What’s The Matter With Tony Slattery? (BBC, 2020)
I missed this when it was on the telly, but I caught up with it when browsing iPlayer last night. I would highly recommend it. It’s a brilliant and honest portrayal of addiction and mental health. It follows former comedian Tony Slattery trying to work out and solve the root of his depression and alcoholism.
It does blindside you a little, so I would definitely recommend watching right to the end. About halfway through, I was worried it was building towards a conclusion that was too pat, too neat. It seemed to be implying that once Tony “achieves” a diagnosis of bipolarism (like a badge) that would unlock the route to recovery. This is underlined when Stephen Fry makes an appearance and talks about his own condition (no offence meant to Stephen Fry, but I think he sometimes oversimplifies the complexities of depression). I won’t spoil what actually happens in the end, but the real conclusion eschews tidiness and easy answers.
Whatever you think of Tony Slattery as a comedian (if you can even remember him), you would need to have a heart of stone not to warm to him during this documentary.