By Claire Booth
No, I didn’t spell offence wrong. No Offence is a British television series streaming on Acorn TV. Airing originally on Britain’s Channel 4, it follows a squad from the Manchester police department as they solve a case per episode while also tracking bigger conspiracies throughout season-long story arcs.
That description makes it sound ordinary. It’s not. It takes familiar cop-show tropes, turns them up to 11, and then gleefully demolishes them with a sledgehammer.
You all know me by now, and you know what I tend to like. And I’ll admit, this show hit all my sweet spots. Dry humor. Superb long-term plotlines. Fully realized characters. Female leads. Multiple female leads. Female leads who are written to be sexy and nerdy and bawdy and overweight and vulgar and sensitive, sometimes all at once. I can’t think of a single American show with that—pardon my male reference—with that kind of balls.
Look at that photo at the top of the page. Those are the lead characters. In a cop show. See a man anywhere? I know, there are definitely shows with female detectives. But they usually have a male boss. Or male lawyers backing them up. This has Detective Inspector Viv Deering (Joanna Scanlan, who needs to be in every show everywhere forevermore) and her two female seconds-in-command. In the second and third seasons, even Viv’s bosses are women.
The show aired from 2015-2018. It was the creation of Paul Abbott, who’s created multiple crime and family dramas, including the original Shameless, from which the American Shameless with William H. Macy was adapted. He said in 2019 he was mulling ideas for a fourth season, but later word came out that no more episodes would be made.
While I sit here and hope he reconsiders, you should start watching immediately. You can find it on Acorn, or on PlutoTV.