Brit TV the dark side

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Brit TV the dark side

Postby KEND on Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:42 pm

The Brit TV series seem to be getting darker and darker. In the past few years shows like Luther, Whitechapel and Ripper Street took us to the dark side of crime, previously explored in the USA with many post Hannibal serial killer series and even in the westerns[Deadwood]. The old Agatha Christie/Morse/Gently are giving way to a new breed, as evidenced by the new 'Sherlock' and 'Taboo'.
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby Steve James on Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:31 pm

I think it's the other way around. Brit TV has always been more daring. Nudity, heroes getting killed during the show. Agatha Christie created her stuff before tv. It's true that the Morse and Gently's are gone. Whitechapel and Ripper Street, let's not forget, are based on the Ripper myth. But, there are the Father Brown mysteries, Grantchester, and many more that are more in the Morse tradition. Shucks, there's even a great Morse prequel ("Endeavour").

Anyway, no doubt there's a lot more darkness; but, I don't think it's an American export. In fact, worrying about the fate of main character's is definitely something British. Remember MI-5 (or Spooks, in the US).
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby cloudz on Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:40 am

Really looking forward to watching Taboo with Tom Hardy, that guy is great.. Recently watched The Revenant. Would also recommend Peaky Blinders for anyone looking for a good watch and some early 20th century British gangsta flavour. Think British broadwalk empire. Hardy plays a London based Jewish gangster in it (series 2), really well I might add. I hear Taboo is supposed to be pretty damn dark..
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby Steve James on Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:30 am

I can't wait for Taboo, either, just because of Tom Hardy. I loved his character in Peaky Blinders. He was also great in the movie about the Krays whose name I can't recall.
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby KEND on Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:09 pm

He played boih the twins. Another dramatized version of real events: The return of the Essex Boys. Shows Brit gangsters are just as nasty as their cousins across the pond. Not much violence yet in Taboo but TH exudes menace
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby aamc on Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:28 pm

Legend. Tom Hardy is gold in whatever he touches. Mad Max is a great film. Idris is mighty in Luther. Season 2 and 3 are great.
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby Steve James on Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:02 pm

Hey Ken, have you checked out the series "River" with Nicola Walker?
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby KEND on Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:29 am

I haven't seen it, it was released in 2015 and lasted a season, got several awards, don't know why it wasn't reviewed. Has Swedish detective, last few years seems to be several Nordic detectives and Brits playing Nordics [Branagh] including the brilliant The Bridge [US version is also commendable],
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby Steve James on Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:41 pm

Hey Ken, a good British whodunit dramedy is "Death in Paradise."
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby KEND on Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:31 am

Have seen the whole series, pity they killed off the original detective. New Tricks--great series even when they replaced the lead Sandra and killed off or dropped the original cast, Dennis Waterman was exceptional. Caught up on 'The Bill' and The Sweeny, early but good, also Inspector Gentle, set in the 70's is an interesting sample of the mores of that time
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby Steve James on Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:28 am

pity they killed off the original detective.


It was his decision. He wanted more time with his family, which he couldn't move to the Caribbean. I do like the new guy, but the chemistry isn't the same. However, DiP does have some of the best "howdunit" plot writing. Figuring out how the crime was committed is more in the Conan Doyle/Christie style.

It seems that defines the difference in darkness of these shows. In some, the crime, itself, is so gruesome that it dominates the plot. I.e., a la the Ripper, "Who would surgically disembowel several women." Then the search is for someone evil or psychotic, or for a super-villain. In other shows, the crime is ordinary --a simple stabbing, but while the victim is giving a speech in front of a thousand people and no one sees. Columbo flipped that on its head by showing the audience how it was done, but the fun was watching him figure it out.

The George Gently series is great. If you haven't already, check out the Foyle's War series. The WW2/Cold War context adds another dimension to the crimes and their motivations.
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby KEND on Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:43 pm

Foyles War is up there with the best, with brilliant performance from Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks. Others: IMHO the top dozen include Monty Python, Dr Who, Sharpe's Rifles, I Claudius, Blackadder, MI5, Jewel in the Crown, Yes Minister, Poirot, Rumpole, Whitechapel
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby Steve James on Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:51 pm

Great list, imo. You know, I was trying to recall some of the excellent recent historical dramas (not Downton Abbey). The machinations of the English aristocracy, though --talk about dark.
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby KEND on Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:51 am

Its an interesting trend in portrayals of the movers and shakers who were Brit leaders. At school years ago history was a memorized list of dates of kings and queens, excruciatingly boring. Shakespeare brought some flesh and blood images to the fore but the real history of, as far as I can see, is one of blood and gore, executions, myths, with the peasantry [apart from Cromwell] passively standing by or being slaughtered in wars promoted by their betters. The downton abbey bit, I lived it why look at it, The Victorian age created a whole new class of serfs, servants of the rich, do we need to celebrate it.
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Re: Brit TV the dark side

Postby Steve James on Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:38 am

Richard III, Bloody Mary, Oliver Cromwell, can't beat 'em for darkness.
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