|Index||8 reviews in total|
Loved this show. The first two episodes were exciting and dynamic. The scripting was dense and the visual style was edgy and modern. Overall it was well directed and had great performances. It reminded me a lot of the really exciting shows like Boomtown and The Shield that are coming out of USA and a little bit of the excellent Homicide Life on the Street. Definitely watching the rest.
"M.I.T." spun off "The Bill" after the demise of Matthew Boyden. In the
traditions of British police drama, "M.I.T." is a winner.
What makes it a change for the better is that "The Bill" in recent years has become little more than a soapy, tawdry shadow of the excellent series it once was.
"M.I.T." presents a stark comparison. Engaging, well focused, fast moving episodes with a good balance between storyline and characterization.
The fast pace may not be to everyone's liking but it still represents the best effort in its genre to come out of Britain in a long time.
Let us hope there is more to come.
I love UK murder mysteries, both filmed and written, and most are on a high level. I thought this one was trying to be but just didn't make it. For one thing I can't stand that jerky hand-held camera style of filming that was popular for a while but no longer is, thank goodness. I think we were supposed to feel the tension build between the characters as the camera comes in for a close-up that lasts for more than a second, implying some kind of significance that just isn't there. The denouement where we find out who committed the murder was totally flat and boring. The whole thing felt meaningless IMHO. I watched only one episode and it felt like such a waste of time I was not tempted to watch any more. If you want a dramatic mystery series with two, no make that three, lead women, Scott & Bailey is so much better.
Having seen the first episode of 8 only, I'm in two minds whether to watch
the rest. The first story continued from a storyline portrayed in a recent
episode of The Bill. And a very interesting, intriguing and surprising
storyline it was, too.
But what spoilt it for me was the filming technique. Just because you can stick a modern TV camera right up the actor's nose doesn't mean you have to. I watched on a small TV set, but the thought of seeing someone's head fill the whole of a 3-foot wide TV screen makes me feel seasick. Pretending to hide behind another character's head or a plant is a very dull, and now over-used, way of trying to create a sense of reality. The filmic technique merely gets in the way of the story.
This show is a spin off from the hugely popular Brit cop drama THE BILL , a
fact that had been publicised for months before its transmission . But - And
it`s a very big but - its connection with THE BILL is very tenious . A major
character from Sun Hill police station is murdered and it`s up to this
murder investigation team to catch the killer which they do in the first
episode , however in the following episodes there is absolutely no
connection between the boys in blue from THE BILL and the characters in this
show . In other words it`s not really a spin off from THE BILL it`s just
another generic detective drama that uses a plot in its first episode to
allow the TV company to con people into thinking they`re going to be
watching a grittier version of Britain`s favourite cop show.
There`s two things I found irritating . The first is the zippy camera work which has the camera quickly panning acoss , up and down , in and out of the screen . Imagine the camera work of HILL STREET BLUES on speed and you`ve got the idea , it`s really annoying though this seems to be ditched the more the series goes on . Secondly the scenes never seem to last for a few seconds . Jump cut to the station where the woman detective puts two and two together . Jump cut to lead . Jump cut to suspect . Jump cut to detective confirming alibi . Jump cut to station where there`s a new lead . No doubt the producers will defend themselves saying that the show is tightly plotted and that the stories aren`t held up by the characters domestic problems like most detective shows , and the producers would be right to a great degree , but this gives MIT an entirely mechanical feel the way the story jumps about not allowing the audience to draw breathe
As I write there`s no news of a second series of MIT , and if the show`s not coming back I wouldn`t be too disappointed since there`s far too many cop shows on British television at the moment . On top of that I can`t help feeling if this wasn`t a spin off from THE BILL it probably wouldn`t have been made in the first place
The one thing that stands out about MIT is that it's not very homogenous: style and quality of stories are very different throughout the first series. Some episodes are meant to be very cutting edge by using an almost documentary style, some are fairly traditional. Some stories are very complex and difficult to follow particularly within a 50 minutes format- sometimes you get the impression that a 90 minutes story was cut down to fifty. Other stories are great crime drama, almost Jonathan Kellermann terrain. So all in all, it's a show that's showing promise but still has to find its own style. My main issue with the show is however the DI Vivien Friend or rather the way she is portrayed. She is a bit of a stereotype in terms of being the hard nosed career woman on the surface but with emotions underneath- I just don't see that in the performance.
Another alleged spinoff from "The Bill", since the first episode arcs off
from the murder of Sgt Boyden. They solve the crime in the first episode,
despite the fact that "The Bill" had been carefully cultivating several
suspects over several episodes. In the end their lengthy and complicated
setups came to nothing and all the anticipation and mystery evaporates
immediately. And for some reason it takes about six officers to solve a
pretty obvious crime.
What's left? Five more pedestrian police drama episodes where the murderer always ends up being the first person you thought it was, over-produced and over-acted, in typical "quality British crime drama" fashion. "Burnside", the previous spinoff, was likewise a pretty ordinary set of police dramas with a character called Frank Burnside inserted. In "M.I.T." they could have at least used DC Duncan Lennox (wonderful George Rossi), since that character now works for MIT.
At the end of the day, the whole affair is obviously a fairly cynical attempt to build a franchise from "The Bill" by inserting a few cameos in the first episode. The fact that this show isn't continuing probably tells you a fair bit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Aside from the Attention Deficit Direction and stagger-vision and other
novelty diatribes about 'spin-offs' or dialect troubles this is an
highly entertaining show.
In the United States, the best police shows were NYPD Blue, Homicide and Hill Street Blues. Since the arrival of the forensics craze and documentary shows like the FIRST 48, American JUSTICE and CITY CONFIDENTIAL of the 1990s the genre has fallen into disrepair with few exceptions such as the Shield and the Wire.
Of the few British shows exported to the Americas, not withstanding Mystery or Masterpiece Theatre, MIT was a distinct and fresh program buried on Saturday re-runs on A& E and Global, but that was a while ago.
The mood of the show was lacking in precious character development and unique story lines, which is often a corrosive element. MIT does not pander openly, it is as straightforward and cold as violent crime in normal circumstances is. I personally found this detachment from emotion refreshing and a more respectful, to the audience and police work, attempt than the usual exploitation found on television and in film.
American TV has had some recent failures with 'professional' and 'direct' police dramas such as the forgotten Dragnet and Robbery Homicide. I suppose its difficult to balance real with profitable ratings and I cannot change the laws of market capitalism. I really liked this show when it was on in the states, hope it airs again in the not too distant future because it was/is genuinely unique in comparison to the slop on our television networks.
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