Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Three mysteries

Turning from the terrors of reality to the delights of made up nonsense on television, there are three new crime dramas out this week: Exile, Vera and Case Sensitive.

Exile was my favourite because - well, it stars John Simm. It's a three-parter told over three nights, final ep tonight. It's about a disgraced coke-addled journalist (Simm) who moves in with his sister played by Olivia Colman (from Peep Show) to help look after his father who is suffering from Alzheimer's. The dad is played by Jim Broadbent. So all three, Simm, Colman and Broadbent, are excellent. The plot is pretty good - the dad was involved in some hushed up scandal long ago, and they are trying to get him to remember it. Overall what makes this is the acting and the visuals. I know - this might make you roll your eyes like lemons in a slot machine - but John Simm has never looked finer. What a treat. What a visual treat.

Vera was not quite so well written, I thought, it was less plausible and more hokey. However, it stars powerful Brenda Blethyn as a female detective, and she is super. It's so, so great to see decent roles going to older women on telly. And it's a complex multi-dimensional characterisation. Also lovely to see the beautiful Northumberland scenery. I think this is a series, with a different story presented each episode.

Case Sensitive was - I didn't quite get a handle on it yet - well cast, interesting, an even more conflicted and complex female detective. Too early to say. It might be going somewhere interesting, or it might just be confused about what it's trying to say and do. Visually and textually this resembles the Euro-Crime I have been watching lately, perhaps the French series Spiral most strongly. The female lead and her side-kick had an unwise sexual encounter a day or so prior to the timeline of the show, there's masses of adultery and artistic violent death - in fact it really resembles a French show. It's a two-parter, not sure if it will come back another time.
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