Wednesday, September 19th, 2012...12:50 PM

Netflix Instant Pick of the Week

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TV Show: Luther

Target Audience: Detective show fans/gritty drama fans

Time to start our weekly segment of Netflix Instant Watch pick of the week! Each week a show or movie will be picked, one that may be flying “under the radar.” For this week the Netflix show “Luther” gets my recommendation. Luther stars a fantastic television actor in Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire, also in the new flick Prometheus) as a troubled black detective, DCI John Luther, in London. The cop drama has been redone and remastered over and over again the past few decades, from “snarky 0ne-liner detective”  (Sean Spencer from Psych) to the “defective-detective” (Adrian Monk from Monk) to even more modern and recent the BBC’s Sherlock (another fantastic show, Season 1 is also available on Netflix) Basically what I am trying to say is clearly a troubled detective is nothing new. Also I am a sucker for these types of shows.

What separates this show from any other, the basic reason to watch, is not only the intense cases and killers covered but the relationship between the always-angry Luther and Alice Morgan (played by Ruth Wilson, Princess Betsy in the new Anna Karenina movie coming out this year). Morgan *Spoiler Alert* is believed to have killed her family in the first episode of the series, which Luther is able to deduce relatively quickly. The two continue the rest of the series to have one of the most complicated and compelling relationships I have seen in television. Many times I found myself yelling at my computer screen, “Why are you talking to her dude?! She’s a murderer!” But the two form a pretty deep bond which I can’t really go into without spoiling more of the show. Also Alice is slightly attractive, in a weird sexy serial killer type of way.

Season 1 spans six episodes, with each running about an hour and a half. Season 2 is finally up there as well, which lasts a short but action-packed four episodes. Those with short attention spans may want to stay away, especially with the British accents sometimes making it difficult to understand what is going on. I find that after a few episodes of going, “What the hell did he say?” the accents will become less hard to understand and soon will not faze you one bit. Other characters include Luther’s ex-wife Zoe (played by Indira Varma, who played a big role in the failed Fox thriller Human Target, as well as many Indian flicks) who is getting involved with a new lover Mark North (Paul McGann of Doctor Who fame). Also Luther’s trusty partner DS Justin Ripley (Warren Brown, who actually played one of the mercenaries in The Dark Knight Rises) is a fun character to root for. Loyal to a fault, Luther’s respect for Ripley grows as the show goes on.

In summary, if you enjoy dramas such as Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, or Boardwalk Empire you should enjoy this show. The formula may not be different, but the execution is quite successful.

Ben’s Rating: Four and a Half Stars out of Five

By Ben Simpson



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