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 Post subject: "Gritty" crime dramas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:23 pm 
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Posts: 51
I miss a good old gritty crime drama on TV. I loved things like Waking the Dead, Wire in the Blood (the first two series in particular), but haven't noticed much on the go lately. I tried to watch MURPHY'S LAW, but frankly thought it was rubbish - James Nesbit's dodgy Irishman with his equally dodgy moustache was a poor charicature of a "tough renegade cop" It's attempts to be tough and realistic failed - no real sense of character, little to sympathise with. I realise at least one broadsheet newspaper thought it was terrific, so what do I know?

Any recommendations?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:40 pm 
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Although I can't think of any decent Brit crime shows of recent times (The Vice being my all time favourite), I can heartily recommend a great US show, The Shield. They're on season 6 by now, and it's a show that has never dipped in quality. It's expertly crafted television; brutal, and full of characters that dwell in a dubious moral middle-ground. No easy answers or get out clauses (much as The Vice was in the UK). Excellent TV.

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 Post subject: The Vice and The Shield
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:53 am 
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Simon - The Vice is one of my all time favourites, too. As was another Ken Stott vehicle, Messiah. I've heard of The Shield, but not seen it. I will look out for it. I've not really hooked into any US crime series since my addiction to NYPD Blue many years ago. I have seen one or two things, but they didn't quite grab me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:51 pm 
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Location: South Yorkshire, uk
Not The Bill.

Definitely not The Bill. Or Holby Blue.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:57 am 
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The Vice was truly excellent TV, and only really lost it's way after Stott left. He's a huge prescence on screen - no one does that embittered, scarred by life cop better! And yes, Messiah was excellent too. And in fact, Friday's Rebus on ITV was much better than the previous adaptions of Rankin's work.
'Felt' much closer to the tone of the books.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:46 pm 
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helen Mirren in 'Prime Suspect'. The best, the very best.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:25 am 
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Marion Arnott wrote:
helen Mirren in 'Prime Suspect'. The best, the very best.


And Cracker, though it did lose it's way: the storyline set in Hong Kong was a poor end to a cracking show.

Many of today's gritty drama's are overly long and rely on flash visuals at the expense of story.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:22 pm 
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Recently finished Season 1 of The Wire. A squad of Baltimore detectives try to take down a drug dealer and his criminal empire. No flashy visuals but instead there's snappy dialogue, well-rounded characters, and a strong plot. Lots of emphasis on the politics in both the police bureaucracy and the crime empire's hierarchy. And there's no promise of a happy ending -- you have to watch right to the end to see who, if anyone, is going to come out on top.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Location: London
definately 'the shield' for me, great stuff. uk wise you're definately right not much seems to be happening at the minute, shame really.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:10 am 
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Anyone watched Dexter yet? Just finished watching the first series on DVD and it's fantastic stuff. A splendid cast, consistently top-drawer writing and absolutely pitch black comedy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:41 pm 
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Location: Brighton, UK
Stu wrote:
Recently finished Season 1 of The Wire. A squad of Baltimore detectives try to take down a drug dealer and his criminal empire. No flashy visuals but instead there's snappy dialogue, well-rounded characters, and a strong plot. Lots of emphasis on the politics in both the police bureaucracy and the crime empire's hierarchy. And there's no promise of a happy ending -- you have to watch right to the end to see who, if anyone, is going to come out on top.


I second the recommendation for The Wire. Watch it. Watch it now. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:59 pm 
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friendlygun wrote:
I second the recommendation for The Wire...


On VideoVista, Jonathan McCalmont suggests not giving up after season 2...
WIRE reviews:
Season 1 - http://www.videovista.net/reviews/july05/wiretv1.html
Season 2 - http://www.videovista.net/reviews/aug05/wiretv2.html
Season 3 - http://www.videovista.net/reviews/sept06/wiretv3.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Hmm, I see Jonathan's point about the lack of focus in season 2 - compared to the first that certainly is a problem - but having seen all but the latest season of the show it's fairly obvious to me that the show has been steadily increasing in scale of focus in order to construct a sociological portrait of the city of Baltimore (and doing so in a much more thrilling, entertaining way than "sociological portrait" might make it sound). That said I watched through all of it back-to-back so I don't picture the seasons as particularly distinct in my mind, except in terms of plot arcs and so on.

Anyway, good reviews, and we definitely agree that they should be watched.

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