Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Love Whitechapel

So what's the deal with Whitechapel?

I don't normally review TV shows (or anything really) but this show Whitechapel on ITV has gotten under my skin more than other shows do.

It's kinda hard for me to do a concise review as the show now appears to be in its fourth series, which begs the question: how did I miss the other three? Dunno, can't say for sure, but it's probably something to do with the fact that most dramas on ITV I tend to disregard. Downton Abbey? Never seen it, don't want to, don't care.

So anyway all I can tell you is that despite its flaws, Whitechapel is a cracking police drama. I love the storylines and the characters, but I must admit the first episode I watched kind of annoyed me. Here's why.

Remember that piece of crap movie Stigmata with Gabriel Byrne and that Arquette woman that wasn't the one in Desperately Seeking Susan? Remember how much that film relied on spooky atmospheric shots and extended sequences of slo-mo drops of water backwards? How much you thought if they'd left all that stuff out the film would only be half an hour long? Yeah, Whitechapel can appear to be like that, on the surface. There's lots of that sort of thing, but this is because the characters are all a bit odd. They all have so much personal baggage they could fill a couple carousels at Heathrow. For example:

DI Chandler suffers from OCD, which means he's a total germophobe, is frequently nauseous at crime scenes, and tends to use the cleanest loos available in the police station to change his shirt in (which he does at least once an episode). During these bathroom scenes he obsesses about the taps dripping and has weird little inexplicable flashbacks (about what, I do not know).

Miles, Chandler, Buchan - three weirdos who solve grisly murders.

DS Miles is an older, seasoned veteran with little tolerance for timewasters. He also keeps hearing footsteps coming down corridors when he's on the way to his office and is convinced he's being stalked by some sort of phantom.

DC Megan Riley has for some weird reason been nursing a boil on her hand and making it worse. Other than that she's pretty normal.

Ed Buchan  is a nerdy, bookish (i.e. smart) Ripperologist who fancies DC Riley and has been a bit jittery since being kidnapped in a recent episode by a man who flays people and cuts their faces off to use as masks. Understandable.

DC Mansell is a bit of a laddish joker type who keeps getting phone calls from persons unknown and just got dumped by his girlfriend and tried to kill himself.

Dr Caroline Llewellyn is the police pathologist, who appears to be fairly normal apart from the fact that she is apparently 400 months pregnant and the size of a houseboat. Oh, and she just lanced Riley's boil. Nice.

DC Kent is the youngest member of the team and is a bit of a suck-up to Miles and a total dick to Mansell. Mansell is a dick to Kent in return.

The police station itself is poorly lit. Even with all the lights on it seems eerie, dark and the sort of place you would be more likely to see in a horror movie as the abandoned house by the side of the road where the killer is hiding in the basement with nipple clamps, an assortment of medieval weaponry and farm machinery, and plenty of duct tape. They really need to get a good electrician in.

In fact, everything in the series seems to be filmed in the half-light, which is supposedly atmospheric, but tends to be annoying, if not for the superb plots, writing and acting.

You might be forgiven for thinking that I hate this show, but I love it. If you haven't seen it, I strongly suggest you do so. Now.

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