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A Look at HBO’s Rain Dogs

by HBOWatch Staff
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Rain Dogs is a new and unconventional dark comedy from Cash Carraway. The series follows a devoted working-class single mother (Daisy May Cooper) and her young daughter (Fleur Tashjian) – a chaotic duo facing the challenges of living on the margins of London. Are the eight episodes worth a watch? Let’s take a look.

So, What’s Rain Dogs About?

In a way, you can say this new HBO series is a sort of toxic love story. According to its creators, though, Rain Dogs is a black comedy — but you shouldn’t expect to laugh out loud just yet. The first episode begins with Costello (Daisy May Cooper) being evicted from her flat and Simon (Karl Pilkington) being released from jail. Bleak, indeed. 

Should You Watch Rain Dogs?

BBC One and HBO’s Rain Dogs has received critical acclaim, mostly because it masterfully combines two distinct styles: A bruising tragedy and a dark comedy. The Independent, in fact, gave this production five stars, hailing it as “a fine memento of our troubled times.” The Telegraph also defined it in two simple but impactful words: “messy but magnificent.” 

One thing’s sure: Rain Dogs does not shy away from the harsh reality of poverty, social injustice, and prejudice – nor the questions around what it means to be a single mom balancing what she believes in (in this case, a book deal) with raising a young girl. 

Rain Dogs is sad, funny, and does not mind exploring taboo approaches to both sexuality and identity. The series, above all, feels very relevant – especially in 2023. And, what’s even better: It’s superbly written and acted. 

The Cast

Rain Dogs has given Daisy May Cooper what is probably her most dramatic role yet. Her character Costello displays the vulnerability of a woman who does everything she can to change her daughter’s life, even when most of the characters here are deeply marginalized by society. 

The rest of the cast includes Selby (Jack Farthing), Iris’ sort-of-father-figure and Costello’s potential soulmate, best friend/godmother Gloria (Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo), and 9-year-old Iris (Fleur Tashjian). They constitute the family that, bound by (often codependent) love, needs to fight in a crooked London.

Although the whole cast gives excellent performances, it’s Cooper that manages to deliver a nuanced portrayal that is both flawed and lovable. 

The Music

Rain Dogs has a powerful soundtrack that we want to mention, too. It includes pop and alternative rock classics chosen by Cash Carraway, including Bruce Springsteen’s “It’s Hard To Be A Saint in the City” (which you will notice straight away in episode 1) and The Smiths’ “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby” (episode 7). 

The Series

Rain Dogs is directed by Jenniffer Perrott and Richard Laxton and produced by Cash Carraway, Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris, and Jo McLellan. 

You can watch Rain Dogs today on Max.

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