Luther: Less cheese, please.

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I’m now into episode 4 of Luther, watching it as we speak and I’m a bit bewildered as to how good and bad it is. Basically it’s not enough to assume because Idris Elba was in The Wire that everyone will watch it. Actually, it is, but that’s a pretty lazy way to make television.

The script is the main problem I think, hackneyed and cliched. And with that follows the characterisation too, some really heavy-handed stereotypes – the hard nosed boss, the young apprentice cop, the plain evil bad guys who don’t show any sign of being ‘human’… and the main character John Luther, last seen here leaning back in his office chair, thinking hard, repeatedly throwing a cricket ball into a baseball mitt. The character is English, why would he even have a baseball mitt, unless he bought it and brought it into his office specifically to conform to that cliche. And I guess the idea with it being a cricket ball was supposed to be clever, to imply this is kind of like a British twist on Beverley Hills Cop – but it just jars.??
??
Actually maybe this is the main problem, the jarring. You’re happily watching, being drawn into the story and suddenly think, ‘why does Luther always meet that woman in that massive laboratory with hundreds of computers, and no one else is ever in there?’ or ‘why did they decide to include actors from Spooks and Hustle in the same episode, both arguably much better shows?’ And ‘why are they still trying to fool us that computer software can immediately sharpen a fuzzy image of a car number plate?’??
??
This is all a real shame because Luther shows some promise. I’m pretty sure they’ll go to a second series. If you do, Mr BBC, we like the menacing storylines, the actors doing their best with the scripts (namely Idris Elba) and the generally high production values but please, less cheese.??
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