In complete contrast to my Titanic Yawn of the other day– may I enthuse about a couple of TV series that has entirely gripped me and let me say right now that I don’t actually watch many contemporary shows, let alone contemporary crime dramas because I can get depressed any time I like reading the newspaper. But two are standing out for me right now, and it’s a crying shame that one of them won’t be continuing.
Those Who Kill has been on ITV3 for the past six weeks and it is absolutely brilliant. Granted, with the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book and films there’s been a bit of a Scandinavian love-fest over here, but TWK really deserves more attention and more praise. I haven’t been able to take my eyes off it (mainly because the dialogue is subtitled and so I had to concentrate every moment so I didn’t miss anything) other than the few times I had to close my eyes in case it got as gory as I feared it would. Basically it’s the story of a serial murder unit in Copenhagen who takes on a consultant psychiatrist to do the profiling to join the maverick female feisty cop as her partner. It sounds like a cliched plot line, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to follow the same conventions as many others.
Aside from bloody marvellous scriptwork, incredibly interesting and you’ll-never-guess plotlines (each one is like a movie in itself and even though I sort of knew that the main characters weren’t going to get killed off they still managed to rack the tension up to the max.) There’s one where Tomas (the shrink) goes and puts himself into a criminal gang without telling the team, because he’s the only one that won’t get recognised and I was literally glued to the screen, expecting one thing or the other to happen but it didn’t – what happened was a whole lot of Other Stuff. There’s much of the same in the last episode. You really think you know what’s going on and BAM it hits you from left field like a hunting velociraptor and you never saw it coming. And the end of the series. Well, just WOW. And the very end of it, too. Can say no more because you need to watch it. Seriously. It’s TV like this that really inspires me. I want to write something so gripping, something so surprising. I probably never will, not in the genre I’m in, I suppose, but I’d like to anyway.
The other show that I’m loving is the second series of Scott and Bailey – kind of a British Cagney and Makepeace. Although really , really, not.Again, it’s beautifully scripted – there’s none of the stupid “let’s discuss this case walking along a road, or down the corridor” stuff that Law and Order (and so many other shows do, stupidly) people are stuck to their desks and their desks are a MESS. Relationships get in the way—it’s NOT all about their love lives, although that does take up a portion of the plotline—and both women (and their tough-as-arseholes woman boss who I adore) are damned good coppers.
Highly recommended, both of them. If you can find them online for non-uk viewers, then do try and do so.
Next: a rant about things that authors do that I really really wish they didn’t.