If you’re someone who only decides on what to watch via your Netflix list, chances are you’ll have missed ITV’s new psychological thriller Cheat.
And even if that doesn’t describe you, you still might have been put off by a number of disparaging headlines about the drama miniseries in the tabloid press this week.
The show, which is headed up by Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street, Mr Selfridge) and Molly Windsor (Three Girls), has been derided for daring to show a female masturbation scene in the opening few moments of the first episode, while reports have also claimed there’s proof viewers switched off after various sex scenes.
As a result, Cheat has been the subject of a lot of “ratings drop” stories as its four episodes have aired this week, which have undoubtedly led people to believe the show is a flop.
Let us be clear – that’s far from what it is.
The show takes a similar premise to their 2017 hit, Liar, in that there is a crime committed, and viewers are forced to examine both sides of the story to work out which party is telling the truth.
This time around, the story centres around university lecturer Leah Dale, who suspects one of her students, Rose, of cheating on her dissertation.
The opening moments reveal that the whole thing will build towards a murder, and what follows is a real game of cat and mouse (or as Katherine herself calls it, “a game of cat and cat”) as the dynamic between student and teacher turns truly toxic.
As with ALL of Harry and Jack’s shows, there are many twists and turns, and a bombshell revelation during the third episode suddenly puts everything in a whole new perspective.
Speaking of looking at things differently, those who only remember Katherine Kelly for playing the gobby Becky McDonald in Coronation Street will also be forced to sit up and see her as one of this country’s leading actors.
Her performance as a woman determined to make people believe her reminds us very much of fellow Corrie alum Suranne Jones’ turn in the first series of Doctor Foster, and you will be as frustrated for the character as she clearly is on screen.
Meanwhile, Bafta winner Molly Windsor knocks it out of the park yet again as twisted student Rose, whose sly smirks and brazen behaviour have helped create a horribly conniving villain... or at least, that’s what we’re led to believe she is.
While it may not be getting the praise it deserves, Cheat really is one of the strongest drama offerings of the year so far, and with all four episodes now available to watch on the ITV Hub, you’d be a fool not to make it your next binge watch.