28 May 2016 | FlagSteward
More Agatha Christie than the Killing
So, yet another shabby detective with a complicated domestic life who brilliantly solves multiple murders on prime-time TV. We've been here before - and to be honest Marcella doesn't quite cut it up against the high quality of the competition.
I'll admit - I've a bit of a soft spot for Friel, and she has the star quality to have carried some slightly ropey scripts in the past, but she can't dominate here - there's just too much going on. Like the city it's set in, this show is frantic, with subplots and red herrings weaving in and out. But as with Agatha Christie or Dick Francis novels that leaves less time to get to know the characters, and attempts to make them "interesting" just get lost in the rush. In particular I suggest you watch (series 1) episodes 6-8 in a block because I didn't, and felt I rather lost track at that point.
Marcella isn't terrible, and is a pleasant enough watch if you've already seen most of the big-name modern detective shows, and/or you don't care for your murders to need subtitles. But at the same time it wouldn't be first on my list, and it probably only makes a 7/10 thanks to Friel.