Secret Smile is a 2005 British drama producted by ITV. It was broadcast in two parts and was based on the book of the same name by Nicci French. The show stars Kate Ashfield (notable for her role in Shaun of the Dead) as Miranda, a young architect who, on a whim, decides to take a strange man home with her from the skating rink. They quickly form a relationship, but Miranda begins to get nervous as Brendan (played by a very creepy pre-Doctor Who David Tennant) becomes increasingly possessive. She breaks off the relationship after discovering he has been prowling through her things, including her teenage diary. However, she seems unable to be rid of the man, as he manages to worm his way into every aspect of her life, using her family and friends as a means of getting to her. As The Other Wiki puts it, this "leads to a passionate web of lies, deception and death."
This show provides examples of:
- Alliterative Name: Brendan Block. In the novel, it's not even his real name. He was born Simon Rees.
- Cassandra Truth: No one believes Brendan is a bad guy, not even Miranda's own family.
- Cute and Psycho: One can see Brendan's lovely face change the moment Miranda tells him to leave.
- Faux Affably Evil: Brendan seems to be the perfect gentleman to everybody but Miranda. That is, until the bodies start piling up...
- Idiot Ball: It gets passed around the table during the course of the show. Miranda gets to hold it most of the time, but the other characters also get their turn. It's never adequately explained why Laura chooses to marry Brendan despite Miranda's warnings.
- Manipulative Bastard: Brendan is the textbook definition. Everyone likes him and believes him, he's also incredibly convincing.
- Police are Useless: At least from Miranda's point of view. She is appalled by the fact that the police do nothing about Brendan, despite all the evidence against him. Even when they do arrest someone, they manage to get the villain wrong.
- Stalker with a Crush: Brendan behaves like one, although it is possible that he's driven by revenge and hurt vanity.
- Too Dumb to Live: There are many times when Miranda makes downright stupid decisions. Like going to Brendan's house after receiving the phone call, despite many, many warnings that it will be a trap. Cleverly averted when Miranda returns to her house to "wait for the movers", a move which seems suicidal considering it is almost a certainty that Brendan will show up. That is, until we discover Miranda is laying a trap of her own.