Adult Material (Channel 4)


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Channel 4 announces cast of Lucy Kirkwood drama Adult Material
28 May 2019

Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake, The Miniaturist) to play lead character Jolene Dollar in Lucy Kirkwood’s upcoming Channel 4 drama, Adult Material. She is joined by Siena Kelly (Vanity Fair, Temple), Kerry Godliman (Afterlife, Save Me), Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones, Deep State), Julian Ovenden (Downton Abbey, Knightfall), Phil Daniels (A Very Very Very Dark Matter, Sliced) and Rupert Everett (Another Country, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Happy Prince).

Set in modern Britain, the 4 x 60’s drama from Fifty Fathoms delves inside the porn industry from the perspective of a woman who has been working in it her entire adult life and has seen it grow from an illegitimate backroom enterprise to a mainstream and highly profitable arm of the telecommunications industry. Adult Material will interrogate what’s real, what’s fake, what’s up for sale and the impact that these things have on the individuals involved.

Squires plays Jolene Dollar, a regular mother of three, who is proudly the breadwinner of the family. But Jolene doesn’t have the most conventional of careers: she is one of the top porn performers in the UK. Adult Material ventures into Jolene’s world - to a place that influences all of our lives, whether we know it or not, but none of us ever truly see.

One day on set, Jolene is introduced to Amy (played by Siena Kelly). Amy is 19, not much older than Jolene’s oldest daughter, Phoebe (played by Alex Jarrett). Jolene looks after Amy the way that she looks after every new girl on set, but she can’t protect Amy from her own choices, and soon her relationship with this unstable young woman will see Jolene’s own career and home life start to unravel.

Rupert Everett plays Jolene’s long-term friend, producer and businessman, Carroll Quinn. Carroll has been in the business a long time and has seen the porn industry change to a multi-million-dollar proposition. He’s constantly trying to keep up with the times and technology. Joe Dempsie plays Rich, Jolene’s loving and dedicated long-term partner. Julian Ovenden plays the US porn Kingpin, Tom Pain, a man from porn’s most extreme quarter, for whom ‘no’ doesn’t exist. Kerry Godliman plays MP, Stella Maitland, whose life becomes intertwined with Jolene’s when they form an unlikely friendship. Stella comes to her defence when Jolene’s career, family, and reputation are in tatters.

Hayley Squires commented; “I am so excited and incredibly grateful to be playing Jolene Dollar, she is like the wildest dream. Lucy has written the most complex, multi-faceted and morally challenging story. Throughout each episode you are constantly forced to question your own judgement and beliefs and that makes for the very best drama. I’m very lucky to be part of a female-led crew and an incredibly talented cast.”

Adult Material (4 x 60’) is now overseen by C4's current Head of C4 Drama, Caroline Hollick and Lee Mason, Commissioning Editor, at Channel 4, who commissioned the series alongside former C4 Head of Drama, Beth Willis. The series is produced by Fifty Fathoms and is Executive Produced by Patrick Spence and Lucy Kirkwood. The series is directed by Dawn Shadforth. The drama will go into production this summer and will be distributed by Endemol Shine International.


Came over this last night. Considering testing is a topic here and quite fitting of late - one size doesn't all, though.
It's not bad and has some choice moments. Squires does a good job of making Jolene Dollar (real name, Hayley) fluctuate in being able to like her (at 6 feet) and see where she is coming from but the character's world view is so distorted by both the past and present; as she paints a cloudy, sticky image and message for both male and female viewers of either/any sex.
If you only watch an episode or two, then you'll likely leave with criticism of the writing; that sets females up as victims but also one's that could be seen as asking for it and supposed to accept their lot to make money from a bad situation, or life in general. But then, also, of men as all too willing to take what they can and as such, deserving of any ills. The porn stars are mainly seriously damaged, vapid and unlikeable.
Enter Sienna Kelly, who nails hard as Amy, a truly f'd up young woman that knows how to manipulate and use anyone she comes across. Amy is pretty unlikeable, if pitiable, and only really gains bit of a break late in the series through a possibly questionable dad (Hayley's ever projecting, prejudging looks suggest doubt), a bad 'date' and Hayley getting real with her and warning of the ghost of future's past that's going to come knocking.
It's all so contrived though and it's only the excellent Kerry Godliman's shamed politician come barrister/lawyer that fares best - aside from her courtroom scene, that is self-testifying ridiculous.
Joe Dempsie is good as the sap partner and Rupert Everett breezes along as the soft-hearted philanderer porn-in-chief, Carroll.
I can see both women and men taking offence at this. For example, of the daughter getting away with posting a sex video of her b/f that if reversed; would likely see a male prosecuted and tagged sex offender for life. Or, in sharp contrast, the b/f raping the daughter in her sleep and being told early in by her mother, Hayley, that it was OK; as young boys can't be held accountable and need telling what's right by the girl in However later in, in Hayley's 'coming to her senses'; she then tells the daughter she was wrong to say it was OK and it was in fact wrong of the former b/f but, to gently tell him it was wrong, although he probably wouldn't even remember the act, so, oh well, yeah, best not. Mind boggling stuff.
Lucy Kirkwood (of the rather better, I, Daniel Blake) has written a very mixed piece, with Jolene Dollar and Hayley being so blurred that it's hard to see her as even an anti hero for women. Young minds are plastic, as the self proclaiming none prude Head Mistress states in this and I'd be more concerned teens and on may pick up on some very serious aspects as fluff, when they should be life warnings of unacceptable behaviour. Similarly, young/males may also see this and think it's all just fun but still relatable/applicable and possibly OK to act in such ways and expect that, at worst, you may just get a talking to later.
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