Friday, 4 January 2013

In which I discover "The Unusuals" and prove that I am putty (in certain hands...)

It’s odd, the things having a crush makes one do (oh yes, they make me.  Honest.  I can’t resist, I’m putty in the hands of my urges.  Ahem). 

So, anyway - I bought a Dvd boxed set.  Not a big one - all of two discs.  Just ten episodes; that’s so sad.  But at least now I understand what the fuss was about, and why someone described this to me as the police procedural equivalent of “Firefly”.  It’s a good analogy.  Not only because both were shot down in flames after just one series, but in terms of quality as well.

When the Dipgeek introduced me to “Firefly”, also on Dvd, it took about fifteen minutes for me to be hooked, whereas this took the whole of episode 1.  This makes sense; I adore science fiction, I’m mostly neutral towards police procedurals.  In “Firefly”, the opening battle looked good; then the titles were terrific, the dialogue was great, the ship’s engineer was not a brawny bloke but a lass, yay! - and with the brilliant sequence on Persephone the “grab Im” process was complete.  I became a devoted Browncoat and have not deviated since.

With this, the key moments were the fact that at the first introduction of the character played by Crush Of The Moment, he’s cooking – that’s a big yay! for me, unrepentant foodie that I am (plus it creates the need for regular close-ups of his gorgeous hands, which is definitely a Good Thing - I would happily be putty in those hands).  Then, there’s the presence of the ever-excellent Harold Perrineau; the fact that our heroine is a jolie-laide rather than a tv-style beauty – i.e. she looks like a human being, not a shop-window dummy; and the way that the touches of humour are so lightly-handled and kept character-based.  But it wasn’t until the end of the first episode that I realised that, ever so quietly, I had been hooked and landed.  I was looking forward to some more, and thinking grumpily “Why are there only ten episodes?  What berk made that decision?” – and then I knew that this wasn’t simply going to be a piece of Renner-Porn but a real find.

Honestly, there a must be some very silly people working in executive-decision-making posts in television.    Why would anyone intelligent choose to keep churning out some of the drivel that clogs tele screens all over the developed world (naming no names – after all, tastes in drivel vary), and yet scrap “Firefly” and “The Unusuals”??  Can no-one ever take a well-worn trope and do with it something just a wee bit fresh and different?  Why can’t a television series be primarily character-driven, rather than ever-more-hysterically plot-contrivance-driven?  What are they so scared of? – actually entertaining us?


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