Critical Condition: Marcella

Marcella (Netflix, from today)

“ITV’s Marcella is a series that’s making me wonder whether much of the success of Nordic noir crime dramas in recent years was simply down to the fact that we’d believe anything, no matter how ludicrous, so long as it was set in Scandinavia rather than Britain … I could imagine all this being more enthralling if everything were covered in snow and the cops were cursing in Swedish. But on the familiar mean streets of London it failed to convince. Which is a shame, because other elements of the multilayered plot worked well.” — The Telegraph.

“There were Scandinavian influences, but from the home-grown cast – Brookside star Anna Friel is in the titular role as a detective lured back to work by the bag case re-opening – to the London setting, this is a British show, and a gripping one at that … Friel does vulnerable-with-an-edge very well and she was compelling to watch here.” — The Independent.

“Mar-chella, a welcome return to British TV by Anna Friel, wasn’t wearing a nice cardigan the first time we saw her – she was in a bath, naked and shivering, with a nasty gash to the head. By the end of the first episode, we don’t know how or why, though my guess is the number of hulking crime drama cliches she ran headfirst into … These irritations and some clunky dialogue aside, possibly down to translation, Marcella is hugely promising and this first of eight episodes skilfully crammed a lot in.” — The Guardian.

“Friel, who caught our attention in 1994 with TV’s first pre-watershed lesbian kiss on Scouse soap Brookside, was doing everything she could with the role. Her action thriller American Odyssey, which was supposed to be the new Homeland, fizzled and fell flat last year. Now, she had a chance to join the ranks of female coppers — TV’s most exalted club — alongside the likes of Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley, Nicola Walker in River and Unforgotten, Keeley Hawes in Line of Duty and Scandi stars such as Sofie Grabol in The Killing and, of course, Sofia Helin in The Bridge. Most of the time, Friel just seemed to be wondering what was going on, with the suspicion nagging at the back of her mind that she’s picked another duff script.” — Daily Mail.

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