Critical Condition: Marcella (S2)

Marcella | Netflix, from today

➢ “She is back. Marcella, with a ‘ch’ sound in the middle. Anna Friel giving it everything, entertainingly and very watchably, as an unlikely and very uncoplike cop, remember? Who has blackout episodes in which she becomes angry and violent … You may remember from the first series that Marcella gets very close to her cases. Sometimes it is a very thin line between investigating officer, victim and accomplice, even.” — The Guardian.

➢ “Written by Hans Rosenfeldt, creator of The Bridge, this opener was a box-ticking exercise in Nordic noir tropes. Moody detective with a signature coat and personal problems? Present. Tendency to wander unaccompanied into dark buildings? Naturally. Cameras inching down creepy corridors, while the soundtrack of throbbing electronica built to an ominous crescendo? Why, of course. This stuff has become so cliched in 21st-century whodunits, it has lost its power to thrill.” — The Telegraph.

➢ “Many of the characters were so central casting-clichéd that the horror didn’t hit home as much as it might have done. There was the self-pitying paedophile, the glowering, angry skinhead with tattoos on his skull and the gig-economy boss who was so one-note ruthless he was practically on casters. And who is watching Marcella via a camera secreted in her home computer? Word to the wise, mate: if you’re tuning in for light relief, then try another show.” — The Times.

➢ “Marcella is now, apparently searching for predatory paedophiles, one of whom is in plain sight, plus one other. Could they be either Nigel Planer, a very faded rock star, or his equally addled manager Keith Allen, whom I find the most intriguing characters? Maybe. What are they doing there? A rock band running a paedophile ring? Well, it’s creative. Can’t wait to see Planer on stage. Marcella is the most dysfunctional detective drama ever. Is it any good? Many won’t watch enough ever to know.” — The Express.

➢ “Rosenfeldt uses Marcella’s volatile state as a source of handy dramatic leverage – if he needs a violent change of pace or wants the narrative to veer off at a wild tangent, he can just lob in one of Marcella’s weird episodes (complete with bursts of speeded-up images which crackle like digital lightning), and with one giant bound he’s free. Nonetheless, there is an underpinning of plot and character taking shape here.” — The Arts Desk.

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