'Help' viewers praise Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham for their 'unbelievable' performances

Tony (Stephen Graham) and Sarah (Jodie Comer)
Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer teamed up for Channel 4's Help. (Image credit: C4)

Help aired on C4 last night, and viewers were stunned by the emotional performances by lead actors Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer. 

In the 98 minute film written by Jack Thorne, Graham plays care home patient Tony and Comer plays Sarah, a woman who's just taken a new job as a carer.

Sarah and Tony soon strike up a bond, but it has its challenges as he has Alzheimer's and is prone to forgetfulness and even wandering off, resulting in Sarah having to track him down. 

At first she's doing a good job of caring for residents, staying as cheerful as possible despite the inevitable challenges, but it soon changes dramatically. When the pandemic hits, the patients and carers struggling to cope with the growing pressure, and a lack of support they've received from the outside world.  

By the time news of the pandemic spreads, Sarah is still in her six-week probationary period and is put under a significant amount of pressure as a newly qualified carer. In order to navigate this, she has to use makeshift PPE, and the care home soon becomes overwhelmed. 

Throughout the film, Sarah and Tony have deep conversations about their experiences and both Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham were able to use their natural Scouse accents.

The duo have been widely praised by viewers for their performances, for giving a raw and upsetting look into what life was like for patients and carers during the first wave. One wrote: "Help on Channel 4 - wow. Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer are unbelievable..."

Another added: "Wow Help utterly stunning, horrific and unmissable TV. Stunning performances for Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham well done"

A third wrote: "Jodie Comer. A simply outstanding acting performance (again!)". 

And a fourth added: "Well done Channel 4 and Stephen Graham absolutely amazing work. Heartbreaking but so insightful and obviously so well researched!"

Help is available to watch on All4 — see our TV Guide for full TV listings.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress