister Lue (Sally Hawkins) are also having marriage problems as Jeff feels like Lue isn’t listening to him, while Lue spends her time daydreaming about a secret fantasy world.
All six episodes of Mammals are under thirty minutes in length, so it is a relatively easy show to binge through in one sitting. However, I really feel like the series loses its momentum after the third episode. The last three episodes tend to use flashbacks or fantasy dream sequences that take up large parts of the episode’s duration and feel like they could have been shorter. Because they take up such a large amount of time, some moments start to feel like filler to help stretch the series out to six episodes, which made me feel less invested in the characters and the series as a whole.
I found the parts of the show that were the most enjoyable and interesting to be the scenes that included Jamie and Amandine. Their story is always evolving and moving forward while the story of Jeff and Lue tends to go around in circles, and as previously mentioned, I found the fantasy dream sequences that Lue has were unnecessary and distracting from the Jamie and Amandine story.
I am familiar with James Corden as the host of The Late Late Show, as well as some of his work in comedy and musical films, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in a series that focuses more on being dramatic. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by his performance as he can use a wide range of emotions. As Jamie Buckingham, he can obviously be funny and provides plenty of one-liners but more impressivily is that he can express anger and sadness when he needs to. It made me appreciate him more as an actor and this series shows that he is capable of doing so much more than just acting in comedy and musicals.
James Corden is the obvious stand out, but entire cast put on impressive performances. Melia Kreiling as Amandine shows the most range after Corden. Her character also experiences sadness and anger, but she compliments Corden’s Jamie as they both go through similar emotions but at different points of the series.
As much as I did not enjoy the fantasy sequences, I was impressed by Sally Hawkins performance. She essentially plays two different characters: Lue in the real world and in her fantasy. Finally, Colin Morgan delivers a subtle performance as Jeff, dealing with his character’s depression and disappointment with the status of his relationship and holding onto his emotions, which I find to be just as difficult for an actor to express bottled grief.
Even though the second half is weaker than the first half of the series, Mammals can be funny one moment and then heartbreaking the next. It contains enough little reveals in each entertaining episode to keep you engaged throughout its full six episodes.
You can watch the Amazon Original Series, Mammals in Australia exclusively on Prime Video from the 11th of November 2022.