Normally I would start my post with a brief and witty summary of the series premise, and give you a taster about the first episode before really sinking my teeth in. However I can’t follow my usual traditions, because in this case; I have absolutely no idea what the hell happened.
I’ll admit that the episode started off strong with a car zooming down the highway of a foreign country; What’s the hurry? Why are they late? Will they get there in time? Will they get there at all?!! Are the kinds of questions that flooded my brain. But like a speeding car making an emergency stop, things went from 100 to 0 real quick.
As separate entities, I liked the characters of happily married couple Maya and Nick. Maya (Sarah Okonedo) is strong, and sweet and has this openness on her face that is almost childlike. You want her to be safe and happy, and yet you wouldn’t hesitate to let her lead the troupes into battle. She wears her hats well, switching almost effortlessly between Lawyer, Mum and Wife.
Her husband Nick, played by Adrian Lester – whom I have loved as an actor since his stint on BBC One’s Hustle – Is that stay at home dad that you like but don’t quite trust – and yet for some reason, still vie for their attention. Okay stay with me here; He has weird man-hobbies that you don’t quite understand but find endearing, his children seem to genuinely enjoy his company, he is a supportive husband, and he walks the bloody dog. And yet something about him is too perfect, and this unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach is exactly what draws you ever more too him and his story.
As I said before; As separate entities, I like the characters of Maya and Nick. However as a family – I’m not buying it (which is incredibly ironic). Their relationship with their on screen kids, seems just that – a relationship with on screen kids. What is supposed to be cute and quirky about the family comes across as cold and scripted, there is just no real chemistry and so everything they are trying to achieve falls short.
With the content itself; there’s mystery and then there’s straight up confusion (my sisters words not mine) and for everything that I did understand; there was 100 things that I didn’t. From what I can gather Maya is a defence lawyer who’s career has been driven by some sort of conspiracy/injustice that happened back in 1995, which is coincidentally when she met her husband Nick. Nick the perfect family man has been keeping a secret for the past twenty years that is about to start unravelling. Sounds simple and intriguing, yes; but then throw into the mix; a death row case in Louisiana, potential stalkers, epileptic fits, and secret dads, and this simple premise takes a turn for the unexplainable.
I think what disappointed me the most were those moments that could have made a larger impact on the scene if they held it for a little longer. For example; Rudy’s “Go Big” speech – something I feel is going to be quite pivotal to the whole series – felt rushed, as did the synchronised drumming of the inmates as Maya walked down the Green Mile as if she was on her way to the chamber.
At the end of the day, after all that confusion, they only revealed one thing; *Spoiler Alert* Nick was/is a Police Officer! – and you’re just like; No shit, I gathered from the name of the programme title mate.
When, my work friend came in all excited to ask me how I found the pilot, her face came instantly crashing down when I didn’t reciprocate her enthusiasm. When I explaining my qualms however, she agreed. Where as I went in completely blind, she had foreknowledge of the what the show was based around and so the two of us had been in two different mind frames.
I have such a love hate relationship with BBC Drama but right now I think I need a little break, my poor TV heart can’t take any more revamped police drama. Does anyone have any suggestions from anything showing on ITV?