I watched both the new Netflix version with Kevin Spacey and the 1990s BBC trilogy with Ian Richardson.  Similar but sufficiently different to avoid too much déjà vu.  Both versions break the 4th wall.  At first I found this off-putting, but as time went on I realized how seductive it was.  Francis, the central character, is a heinous sociopath, but a charmer.  Talking to the viewer (and sharing smirks and eyerolls) allows him to exert that charm and make a sort of co-conspirator of the viewer.  It’s an effective conceit (and in my book Ian Richardson does the better job, but only by a hair).


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