Stream-It Saturday: The Fall (TV)
In my continuing selfless service to the world (ahem), I'm always looking for the next awesome thing to stream. And, of course, I must share my finds with you fabulous folks. Hence, Stream-It Saturday.
This week, I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic thriller which originally aired on BBC and was a BBC-Northern Ireland production, The Fall. Starring the always-fascinating Gillian Anderson, with a fabulously-understated performance in a supporting role from Archie Panjabi, of The Good Wife fame, this is a great one for fans of stellar U.K. crime dramas like Luther.
Set in Belfast in Northern Ireland, the series is centered around a female investigator, Stella Gibson--played by Anderson, who is brought in to evaluate a case of an apparent serial killer that's gone unsolved. Stella is a fascinating character, played with a direct, yet quiet, confidence that's very different from what I'm used to in these sorts of shows.
That's just the tip of how The Fall differs from the omnipresent carbon-copy police procedurals that seemingly reproduce like bunnies on American network television.
In one of the earlier scenes with Stella, she walks into a crime scene, picks out a good-looking younger police officer, tells him her hotel number, with the correct expectation that he will make an appearance for no-strings attached sex.
From the beginning we know who the killer is, and there's something creepily-compelling about him. He's not a psychopath, he seems to function in society, he seems extremely normal. It's completely disarming as a viewer.
And then we have the absence of violence-porn that's ubiquitous in these sorts of shows. Absent are closeups of gore, grisly sounds of knives entering bodies, and all the other brutality to which television has desensitized viewers.
Instead, The Fall brings an overwhelming since of fear and dread that's much, much worse than anything graphic.
The viewer knows much more about the story than any of the players do, and the inability to stop it makes the experience of watching this show almost exhausting.
The Fall is made up of only five hour-long episodes thus far, but the BBC started production on another season of it this spring, so we will hopefully be getting more of this fascinating, artistically-compelling show. (The cinematography is stellar.) In the meantime, you'll want to set aside an entire day to blow throw every episode in one fell swoop--trust me.