Watch: Chasing Shadows

Watch: Chasing Shadows

Leigh MichaelFriday,3 October 2014

The Snap:

First there was Sherlock, then there was The Fall. That was followed by Broadchurch, which was nearly overshadowed by Happy Valley. British tv has found its international stride… And it’s one that isn’t dominated solely by Mary’s and Mr. Bates’s.

Chasing Shadows is the latest addition to the lineup. The four part series just wrapped up in the UK, with the promise of returning for a second season. You can take a look at the season’s trailer at the bottom of this post.

The Download: 

There aren’t very many reviewers who can offer an overwhelmingly glowing review of Chasing Shadows. The creators have been chastised for a number of reasons, but two seem to take the center stage. One – that the miniseries is little more than a collage of other recent detective shows, that the creators simply took the “good bits” from Sherlock, Broadchurch, and the like to create a ho-hum imitation. Two – that the lead detective, played by comedian Reece Shearsmith, exudes an unrealistic representation of Asberger’s. Sherlock, The Tunnel, and other series have used the disorder as a way to characterize the show’s leads, but tend to lose the actual reality of Asberger’s. As  The Guardian explains, “Puppies are not just for Christmas, and the autism spectrum is not just a dramatic personality quirk.”

I watched each installation of the four-part series. It was entertaining and brilliantly acted. Shearsmith was a memorable lead, and the mysteries were inventive and unique.  However, it did feel…. Familiar. It’s a show that, if you’re into the whole British detective schtick, you’ve seen dozens of times before. The mystery may be different, but the makeup is the same.

After all the hype that led to the show’s premiere, it makes you wonder – has the “brilliant British tv streak” finally had its last hoorah? Or is this just a lull before all of the shows mentioned in The Snap make their respective Season 2 debuts?

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Chasing Shadows, Image Credit: Flickr

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