Monday, July 12, 2010

Homicide: Life on the Streets

A few blogs ago I wrote about what we'd be watching now that Wallander and Dr Who have finished. We are pressing on with our American film noir season - enjoyed THIS GUN FOR HIRE based on a Graham Greene novel and starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake - but the other stand-bys are DVDs of HOMICIDE, for me one of the very best US crime series. I prefer it to THE WIRE.
The first series was shown in the early 1990s, but it really hasn't dated. (It's also terrifically good value - only £5 for the first series from Amazon).
Everything about it is good. Detective Frank Pembleton played by the wonderful Andre Braugher stands out. He is a brilliant and driven detective, but also a devoted husband and the interplay between his work and his home life is very well handled. But all the characters are well-developed and totally convincing and the acting is first-rate. The scripts are consistently excellent. I very much admire the audacity of some of the plot lines. Sometimes the detectives do not get their man and the viewer too is left dangling. In one episode that takes place on Christmas Eve not much happens.
It's sometimes funny, often dark and unsettling, and always compelling. I love it.

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