“Jake Watches Too Much TV” is a recurring segment on the What’s Bruin Show, and in case you need to be put in the mood, please listen to Mike W.R.’s awesome segment theme here:
I recently discovered a wonderful new show on Netflix called The Fall. I don’t know how this show got through 2 seasons without me because it has some of my favorite things:
- a BBC lineage…
- which also means British/Scottish or Irish accents, and …
- a hot British version of Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson).
That’s all I need to watch, but if you need more of a description, The Fall is a suspense filled dark detective drama that plays with the normal expectations of the genre. If you are looking for a comparable vibe, think Broadchurch (another great BBC Mystery Drama starring David Tennant) but with 1000% more sex appeal and slightly less child death (at least through the 1st couple episodes).
The Fall revolves around the investigation of a series of murders. The show describes itself as an examination of the “lives of two hunters — one is a serial killer who preys on victims in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland, and the other is a female detective drafted from the London Metropolitan Police to catch him.”
… any fans of Agent Scully will be mesmerized by Anderson in The Fall…
We are given the identity of the killer (played by Jamie Dornan) in the first episode, so this is not really a murder mystery in the traditional sense. The lack of mystery is more than compensated for with a direct depiction of the killer going through his process leading up to his next victim. Despite knowing the villain’s identity, there are more than enough mysterious seeds planted in the first couple episodes, and the show opens up with back to back tragic and compelling cliffhangers. The Fall also creates some very jarring but fantastic scenes though some surprising juxtapositions. Scenes of the killer cleaning and posing his victim are cut with the detectives one-night stand; the victim’s father identifies the body at the morgue alongside a scene of a mother lamenting her baby in an infant-ICU (coincidentally nursed by the killer’s wife). As the show unfolds, a bunch of seemingly unrelated story-lines are carefully woven together.
Separate from the plot, the shows two main characters are terrific. Dornan’s Paul Spector is one of the scariest serial killers this side of Hannibal Lecter, as he manages to keep a hidden murder journal and plan elaborate killings whilst working as a psychologist and blending in as a near perfect husband and father. Cracks in his cool gradually begin to show, but it is made clear to the audience that he has been at this for a long time before the show picks up.
Gillian Anderson plays protagonist Stella Gibson as a confident and sultry detective. When she arrives in Belfast, she immediately starts to unravel previously undetected patterns in the crime, but she has to learn how to manage local politics as she starts her chase. She also finds time to make some friends on the local force during her first days in Belfast.
She earns the trust of a young patrol woman that confides a guilty secret about the case, and she manages to arrange a one night stand with the local Narcotics Detective in a rather abrupt and direct manner. As a female lead, she is confident and self-assured as her colleagues are shocked and dumbfounded. Anderson has been working constantly since the X-files ended in the 90’s, but any fans of the aforementioned Agent Scully will be mesmerized by Anderson in The Fall.
As a bonus, the time commitment on this show is pretty light. Series (season) 1 is only 5 one hour episodes on Netflix and Series 2 is 6 one hour episodes (although the finale is 90 minutes). If you watch the 1st episode and aren’t hooked, you do not like this genre.