TV – Luther: Season 1: A

While the shell is a fairly standard detective narrative, the strength of the show’s characters elevates it dramatically. Which is common for BBC dramas it seems. Idris Elba lives up to hype I didn’t realize I’d assigned to him and the female lead portrays a captivating madness. Plenty of drama drips from the “cop walking the line between right and wrong” thematic structure. Oftentimes I enjoyed that drama. Sometimes I didn’t.


TV – Downton Abbey: Season 3: A

downton abbey season 3A

All these ensamble-cast dramas know what they’re doing. Downton Abbey continued in the right direction, for the most part. Some characters found better niches for themselves, while others seemed to struggle to stay relevant after their limelight began to fade. Two extremely dramatic events dominated my memory of this season. One of them was handled absolutely perfectly, and its foreshadowing and repercussions played out well. The other was obviously forced and marred the end of a great season. I enjoyed the evolving depictions of social dilemmas, though I’m sure they’re a tad anachronistic. Shirley MacLaine was too one-note, but Scotland was fun.

TV – Sherlock: A+

A lot of thought went into this show. Details and nuances often delight and then disappear into the pull of the engaging plots. The introduction of Mycroft is perfect and Moriarty is re-imagined better than I could’ve hoped. Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is exactly right but Freeman’s Watson really makes the show for me. The first episode of the second season is a masterpiece.

TV – Downton Abbey: Season 2: A-

Though I thought in some scenes in the middle it began to meander a bit from its focus, the characters are just so expertly written and acted that you can’t help but enjoy it, no matter where it takes you. The drama definitely ramped up for this season too, and the production values were also much higher, with several new great settings. I hope it’s not another 2 years until season 3.

TV – Downton Abbey: Season 1: A

An extremely addictive show with a huge cast of characters, most of which quickly get rounded out, but retain their archetypical roles. It amazed me how much story they could develop in each hour long episode, especially given how few actual locations were used. As odd as it seems, the pacing and structure are quite reminiscent of Game of Thrones, though with significantly fewer bloody murders.