Watching the BBC’s headline drama prompted one writer to reform her TV habits (warning: contains second episode spoiler)
Five years ago, Bodyguard would have been the kind of TV viewing that I craved.
The BBC’s showcase drama is a result of our booming appetite for all things noir; think the suspense of Gone Girl meets The Girl on a Train with a terrorism thread looped in.
It’s punchy and relevant, drawing on political intrigue and real-life threats the UK faces in an age of unprecedented alert.
But somewhere between its bleak cinematography and grim line-up of characters - who are collectively refused a glimmer of likeability - it left me feeling hollow.
Watching the first two episodes, I found myself yearning for some kind of silver lining; one that extends beyond schoolkids not being run over by a marauding van.
I understand life is hardly rosy when you’re an ex-serviceman suffering from PTSD, or a cabinet minister facing modern-day Armageddon.
But a little lightness here and there, a slither of sunshine (real or figurative) would have made the rest of it a more palatable watch. I would have felt more invested.
Instead, I had to abandon it just a few shows in.
On paper, Jed Mercurio’s six-part series is a slick production. It combines strong female leads with a stellar cast and a pacey, gripping narrative.
But for me, it’s driven home the fact that I really need to take responsibility for what I watch on TV.
If I clock up gloom-and-doom dramas on a Sunday night, that’s inevitably going to cast a cloud over my evening.
It’s not even Bodyguard’s alarmist terror plot that makes me anxious, so much as its generally bleak take on life.
Watching it is a bit like binge-eating cheese; my immediate instinct says yes, but then I feel a bit bloated and guilty afterwards, and kind of mucky around the edges.
I’ve realised I no longer have the stomach for such things. If I go down the thriller route, it has to be something a bit tongue-in-cheek (hello, 24) or with some redeeming qualities thrown in (Game of Thrones and its residual silliness).
Either that, or I need to stick to altogether more warming material.
Bake-Off, Gilmore Girls - you’re up. Call me an ostrich, but life’s too short for anything else.