SAFE (Canal+ and Netflix 2018)

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How does one feel safe in a neighborhood? Does fencing in the community help keep the boogie-man out or does it actually keep the boogie-man safe within? It’s a question that comes up in this interesting series entitled SAFE, which was done by Netflix and Canal+. It’s a pretty intriguing mystery with a surprising twist at the end. Just don’t Google the answer if a certain character makes it or dies before you finish all eight episodes. You are liable to read the spoiler about the end. Ruined it for me!  Dang-it.

The series is set in England and involves an English doctor with two daughters, one of which goes missing after a wild house party she attends. The daughter of one of the parents in the fenced neighborhood has a wild drinking and drug party while her parents are away. Unfortunately, when the host steps outside for a breath of fresh air, she finds a dead body of one of the male attendees floating in the swimming pool.

The deceased is the boyfriend of Tom Delaney’s elder daughter, who hasn’t come home from the night before. As the police deal with the who-done-it questions about the dead boy, Tom is out searching frantically for his daughter.

His search uncovers all sorts of mysteries surrounding his deceased wife, and everything become very convoluted as the web of neighborhood deceit becomes stickier than ever. There are a few subplots along the way regarding others neighbors, and a huge secret that answers all the questions is glossed over early in the series.

It’s a good mystery.  Worth the watch.

 

An Inspector Calls (BBC 2015)

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Now streaming on Amazon is “An Inspector Calls,” which is probably the most profound and emotional story I’ve seen in my life.  Frankly, I never heard of it before.  Written by J. B. Priestley, it was apparently a play first performed in Moscow in 1945 and then in the UK in 1946 and has been on stage multiple times. I guess according to Wikipedia, it’s hailed as a classic. Apparently, it’s been in film and television also throughout the years.

The story is set in 1912 and revolves around a rich cotton mill owner Mr. Birling.  They are at home at dinner with his wife, son, daughter, and her fiance.  After dinner, a gentleman arrives at the door and introduces himself as Inspector Goole from the police.  He is led into the dining room where Mr. Birling and his son and Mr. Croft are talking, while the ladies are in the parlor.

It begins with him asking Mr. Birley if he recognizes a woman in a picture that he shows him, and he denies knowing her.  When pressured why the questions, he states that she has committed suicide and he’s investigating the circumstances that lead up to her death.  Naturally, Mr. Birley asks what does this have to do with us? Eventually, he confesses that she did work at his factory and the story begins.

Well, I cannot tell you the rest because it would ruin it for you.  I think I gasped a few times, got overly emotional, felt my own shame at the end, and sat there dumbfounded after the show ended.  So what’s it all about?  Here’s a short quote that might give you a hint:

We don’t live alone upon this earth. We are responsible for each other.  And if mankind will not learn that lesson then the time will come when he will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.

You’ll discover, too, that Inspector Goole isn’t everything he appears to be.

I highly recommend it because he stabs the audience at the core. It’s also intertwined with the classes of society, how we deal with each other, and the outcome of our actions that can affect others.

It’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime for free.

Our Girl (BBC 2014-2018)

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Now streaming on Britbox is Our Girl, a British military series that is now in Season 3 in the UK.  Seasons 1 and 2 are now on Britbox, and I must say it’s pretty good.  I’m not much for military dramas, but taking this journey is worth the time.

The two-hour pilot sets the background for the heroine’s life before joining the army.  Lacey Turner plays Molly Dawes, a young woman from a dysfunctional family situation in London.  Pressured and unhappy about her home life that is a dead-end scenario, and the fact that she has no idea what to do with her life, she glances across the street at a recruiting station.  From the time she walks through the door, the pilot takes you through her application, her acceptance, her boot camp experience, and her eventual career as a medic in the British army.  Her family turns her back on her because of her decision, but she finds a place she belongs and perseveres.

I’ve only watched five episodes so far, but am impressed with the storyline. As Molly is deployed to Afganistan, it’s an interesting look into the lives of the young men and those who lead them.  Molly is far outnumbered and the only female at her post. Of course, she needs to earn the respect from the male soldiers and commanding officer but eventually does so after she saves one of their own.

I’m looking forward to continuing the series.  If you have BritBox, check it out.

 

19-2 (Canadian TV 2014-2017)

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19-2.  You may think that’s an odd title for a series.  As a matter of explanation, 19-2 is the number of the police car where two opposite personalities are partnered up at a Montreal Police Department station.  Nick Barron, whose former partner was shot and gravely injured, is paired with a newly transferred Ben Chartier from the north country.  You’ll be doing ride alongs in the back seat of their patrol car as well as the cars of other cops in the station.

I’ll preface this review by saying I was once married to a Detroit Police Officer for three short years back in the early 1970’s.  I am quite familiar with the drama that being a cop can bring into personal relationships, and this television series will immerse you into the same type of drama from rocky relationships, wife beaters, alcoholics, infidelity, and a host of other emotional baggage that comes with the job.

To add to the interest of this particular series, the audience is part of their daily routines in a city that isn’t exactly a cop-loving environment.  They deal with the same community problems of being accused of being too rough, having their calls taped on cell phones, complaints of not doing enough or doing too much, etc.  Frankly, it’s not often they can do anything right except save someone’s life when needed.

The show also, like most police stories, deals with corruption in the department. Station 19 has a mole.  Whenever there’s a raid, police are either in a trap or the criminals are long gone ahead of time.  The story weaves in and out of that storyline, along with the personal lives – one policeman an alcoholic, one going through a divorce, one beats his wife, and love affairs left and right.  Beware this is graphic sexual content throughout the show with minutes of rutting from front to rear and naked bodies (sorry to be so graphic as the content but that’s how it is).  If that turns you off, then don’t turn it on.  After three episodes, I was frankly sick of seeing it.  In addition, the team often beat up each other because they can’t deal with their anger.  Also, the “F” word is used often.

Emotions run high in this series. If you’re curious about day-to-day lives of police on the street, it’s a must-see.  If you have any prejudice against police beforehand, you probably won’t like it at all.  For me, it hit home, having been married to an unfaithful and alcoholic policeman for three years.  I know the stress of the job because it’s up front and quite personal.  Yes, I loved the man in spite of having to iron his uniform shirts. While on duty, he met someone else, and my ride-along in his life ended with a broken heart.

 

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