Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "The Dark Lure of Gillian Anderson's The Fall"

BBC Two’s The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan, debuts on Netflix on May 28. My take on Anderson and Dornan’s searing performances and why you need to watch.

At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Dark Lure of Gillian Anderson's The Fall," in which I review BBC Two's serial killer drama The Fall, which stars Gillian Anderson and which makes its Stateside debut next week on Netflix.

It is virtually impossible to talk about The Fall—BBC Two’s addictive and provocative serial killer drama, which begins streaming stateside on Netflix on May 28—without mentioning the ghost in the room: Prime Suspect.

The allusion to Prime Suspect, a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic, is well founded. For one, The Fall is the closest that television has come to capturing the taut alchemy of Prime Suspect: part police chase, part psychological portrait of the hunted and the hunter. At the time of its premiere in 1992, Prime Suspect captured the institutional misogyny of the Metropolitan Police and placed at its center Helen Mirren’s Jane Tennison, a knife-sharp detective who wasn’t content to hover at the edges of a “man’s world.” Over the seven seasons that Mirren portrayed Jane, viewers came to see her as a brilliant, if flawed, protagonist, who somehow remained tethered to the glass ceiling that she had shattered and who turned to drink and sex to dull the loneliness of her life.

In The Fall, we see both the hard road that Mirren’s Tennison had to walk but also the women—both fictional and real—who followed Tennison’s path in the 22 years since she first appeared on screen. Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, played here with precision and grit by Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), joins this tradition as a confident and headstrong copper who flits between steely logic and rational detachment. To call her emotionless is to miss the point: Anderson’s Stella has real and vivid emotions, often deeply so, but she’s far more calm and rational than her male colleagues, a capricious and sensitive lot who can dodge bullets but can’t avoid wounded egos.

Created by Allan Cubitt (who not surprisingly cut his teeth on Prime Suspect 2), The Fall is a top-flight mystery that taps into political tensions in Northern Ireland and the troubling undercurrent of violence against women. Stella Gibson, a Metropolitan Police detective from London, arrives in Belfast to conduct a 28-day review of a high-stakes investigation into the murder of a professional woman who was found strangled in her home, her body artfully posed in her bed. What Stella—an out-of-place Englishwoman—discovers is that Belfast is far from peaceful, with the locals’ simmering rage constantly threatening to boil over into violence, and that this crime may be connected to another unsolved murder. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has stumbled upon a string of murders perpetrated by a killer who has the same level of precision and dedication to his own craft as Stella does to hers.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...


Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: "The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now"

The CBS legal drama, now in its sixth season, continually shakes up its narrative foundations and proves itself fearless in the process. Spoilers ahead, if you’re not up to date on the show. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now," in which I praise CBS' The Good Wife and, well, hail it as the best show currently on television. (Yes, you read that right.) There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television. I won’t qualify that statement in the least — I’m not talking about the best show currently airing on broadcast television or outside of cable or on premium or however you want to sandbox this remarkable show. No, the legal drama is the best thing currently airing on any channel on television. That The Good Wife is this perfect in its sixth season is reason to truly celebrate. Few shows embrace complexity and risk-taking in t

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it