The Ninjabot

Netflix Original Review: THE FALL

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm by Jess Hicks

Netflix Original programming seems to pop up on almost a weekly basis now-a-days and for good reason. House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black basically set them up for continuous success which means more quality entertainment for us (except Hemlock Grove). Streaming is the next big thing, if it isn’t already, to happen to media consumers. It allows more artistic liberties to the creators of the content which in turn benefits everyone incredibly, particularly the streaming companies where the shows are exclusively owned.

Being a huge advocate for Netflix, I decided to take some time to indulge in their Netflix Originals and what I found was something that is 90% (maybe more) gratifying. I can’t talk about Orange is the New Black or House of Cards because frankly there is nothing else to be said about them that hasn’t been repeated over and over again. What I do want to talk about is the BBC/Netflix collaboration, The Fall. 

Official Synopsis 

The series is set in Northern Ireland and follows a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation into a string of recent murders. When the PSNI are unable to close the case after 28 days, Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), of the Metropolitan Police, is called in to review the case. Under her new leadership, the local detectives must track down and stop the serial killer, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), who is attacking young, professional women in the city of Belfast. 

Now to be completely fair, this isn’t wholly a Netflix Original it actually aired in Ireland on May 12th, 2013 and a few days later in the UK. However, it does boast the “Netflix Original” stamp and Netflix did make it available for American viewers via streaming so it counts in my book. I have to admit the main reason I decided to was was Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame. It’s no secret that I have a massive girl crush on her so I will basically watch anything she does, throw in a serial killer and you have a guaranteed fan in me!

The Fall-Jamie Dornan

The Fall packs a huge punch in atmosphere and storytelling, I felt grimy even watching Jamie Dornan  (future Fifty Shades of Grey star) slink about searching for women to kill. His portrayal of serial killer Paul Spector is unnerving and mesmerizing as we watch him balance his family man and grief counselor persona with his need to kill. While he definitely doesn’t manage the “family man” image well and is the most dismal looking grief counselor there ever was, it’s still utterly fascinating to watch him tumble further into insanity. This isn’t the duality that Dexter Morgan had to face, no, Paul Spector is a vicious and vile man and I loved to hate him but most of all I savored his interactions with Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson).

The Fall-Gillian Anderson

Anderson, though still in the government role, departs tenfold from her character of Dana Scully from X-Files. She is a  forward thinking woman in a man’s world and she uses her intelligence as well as her womanly wiles to get where she needs to be, not that Scully didn’t do that she just wasn’t as…free about it. Let’s not forget that Paul Spector isn’t the only serial killer Anderson has been involved with, last year we got a surprise ending to the second season of Hannibal. Anderson, as always, jumps head first into this character and doesn’t falter one bit.

Though the first season is short, only 5 episodes, it crams more story and entertainment than most shows do with 13 episodes. Unfortunately, in BBC tradition, it has been over a year since the first season came out. In July fans got a teaser showing Paul Spector and Stella Gibson still on each others trail with  cryptic message at the end stating The Fall would be back “soon”. If you are late to the party, like I was, you may not have too much longer to wait though. Rumor has it this fall the new season will air but no word if it will be released in the UK or if Netflix will get it. But hey, fans of BBC programming know that the waiting is always worth it. Catch up on The Fall over at Netflix and let us know what you thought!

The Fall: B+

You can follow Jess on Twitter @DangerJess_

 

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