Monday, September 15, 2014

Crime TV round up

For those willing to venture away from network TV (which seems to be happening more and more) there are a few crime TV shows worth taking a look at. Here's some of what's out there.

The Killing

The end of the first season of The Killing justifiably didn't sit well with viewers, enough to cast a shadow over future seasons.It limped along into a third season before being canceled, then it got picked up by Netflix for a fourth and final season. The entire series is available to stream on Netflix right now. But here's the thing, season three is pretty damn good. Over on FB I wrote a lengthier piece of criticism of the show. Here I'll just say this. It is a very flawed show but it is a also a show that has a lot of good things too. So if you have Netflix consider checking out the rest of the series (even if that means just starting with season 3).

Top of the Lake

This show has a lot of good talk around it. Justifiably so. A couple of powerhouse performances, a slow burn case, something to say, and a strong sense of place all contribute to one hell of a show.

The Fall

The Fall is worth watching but here's the thing. From the jump there were things about the show that bothered me. In some cases little things, in other cases bigger things. These things accumulated enough to where this became a problematic show for me. It's highly regarded and your mileage may vary. The biggest sin this show commits however, and is worth knowing ahead of time, is that there is no conclusion. But like I said, it is worth checking out, and I'll likely check out season 2 whenever it comes out.

Happy Valley

I really liked Happy Valley and would give it my strongest recommendation. The main character is complex and portrayed brilliantly. The supporting characters all have a depth to them. The story often flies along at an insane pace, especially the middle two episodes which are some of the darkest on TV. Unlike The Fall it actually has a full story to tell. Happy Valley is on Netflix.


I finally got around to watching the third season of Luther and it continues to amaze. A stunning dark crime fiction series and one of my favorites.


Secrets & Lies

Give Secrets & Lies some credit for originality. It's a police procedural told from the point of view of the prime suspect. As his world gets torn apart and closely scrutinized he takes it upon himself to clear his name. This is a great idea for a crime story and is smartly executed. It is also being remade for American TV (trailer here) so you should check out the original now. The original is 6 episodes long and the remake runs longer. My fear of the remake is that the idea can't support that many episodes.

What crime tv shows have you enjoyed recently?


Kristi said...

Great post. I'm in the middle of season three of the Killing, although my husband got bored so we took a break and watched the first season of the wire (yeah, way, way behind). I'll check out The Fall and Luther next. Thanks!

Kristi said...

I mean Happy Valley and Luther!

John McFetridge said...

Okay, I'll say it, The Fall is terrible. It wants so desperately to be deep and meaningful and it's just one superficial cliché after another.

And why did they make the serial killer in a city divided between Catholic and Protestant a Jew?

Kristopher said...

I enjoyed The Fall, mainly because of Gillian Anderson's performance. There is nothing ground-breaking in the plot and the lack of resolution means that most should wait for Season 2 before giving it a shot. But I didn't hate it, by any means.

Top of the Lake is one of the best. Strong performances and a slow pace. Not for everyone, but if you are looking for something more atmospheric, this can't be beat.

Happy Valley is up at the top of my Netflix list, so I will be watching that soon.

Others I enjoyed - Hannibal (can you tell I just love Gillian Anderson), Broadchurch (but it has its issues - not at all interested in the US remake with much of the same cast). True Detective (controversial, but those two lead performances are epic).