Jaygee’s Immutable First Law of TV states that nearly all great long-running shows either start to repeat themselves or just get more and more absurdly convoluted in terms of their plots.
Dexter with Michael C Hall would be an excellent example of a once-promising series from the US that did both. From what the one episode I’ve seen of Line of Duty S6, the same seems to be happening to Line of Duty. Having set the bar for UK cop shows in the Tweenies (or whatever the fuck the years after 2010 are called). the show should have pulled the plug at the end of its fourth season when it was at the top of its game.
While I will binge the remainder of LofD S6, I’ll do so with a far lower expectations than before. For me, the best thing that the underwhelming first episode did was to motivate me to dig out my DVDs of GF Newman’s superb Between The Lines. An early 90s successor to the same writer’s earlier Law and Order, BTL starred – among others – the excellent Neil Pearson and the late Tony (none more slimy) Doyle.
If you’ve not seen it, the show is – like LofD – about cops investigating cops and was for the first two of its three seasons (Jaygee’s Law again!) absolutely must-see TV. In addition to tautly structured storylines, you also get the fun of playing spot the emerging star – the splendid Roger Allam and the late Pete Postlethwaite being just two excellent examples.
The good news for those of you who haven’t seen the show before is that almost every episode of BTL is on YT and in reasonably high quality. So if you love intelligently written cop shows and itching for something to watch in the run up to and over the easter holidays, BTL S1 and S2 are definitely worth a whirl.
IMDB precis is below
This show is set in the Complaints Investigation Bureau (C.I.B.), the department responsible for investigating other police officers, of London’s Metropolitan Police [the British counterpart to the Internal Affairs Bureau (I.A.B.) of a U.S. city’s police force]. The first two seasons had stories based around various different aspects of the darker side of the police, ranging from such topics as petty corruption, racism, and sexual harassment through to grand conspiracy, with some plot threads running through the season over several episodes. The series also dealt with the personal lives of it’s less-than-clean-cut characters, particularly the womanizing lead character Tony Clark, and is also notable for its inclusion of a lesbian character in a major role. In the third and final season, the focus changed significantly, moving away from the police force to other areas of security and espionage. Written by