WHAT'S gone wrong with modern drama? Time and again today I set out watching some series, mainly crime, in high hopes. The showrunners are well respected, the actors good, the casting spot on and the dialogue fresh. The thing is well rehearsed and acted.
And then, usually just after the halfway mark, it all goes horribly wrong.
Using one show as an example is a bit hard I admit but I am no professional and so I keep no detailed notes. So it is with regret that I turn to lambast The Tower. So let's get the good on one side. With one exception the acting is excellent. The dialogue good, the action elements well crafted. But it is the credibility that kills it dead for me.
Now I will admit that I probably know too much about police procedure, the law and that stuff. But if I am going to enjoy a drama it has to be reasonable, logical and never, ever fanciful.
So I ask you – what are the odds that the dangerous and proven killer object of a manhunt will choose to hide up in the home of the principle junior detective/love interest? Never mind the improbability of his making a decent Vlog to air his grievances and getting 800,000 hits in the twinkling of an eye.
And then what are the odds that that young love interest will choose that very moment to yet again sack up with the senior officer who is bedding her? So that when the officer's wife yet again hits his voice mail she will jump in her car and (this is yet to happen tonight) drive to the home of the adulterous love interest and end up (I bet she does) as a hostage that the duff top cop now has to negotiate in full view of the cuckoo'd wife, the adulterous cop and his eagle eyed colleagues? You, go Braveheart!
A few years back I watched an excellent series called Broadchurch; brilliant actors, brilliant plot; great details. Then came the sequel – utter rubbish with so many glaring holes it was unwatchable.
The Tower is not dissimilar – series one, good to very; series two, two hours of passable and then wham! It goes all silly soapy and dies.
It rather makes you wonder if after all the tight police procedurals and effective hero cops like Morse, Prime Suspect and co the showrunners have simply given up on any sort of realism and opted for fantasy coppering. "PC 49 and the Philosopher's Stove..."; "Dixon of Rocket Ship Green"
However there are winners – the wild ravings of Midsomer and Brokenwood gain some credibility by comparison! And I could watch Fiona Dolman for evermore!
I guess I must just learn that British TV has lost the plot – or more precisely the script editors and commissioning skills. Mind you, I caught some of a Scandi noir the other evening and that too tended to the melodramatic.