This thrilling new BBC drama is inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal

Written by Florie Mwanza

Maxine Peake is set to star in Rules of the Game, a new BBC One workplace drama that’s inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. 

Working from home during the pandemic might have saved us from the delicate office politics at our own jobs, but that doesn’t mean we get to escape workplace dramas altogether.

BBC One has announced Rules of the Game, a new thriller set to explore sexual politics in the workplace. Inspired by the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal that sparked the #MeToo movement, this four-part series stars Maxine Peake as Sam, the head of a family-run company in the North West of England who bristles at criticism and is resistant to change.

Although the BBC is still to reveal the show’s air date and further details about the supporting cast, we’re already anticipating its release.

What’s the plot of Rules of the Game?

The show opens with the introduction of Maya, a new HR director who’s intent on dismantling the “old-fashioned lad culture” within the company. As she begins investigating historic cases of misconduct in the organisation, she’s met with resistance from the boss, Sam, who refutes the suggestion of institutional bias against women because “that was all in the past, and things are different now that she’s in charge”

But, the drama really gets going when one morning, Sam arrives at work and is met with a dead body in the office reception.

As the story unravels, hard-headed Sam is forced to “reckon with not only the murky behaviour in the present, but murderous secrets from the past as well.”

Who stars in the cast of Rules of the Game?

Although the BBC are yet to announce who else stars on the show, we already know that Maxine Peake will play the lead role of Sam.

The actress who got her start on Dinnerladies, is famous for her standout roles in Shameless and Little Dorrit.

What inspired Rules of the Game?

Writer, Ruth Fowler, says “Many women’s experiences, including my own, inspired this fictional show – with the added benefit that in the retelling no women were harmed, maimed or exposed to Harvey.”

Despite the initial exposé of Weinstein – who’s since been convicted and imprisoned – taking place in 2017, workplace harassment is still an issue many women continue to deal with. Fowler says, “When we conceived this show it was during the Weinstein scandal, and I was concerned it might have dated in the interim. How sadly wrong I was, and I’m honoured the BBC and everyone else championing this story did not let it fade away as its relevance has become even more acute.”

Images: Getty / Tristan Fewings

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