Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is something of a 19th-century–style, Old West lawman living in modern times, whose unconventional enforcement of justice makes him a target of criminals as well as his U.S. Marshals Service bosses. As a result of his controversial but "justified" quick-draw shooting of mob hitman in Miami, Givens is reassigned from Miami to Lexington, Kentucky. The Lexington Marshals office's jurisdiction includes Harlan County, where Raylan grew up and which he thought he had escaped for good in his youth

The Other Great Crime Dramas

     Two detectives—one from the U.S. (Diane Kruger from National Treasure & Inglorious Basterds), one from Mexico (Demián Bichir)—must work together to track down a killer who is operating on both sides of the border. It’s yet another great character driving crime drama. The female U.S. detective is a more realistic portrayal of someone with Aspergers than is represented on Sherlock (which I previously reviewed). She has a police chief that watches over her like a father, helping her to understand people and even telling her what is considered social acceptable behavior. The male lead is "law-abiding" Mexican detective, unlike his colleagues that all seem to be in the pocket of the Mexican Cartels. Though he is not afraid to bend the rules for the greater good, which frustrates the rule oriented female lead. He has twin girls with the women he shares a home and a college-age son from a previous marriage that live with them. Despite being an upstanding cop, he’s morally flawed in much of his personal life. The interaction between these two characters make for a more realistic show. "The Bridge" is a lot darker compared to similarly formatted cop shows that are out there, like Fox's "Bones", TNT's "Rizzoli and Isles" & *Perception", and CBS's "The Mentalists", which tend to more light hearted and fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winner of the 2013 & 2014 Television Program of the Year

by the American Film Institute Awards

The Bridge (FX)

     Adaptation of a Danish-TV crime drama following investigations by homicide detectives, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos, Brad Pitt’s wife in World War Z) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman).  The viewpoints include those of the police and suspects.  The Killing is a dark crime drama, figuratively and literally, as it is set in Seattle and is very spookily filmed.  Detective Linden is a soft-speaken single mother of a teenage boy with a very completed past on the police force.  While her newly promoted partner, detective Holder, is a former undercover narcotic’s cop.  He's what I imagine a West Virginia meth dealer is like, skinny, foul-mouthed, and very disheveled, but smart as a whip.  Making him relatable to the kind of unsavory people they investigate and able to go unnoticed at places normal homicide detectives couldn’t.  Like most great dramas it’s character driving.

The Killing (AMC and Netflix)

     A psychological thriller that examines the lives of two hunters.  One is a serial killer who stalks his victims in and around Belfast and the other is a talented senior police officer investigating from "the MET" (Metropolitan Police Service of London) who is out to catch him. Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson, Scully from "The X-Files") is brought in from London to help solve a Belfast murder. Unknown to the detectives, the killer, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), a married man with two kids, is already planning his next kill.

     The performances are excellent across the board and with Anderson and Dornan standing out in particular and, by focusing on both the police and killer, The Fall makes for an enthralling watch. There may only be five episodes in this first season but this is one of the best police drama series to hit our screens in a while. (Review by DrLowdon, Metacritic.com)

The Fall (BBC and Netflix)

Justified (FX)

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