28 November 2014 | RealSmiff
very good (and violent) ensemble drama
Is every negative review of this from an American right-winger knocking off 5 stars over a single throwaway line (about Fox News)? Wow. OK (1) this is what people say in the real world, call them liberals if you want but it's about half of your country from what i understand and (2) it's just one line out of thousands of well written ones in a fictitious TV show. Actually that line made me cringe when i heard it because it felt gratuitous and awkward and not funny. BUT to discount all the other wonderful writing because of that one line says far more about you and your intolerance than the show. You could just as easily read it as satire or as part of 1 character, rather than a comment on everything by the writers.. also (3) it's a touch ironic given the title!
Anyway, I don't like police and law procedurals in general or politics on TV but i'm half way through S1 and it's pretty gripping stuff so far. There's lots of great drama and character shading on the both the "good" and "bad" guys, with solid acting all around. The younger people in this are particularly solid. The younger guy accused of murder reminds me of Ewan McGregor, both are great actors. The lead actress is very watchable,they have great chemistry together. Some of the racial stuff feels a bit heavy handed though but i'm not really qualified to comment (also I'm not American either), luckily there's enough else going on besides race and politics to make this appeal to almost anyone i'd think. There's almost too many interrelated characters in the ensemble so it's starting to feel like quite a small world by ep5! The music montages are a bit cheesy but they don't happen too often. Every ending keeps me wanting to come back for more so it's doing something right!
If that one line wasn't there causing such silly outrage in a subset of the audience, would this be one of the highest rated new shows of the year? I'm slightly concerned where the Zale connections are going and whether this show will manage to remain grounded in reality or go all conspiracy crazy, we'll see!
edit: finished S1 in one weekend, pleased to say they didn't **** the ending up! The pacing and introduction of characters was spot on. The constantly cold exterior sets a good mood, a little like the Coen Brothers' Fargo. Worth saying something about the violence in this show also. it's extremely precise, almost a Goodfellas mafia sort of feel, very shocking, often unexpected, and always a necessary part of the story. This one doesn't pull any punches. I would say it's pretty underrated on IMDb (currently 7.5) probably because it has literally divided its audience (groan!) into most who love it and some who hate it. Really looking forward to S2 on this one.