Sheridan Smith in Isolation Stories

Isolation Stories viewers complain it’s too depressing but heap praise on Sheridan Smith’s performance

Not for everyone

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ITV viewers were impressed but saddened by the first episode of new lockdown drama Isolation Stories, which starred Cilla actress Sheridan Smith.

The first part of the new series, which aired last night (Monday, May 4), centred on Mel.

The troubled mum-to-be was living alone in isolation and struggled to come to terms with her difficult circumstances.

Warning! Spoilers ahead.

Sheridan Smith in Isolation Stories
Viewers thought Isolation Stories was depressing, but praised Sheridan Smith’s brilliant performance (Credit: ITV)

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Through a series of angry video messages recorded on her phone, we learn that the father of Mel’s unborn child left her to go back to his wife.

Brilliant but depressing

At one point, she left a bitter message for a number she thought belonged to an old classmate.

But the recipient of her video called her back late one night, offering words of sympathy and comfort.

Sheridan Smith in Isolation Stories
Mel got a late-night phone call from a mystery woman (Credit: ITV)

After Mel spoke to the mystery caller for a few minutes, what sounded like a violently abusive partner suddenly interrupted the conversation.

Mel, gasping, felt devastated for the kind stranger. She never learnt her name.

Despite the programme ending on a positive note, with Mel smiling in the sunlight and singing for her unborn child, viewers at home found the first instalment of Isolation Stories depressing.

Sheridan Smith in Isolation Stories
The mystery woman’s abusive partner interrupted the call (Credit: ITV)

Nevertheless, many heaped praise on what was a convincing and emotive performance by Sheridan, who is heavily pregnant in real life.

What did viewers say?

Reacting on Twitter, one viewer said: “Whilst Sheridan Smith is a fabulous actor, I do think we needed something slightly less depressing @ITV #IsolationStories.”

Another thought the show was going to be a comedy.

I don’t really know what to think of that.

A third wrote: “Huge credit to @Sheridansmith1 but why oh why oh why did @ITV decide to film such a depressing show at this time? Bad move in my opinion. #IsolationStories.”

“Good acting and intriguing concept but #IsolationStories was so depressing,” someone else put.

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“Ummm I don’t really know what to think of that,” wrote a fifth, adding: “I don’t know if that’s the sort of thing I want to be watching, but Sheridan Smith was really great #IsolationStories.”

A sixth said: “Sheridan Smith @Sheridansmith1 is the best actress of our time #IsolationStories.”

– Isolation Stories continues on ITV tonight (Tuesday, May 5) at 9pm. The first instalment is available on ITV Hub.

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