beth_willingham

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Reviews

Prime Suspect 1973
(2017)

A 3-part series watching for "Prime Suspect" fans
It seems to me that the series was engaging in character and situation, regardless of what you may have read in Variety, and it was—and is—well worth watching. Having seen every "Prime Suspect" episode in real time, I found this series continuously interesting on several levels, and compelling for a die-hard "Prime Suspect" fan. Performances of the principle players and supporting cast were splendid, and I am awed in particular by the supporting cast. Production values were dependably high and convincing. The error in Tennison's chronology, reported here, is an unnecessary bit of slippage. One can hardly say too much about the skill and all-in performances of the fairly large supporting cast, and IMDb records them all. The sketchy guys and the police performances were superb, and I single out Alun Armstrong's and Ruth Sheen's performances as examples to watch; the performances of their "Bentley family" was award-winning. But so was that of Anthony Skordi, whose role as Silas Manatos, owner of a Greek café, got much less screen time. Among the supporting roles, those written for Tennison's "parents" have been negatively received, but I found them to be just what they needed to be—conventional, hovering, a counterpoint to other parents (those of a victim) presented in the series. I viewed the Tennisons as multi-dimensional and developing as the series progressed, and the roles were well-performed, certainly. The 1970s London ambiance was convincing, but that is hardly where "convincing" stops with this all-too-brief series. We hear of a creative war behind the discontinuation of the series. Sad for BBC and PBS viewers who wanted to a future for the series.

Remember Me
(2014)

A rotten waste of PBS resources
Sadly full of nothing except a flat concept and dragging script. Ironically, not worth "remembering" except as an object lesson. Efforts at horror and suspense are clumsy and annoying—even laughable. Highly repetitive not-very-special effects—involving water dripping, water running, floor creaking, doors and other objects moving of their own accord, crashing (sound), noise off, vibration (visuals and sound), distressed onlookers, lights and shadows, a silly apparition, a reappearing small cowrie (shell), "Scarborough Fair" (as a song, tune, sheet music), intermittent shots of sky, beach, and buildings—and an hour of incoherent, uninteresting events don't make a plot, don't persuade the viewer to care for the characters, and fail to create interest in what happens next. Palin does little and the female lead somewhat more, but their efforts are mired in what seems to be a weak concept that is poorly realized. Set decoration is admirable in some ways and camera work is adept, but it must have been a bit boring behind that camera. The supporting cast (characters in the neighborhood and nursing home) does admirable work. The detective is the most compelling—and memorable—character in "Remember Me."

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