The Honourable Woman

Maggie Gyllenhaal with Oliver Bodur in The Honourable Woman Honourable-Woman-2

Stop a minute. Why is the Internet not exploding with people talking about The Honourable Woman? Why did I only discover this mini-series in a roundabout, accidental way on iTunes because I happen to like Maggie Gyllenhaal as an actress and happened to notice her face in the promo picture?

Holy everything! I can't believe bloggers all over the world aren't talking our ears off about this show! So I guess I'll have to do it.

The Honourable Woman is an eight-part spy thriller. It starts off compelling but slow, and winds up completely, totally, under your skin. Gyllenhaal's character is Nessa Stein, a British-Israeli woman at the head of her family's company. The company formerly dealt in arms but now, under Nessa's leadership, builds communications networks. Her goal, pursued at great personal cost, is to create equality in communications access and opportunity for both Israelis and Palestinians.

The Honourable Woman is taut, considered, complex, clever, vulnerable and of course entertaining. And it is driven, sometimes relentlessly, by a phalanx of powerful, intelligent, broken, fully-drawn female characters.

Had enough of all the adjectives?

Maggie Gyllenhaal in this is exquisite. I couldn't look away. And have you heard of the stunning actress Lubna Azabal? The two of them together made for some of the most intelligent, brave and beautiful television I have watched in a long, long time.

The final episode (the hands, the hands, look for the hands; also, black on white and white on black, oh the symbolism) has destroyed me. I am undone.