CKR Finally Gets the Smart, Stylish Starring Vehicle He Deserves
Gotta love Canadian TV shows you can really be proud of and Shattered is definitely up there with the best of them! It's rare cop show that at once stands comfortably within the genre while standing out as wholly original.
Shattered does well with the established atmosphere and weighty feel of the haunted detective drama, from the dreary, wet streets of Vancouver to the bluesy guitar underscoring it's lineage to such classics as the original Edge of Darkness BBC mini-series or the first Lethal Weapon. There's a smooth, slow build throughout the episodes, transitioning from scene to scene with the music and tension sustaining throughout, making it feel more like a feature at times than an episodic cop show. It's shot beautifully and lit in a way that really absorbs the audience into whatever rainy alley, cold interrogation room or lonely car the characters find themselves.
Also, I can't understate how much I appreciate the writing. The show doesn't take its audience for idiots and plays with subtlety and subtext to make its world more mysterious, dramatic and, ultimately, more realistic - It's not what's said between the characters that's as important as what's unsaid. This approach works largely thanks to the quality of the cast, none more so than Callum Keith Rennie. Long a scene-stealing character actor on U.S. hits like 24, Battlestar Galactica and Californication, Rennie finally gets his due here with a brooding, complex leading role. His troubled homicide detective Ben Sullivan is still grieving the loss of his abducted son and finds himself plagued by Multiple Personality Disorder. He has to solve cases while wrestling with recurring black outs that see the different parts of his psyche manifest with either brilliant, amusing or dire consequences. Watching Rennie dive into this fray is a treat. He's a truly talented presence with an opportunity here to show his range portraying many different angles within the same man. His painful, charismatic performance is the real engine of the show and makes one wonder why it's taken so long for the guy to get his own series! Definitely worth checking this one out!
Sorry, I've got to disagree, this is far and away the best Canadian comedy on network TV today - way better than Dan for Mayor or Hiccups *shudder*! It's fresh and amusingly funny in its portrayal of small-town Canada - which is not a lame excuse for anything, but rather a genuine pulse on the heartland. I found it neither elitist nor dumbed down, but relatably funny! By touching on social trends like vegetarianism, they're using comedy and comedic ignorance to open up public discourse and understanding - not mockery. Also, the show invites characters of different races into the fray without defining those characters by their race which is so refreshing! Every character is a character, and entertaining ones too, not playing up racial difference for cheap laughs! The cast does a solid job overall and the lead, Brendan Gall, has great comic timing. He's got a definite Seth Rogen vibe going' on. And I'm totally digging Paul Gross' narration. It improves the show much in the same way Ron Howard's did for Arrested Development. The self-conscious, self-referential asides to the audience play for some of the show's best laughs! Oh, and for the record, Paul Gross hasn't lost a step haha Love that guy!