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Compelling crime drama with extraordinary performances...
My Review of "Luther"
Essentially a crime drama, "Luther" provides us with entertainment on various levels. The show can be quite dark at times, even for a crime drama. In the various episodes of season 1, we follow DCI John Luther(played by Idris Elba), a troubled and brilliant chief inspector, in his daily life.
We see him returning to the police force to catch killers, and there is his relationship with Zoe Luther, his ex-wife, that also demands a lot of him. He balances solving tough cases with his marital problems, a dangerous combination for a man that's as emotionally unbalanced as he is.
To make matters worse for John, Alice Morgan commits the perfect murder, and he finds her oddly fascinated with him. She keeps meddling herself in John's life, and they form a very unique, yet unhealthy relationship. This cat-and-mouse game forms the mythology of the first season, as John vows to take Alice down; very refreshing for a crime series, because this show -- unlike other shows -- balances between case and mythology in a way that's rarely seen.
The writing, the acting, and the fast-paced direction make every episode of "Luther" incredibly entertaining. Aside from many crime shows, this isn't strictly a procedural; you will get to see plenty of John's troubled life, too. I commend this show for maintaining such a good balance, whilst simultaneously keeping interest for the case at hand, his marital issues, and the mythology -- that's pretty hard to do.
The last episode of season one ends with a cliffhanger, one that I anticipated on, though liked tremendously. There is still a lot left to explore, so bring on season two.
Persons Unknown (2010)
Entertaining mini-series that begs for another season...
My Review of "Persons Unknown"
This mini-series was created by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), and it entertained me throughout last year's summer. Because of the limited promotion, I had to stumble on "Persons Unknown" by sheer luck. The reason why the studio did not have faith in this show -- with its large potential -- beats me.
In the pilot episode, written by McQuarrie, we are introduced to the captives and the place they are held in. Right away, questions arise on why they were taken, and by whom they were taken. Aside from the captives' storyline, there is also a subplot of a reporter, who's investigative eye falls on these mysterious disappearances.
This episode neatly lays the groundwork on which this series is built upon. Every captive seemingly has a specific reason for being held; they try to deduce what the motive of the captors is by figuring out where each of them came from.
Suspenseful moments are to be expected when the captives try to escape the place they are being held in, when their lives are threatened, and when they start to crack under pressure. For those who like to be surprised until the end, this is your show. The amount of mystery is enormous, and will often catch you off-guard.
The main thing I liked was how the main characters reacted in certain situations; mainly, the wariness they showed towards each other, and the questions they asked themselves.
I watched this mini-series in its original run, so I had to wait a full week to get a new episode; I'm sure once you start watching now, you won't be able to stop watching until you've seen them all.
As for the ending, it was a bit of a let-down; actually, a major let-down. On itself in the scenario that the show would return for subsequent seasons -- it was a great finale, but as a series finale it just failed. We were promised to get answers to all the major questions by summer's end, yet the finale did not follow through on that statement.
They left us hanging with so many questions -- a real shame. So much wasted potential, so much frustration. If you ask me, they could have ended this story with the preceding episode; this episode would have provided more closure, however the burning questions would still remain.
If it were up to me, I would bring back "Persons Unknown" for another season. Then we could see a proper conclusion to a great storyline. The finale provides a good starting point for that matter. There is still much to explore for the writers, so I'd say bring back "Persons Unknown."
Taking everything into account, I am going to give "Persons Unknown" an 8 out of 10.