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Joanne Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd, Liar, Sundance TV, Tribeca TV Festival US Premiere, Tribeca Film Festival
(L to R): Joanna Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd in 'Liar,' (Sundance TV) Premiere at Tribeca TV Festival, (Alyssa Grinder)

Tribeca TV Festival Review: ‘Liar’ Series Premiere, Sundance TV

Tribeca TV Festival, Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca TV Festival, an extension of the Tribeca Film Festival TV segment, 22-24 September 2017

Series Premiere screens at Tribeca TV Festival.

Saturday, 23 September, Joanne Froggatt, and creators Jack and Harry Williams attended Tribeca TV’s fall festival.  Notably, this standalone event extended Tribeca’s Film Festival April TV program. The series which first screened in the U.K. stars Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd.  Because it struck gold across the pond, many think Liar promises to thrill in the U.S.

The anatomy of a lie in the TV series, Liar.

Lies hurt and lies destroy. Notably, two kinds of lies overcome liars and their victims. Lies of commission wreck havoc on the victim’s perspective of themselves. Of course the perpetrator bathes in suppressed guilt and self-torture. However, lies of omission wreck havoc on everyone in the liar’s sphere of influence.

Joanne Froggatt, Liar, US Series Premiere screening, Tribeca TV Festival, Sundance TV
Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) at ‘Liar’ Series Premiere (Sundance TV) Tribeca TV Festival Q & A (Carole Di Tosti)


Only the truth heals, but sometimes it is too late for truth. Sometimes revenge prevents healing. Indeed, when a liar perpetrates a crime and suppresses the truth, no one wins. Such is the meat of Liar. Surely, audiences will feast on the depth of its themes. Indeed, this time of fake news has starved us for truth.


Significantly, the victims and liars are just like us. For example, Ioan Gruffudd portrays renowned surgeon Andrew. Joanne Froggatt  portrays superb teacher Laura. Of course we stand in their shoes. We identify with them. However, the two cloak skeletons in their past. Sadly, lies gnaw at them and counter their well being. The secrets spill out. The lies explode into drama.

Joanne Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd, Liar, Sundance TV, Tribeca TV Festival US Premiere, Tribeca Film Festival
(L to R): Joanna Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd in ‘Liar,’ (Sundance TV) Series Premiere at Tribeca TV Festival, (Alyssa Grinder)

What happens?

At the urging of her sister, Laura dates Andrew. The following morning Laura remembers fragments of the aftermath. Horrifying flash backs mingle with the present. She realizes Andrew raped her. Laura files a police report. The police are human and supportive. However, Laura is traumatized. She tells her former husband Tom. Moreover, she tells her older sister Katie. But Tom and Katie cover a deep lie of omission. If they reveal it, they harm family members. They don’t tell Laura. Meanwhile, Andrew tells police he is innocent of rape. They release him. There will be a trial.

US Premiere, Liar, Tribeca TV Festival, Sundance TV, Ioan Gruffudd, Joanne Froggatt
Ioan Gruffudd, Joanne Froggatt, ‘Liar,’ (Sundance TV) US Premiere Tribeca TV Festival, (Alyssa Grinder)


Laura discovers he is free. She has Tom, a policeman, search Andrew’s files. They indicate Andrew’s wife committed suicide. Sadly, Laura realizes it is her word against Andrew’s. But medical files reveal she has taken medication for mental illness. Though she doesn’t discuss this problem with her sister, she worries about it. Of course the defense will use her condition against her. Did she imagine the rape? Is she a chronic liar?

Adding to the complex situation, Dr. Andrew visits Laura in her classroom. Because Laura threw his son out of her class, Andrew begs her not to punish his son. Moreover, he suggests she wants revenge and takes it out on his son. Unfortunately, Laura screams at him. Apparently, she can’t control her emotions. Her mental condition appears severe. On the other hand, Dr. Andrew remains calm. He apologizes and leaves.

Joanne Froggatt, Tribeca TV Festival Premiere, Liar, Sundance TV, Liar screening
Joanne Froggatt discusses Laura in ‘Liar’ at Tribeca TV Festival Series Premiere screening and Q & A (Sundance TV) (Carole Di Tosti)

Which characters lie to protect themselves?

The two characters appear innocent. Yet, both could be lying to hide their guilty present and past. Finally, Laura checks the wine glasses she and Andrew used. They sit in the dishwasher clean and sparkling. She didn’t pick up after he left. Actually, she can’t remember. Did Andrew drug her? Did Andrew rape her? However, in the classroom Andrew told her she never said, “Stop!” when they made love. But she insists loudly that she repeatedly told him, “No.” First, if she said no, it’s a crime. Second, if she said nothing, the sex is consensual. Third, consensual sex is not criminal. Thus, it’s he said she said. The trial will be won by the finest argument and evidence. If either loses, their careers are over.

The problem intensifies

Since Laura found the clean glasses, she feels she has evidence against him. But it’s not enough. And it’s still his word against hers. Problematically, she can’t control her emotions and wants justice “now!” Desire for revenge stomps out her judgment. Because she feels victimized and voiceless, she speaks. However, she selects the worst place to proclaim his crime against her.

Tribeca TV Festival, Liar Series US Premiere, Jack Williams, Harry Williams,
(L to R): Creators Harry Williams, Jack Williams, ‘Liar’ (Sundance TV) at Tribeca TV Festival screening Series Premiere and Q & A (Carole Di Tosti)


Liar promises much and delivers in the first episode. Though the flashbacks and present moments reveal, they raise more questions. Ironically, the characters appeal because they are us. What might we do? Thus, Liar’s themes remind us we all lie. And lies harm and hurt us. To conclude the only way out of the pain and misery is the truth.

Q and A with Joanne Froggatt, Creators Jack and Harry Williams

Joanne Froggatt and the Williams brothers in the Q and A refused to release the innocence or guilt of Andrew or Laura. Additionally, they shared how the U.K. audience responded to the series. U.K. audiences go through emotional rants on Social Media about Liar. They argue why Laura or Andrew are guilty. (Kudos go to all the actors who are brilliant)  And Froggatt and Williams shared one tip. The flashbacks are real.

Look for this exceptional series which dominates in six parts. Programming is on Sundance TV. And check out Social Media for discussion threads about Liar.



About Carole Di Tosti

Carole Di Tosti, Ph.D. is a published writer, playwright, novelist, poet. She owns and manages three well-established blogs: 'The Fat and the Skinny,' 'All Along the NYC Skyline' ( 'A Christian Apologists' Sonnets.' She also manages the newly established 'Carole Di Tosti's Linchpin,' which is devoted to foreign theater reviews and guest reviews. She contributed articles to Technorati (310) on various trending topics from 2011-2013. To Blogcritics she has contributed 583+ reviews, interviews on films and theater predominately. Carole Di Tosti also has reviewed NYBG exhibits and wine events. She guest writes for 'Theater Pizzazz' and has contributed to 'T2Chronicles,' 'NY Theatre Wire' and other online publications. She covers NYC trending events and writes articles promoting advocacy. She professionally free-lanced for TMR and VERVE for 1 1/2 years. She was a former English Instructor. Her published dissertation is referenced in three books, two by Margo Ely, Ph.D. Her novel 'Peregrine: The Ceremony of Powers' will be on sale in January 2021. Her full length plays, 'Edgar,' 'The Painter on His Way to Work,' and 'Pandemics or How Maria Caught Her Vibe' are being submitted for representation and production.

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