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Recess Monkey
Aug 16, 2002





The Fall is a crime thriller about the hunt for a serial killer in Belfast. There were two seasons produced and shown in the UK and Ireland, and then available via Netflix in the US after each season was complete. The second (and probably final) season finished airing on Dec. 17, 2014, and was available for streaming on Netflix in the US and Latin America on Jan. 16, 2015. The total running time is around 11.5 hours.

The series stars Gillian Anderson as Superintendent Stella Gibson, a senior police officer investigating a string of murders in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Yes, that Gillian Anderson. Just knowing her from the X-Files, I was surprised to learn that, while she was born in the US, she lived mostly in England until she was 11, and has a native British accent. When she moved to America, she picked up an American accent in order to fit in, and now can speak with either, depending on who she's talking to. As others have noted from watching Youtube, it's not just her accent but her personality that changes. With an American accent she's a laid back everygirl, but with the British she's more serious, and I swear around 3 inches taller.



It also stars Jamie Dornan, who I think also did an S&M porno movie.



We know right from the beginning who the killer is. It's up to feminist hardass Stella Gibson and her plucky team to find him. As episode one opens, there is an open investigation in Northern Ireland into the murder of Alice Monroe. For reasons that went over my head, an English Metropolitan Police detective is assigned to review the case. From the moment she arrives, Gibson is humorless but also dominant, to the extent that her choices for team members are partly based on how much she wants to gently caress them (both male and female). Meanwhile, we are introduced to the serial killer, Paul Spector, loving father of two kids by day and creepy strangler by night.

The episodes alternate between Gibson's and Spector's point of view, and it's this setup that makes it highly suspenseful. We see early on the depravity that Spector is capable of, which makes his day job as a breavement counselor and caring dad just as unnerving as his stalking and killing. It's a slow burn--there are actually very few murders, as most of his time is spent stalking, planning, evading the police, and masturbating to his keepsakes. What eventually takes shape in the series is that Gibson is meant to be seen in a similar light as the killer: distaste for the opposite sex, her after work fucks as a kind of stalking, exercise and journaling to keep in top mental and physical shape, and an appreciation of Nietzsche. It reminded me a little of Death Note in a way, but with more slip-ups and near misses.

I haven't watched many overseas shows, but the production values for this were fantastic. Every moment was a constant adrenaline rush for me. I watched the whole thing in 3 days, and I had a mild headache by the third day due to the adrenaline level. The acting is good too. It didn't register until the day after I finished, but there is a lot of subtlety in the acting, where momentary glances or scowls say more than words. Spector in particular is good at this, as he is a man of few words and facial expressions, but still conveys a lot. As far as the plot, it falters in the second season, as the detectives fail to connect important clues in order to keep the clock running. Everything else holds up.

Characters


Det. Superintendent Stella Gibson, S.I.O. (Gillian Anderson)

Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns (John Lynch) - her local liaison, who has an uneasy relationship and checkered history with Gibson

Sally Ann Spector (Bronagh Waugh) - Paul Spector's unsuspecting wife

P.C. Danielle Ferrington (Niamh McGrady) - an adorable police officer

Katie Benedetto (Aisling Franciosi) - the 15-year old Spector family babysitter

James Tyler (Brian Milligan) - local tough guy

... and many others.

Even though it's available on Netflix, I avoided spoilers in case anyone wants to check it out with a clean slate.

Recess Monkey fucked around with this message at 06:06 on Feb 19, 2015

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precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


I know Netflix threads aren't supposed to use spoiler tags but since this is the first reply I'm going to anyway, just in case:

I hope they don't bring Spector back for series 3. The only plausible way to do it would be to have him be Hannibal to Gillian's Clarisse and I just don't really need to see that. I would like to see her take on a new villain because Spector is done and pretty much explained (and maybe also dead)

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010



This is a really good show with some really good performances (Anderson in particular) which raise it far above the billion other procedural cop shows. I do hope there's a third series, at least if it manages to keep the momentum and tension going - the final episode of the second series ended in such a weird cliffhanger that I wished there was one more episode after it if no third series materializes.

Recess Monkey
Aug 16, 2002



Yeah, I neglected to mention it in the intro, but the finale ends abruptly, in the style of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Don't let that be a deterrent to watching. It took me a while to accept the ending, but I think it positioned itself the way it needed to in a way that worked as a finale while leaving plausible ways it could continue if the opportunity arose. Some sad walking-away music and a fade to black is how shows usually end, but the cliffhangers would probably still be there.

I'm fine with or without a third season. They told the story they wanted of two proto-ubermensch facing off in battle. I assume a third series would flesh this out some more. The writers threw in a lot of extra material into every episode, which were used in later episodes, ended up being red herrings, or left unused. For example, there was a girl that was thought to be a victim but was actually a suicide. An obvious red herring, but she had called a suicide hotline 6 months earlier, at a time when Spector was working at the suicide hotline. So it's possible that Spector had more victims, and what he meant by "we're just getting started".

precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


There's also the fact that his protege is ready to go to Murdertown, I could easily see a third series being about Spector grudgingly helping catch the babysitter. Or pretending to help while actually helping her somehow.

That girl ain't right.

a bone to pick
Sep 14, 2011

by FactsAreUseless


I got through season one and I'm on season 2 (or series, whatever). The more it goes on the more I hate everything about the show; Spector has been doing nothing but making stupid decisions, his wife is awful, why the gently caress is the babysitter chick still alive, there's all this evidence against spector but they've just been tailing him for like 3 episodes, there's more story movement in one episode of SVU. I'm starting to dislike the show so much that I'll randomly get upset about their accents.

How = Hoi

About = Aboiet

Ma'am = Mom

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010



Welllp. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y4cH5JZGVE

Viginti
Feb 1, 2015


Ugh, I was such a fan of the first season but boy did that second lot of episodes undo nearly all that good will. It not only became less compelling as a narrative and less interesting as a commentary but it drifted into the realm of really problematic material. This, I think, is one of the few British shows out there that may have overstayed its welcome. If it had been five or so episode's shorter that would have saved it from spinning out like it did. For Anderson's sake I hope its not coming back for a third.

Edit: Just saw that trailer. drat it.

a bone to pick
Sep 14, 2011

by FactsAreUseless


Viginti posted:

Ugh, I was such a fan of the first season but boy did that second lot of episodes undo nearly all that good will. It not only became less compelling as a narrative and less interesting as a commentary but it drifted into the realm of really problematic material. This, I think, is one of the few British shows out there that may have overstayed its welcome. If it had been five or so episode's shorter that would have saved it from spinning out like it did. For Anderson's sake I hope its not coming back for a third.

Exactly how I feel, first season kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next. season 2 is kind of like... ok obviously this guy has dug himself a hole, is he going to dig himself out? no? so he's hosed? then just loving kill him or catch him why is the series still going on? jesus christ with the loving babysitter, kill me already!!!

precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


I liked the babysitter plot, but I could see season 3 being bad if they bring back Jamie. I guess he's coming back because 50 Shades flopped?

esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

SHINee's back






precision posted:

I liked the babysitter plot, but I could see season 3 being bad if they bring back Jamie. I guess he's coming back because 50 Shades flopped?

I'd say he's coming back because his story isn't done yet. There's still the girl he held captive and with how they do a few days over a whole season I can see the third easily being about finding her.

^burtle
Jul 17, 2001

God of Boomin'





esperterra posted:

I'd say he's coming back because his story isn't done yet. There's still the girl he held captive and with how they do a few days over a whole season I can see the third easily being about finding her.

They did find her though?

Was surprised to see this didn't have more posts. I watched the whole second series home sick yesterday. It definitely stalled out by the end but Anderson was great.

esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

SHINee's back






^burtle posted:

They did find her though?

Was surprised to see this didn't have more posts. I watched the whole second series home sick yesterday. It definitely stalled out by the end but Anderson was great.

They didn't tie up the Rose Stagg thing, no. Not at all that I can remember. Pretty sure we don't know if she's dead, alive, or what.

^burtle
Jul 17, 2001

God of Boomin'





esperterra posted:

They didn't tie up the Rose Stagg thing, no. Not at all that I can remember. Pretty sure we don't know if she's dead, alive, or what.

She is alive when they find her, I'd dare say her fate is less up in the air than Spector's or Cumberbatch Jr.'s.

Darth Ballz
Apr 30, 2003
Feel the burn

esperterra posted:

They didn't tie up the Rose Stagg thing, no. Not at all that I can remember. Pretty sure we don't know if she's dead, alive, or what.

They totally find her in the trunk of the car.

precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


Yeah, the only story that Spector is connected to that isn't resolved is the babysitter. Like I said, it seems pretty likely that at least part of season 3 will have Spector advising Gillian while she tries to catch the babysitter, a la Silence of the Lambs.

esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

SHINee's back






Darth Ballz posted:

They totally find her in the trunk of the car.

I remember it being unclear if it was her or the mannequin in the trunk. I'll have to watch the finale again later.

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ded
Oct 27, 2005

Kooler than Jesus


esperterra posted:

I remember it being unclear if it was her or the mannequin in the trunk. I'll have to watch the finale again later.

It was pretty clear it was an actual breathing person who they got put into an ambulance.

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