Saturday, November 26, 2016

Paranoid on Netflix: Pre-Brexit

We streamed Paranoid on Netflix - we never pass up a British cop drama, and this one was uncommonly good.

First, it was good to see Indira Varma in a starring rather than supportive role.  She impressed in everything from Rome to Luther, and she's excellent as the lead detective (Nina) investigating what may be a murder by a homicidal maniac.   Even more interesting in many ways is her private life, with all kinds of unexpected alliances and vulnerabilities and twists and turns, including with the young guy on her team, Alec (played just right by Dino Fetscher).

Speaking of moving up to a more major role, Robert Glenister, who played a sometimes arch superior in MI-5, is down in the trenches as a hard-bitten, heart-on-his-sleeve detective on Nina's team, and the drugs he's taking for his anxiety may be making him a little paranoid himself.   Leslie Sharp is also sharp, definitely memorable, as his quirky love-interest Lucy.

But the villain in this story [mild spoiler], as soon becomes apparent, is big pharma, and its reach extends from England to Germany, which soon pitches the narrative into a tale of two detective units, one in a smallish town in England, the other in Dusseldorf, with all kinds of helpful and otherwise interactions.

It occurred to me, as I was watching and enjoying this, that this kind of cooperation, conducted via Skype and the occasional in-person visit, was pre-Brexit.   I suppose there's no reason it couldn't continue, but this subtle subtext of Paranoid, that the Brits and the Germans are almost just two different units of some same transnational police force, somehow seems a little more wishful thinking now than it did earlier this year.

Which makes Paranoid even more appealing as a cop show.   See it.

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