First let me say, I love Joanne Froggatt. She is a beautiful and compelling actress and I want to see more of her in better movies and series. In fact, all the actors in DARK ANGEL are very good. Laura Morgan, Emma Fielding, and Jonas Armstrong are standouts, and Alun Armstrong can do no wrong. However, the writing and direction of DARK ANGEL leave much to be desired. Mary Ann Cotton's motivations are very sketchy -- something vaguely feminist and she states that she wanted "more" -- and so it is very hard to sympathize with her character. What we are left with is a glorified crime re-enactment from one of those exploitative Dateline or crime channel shows. What's worse is that the series creators try to suggest some ambiguity about some of the killings, which comes off as coy rather than clever. And then at times the juxtaposition of her being a tight spot to a quick cut to a corpse is almost comic. Mary Ann Cotton deserves a better treatment. There is much more to her story than is shown here.
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