Before we even get to The Shadow Line, can we talk about how the BBC has just been KILLING IT this year? Let’s put it this way, if the BBC was a character on Game of Thrones, its name would be Television Slayer. First there was Luther in which Idris Elba plays a tortured cop who loves playing cat and mouse. What? That sounds almost as good as it actually is, which is GREAT. Then there was the Sherlock Holmes reboot starring Benedict Cumberbatch (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH! Our generation’s Colton Burpo) and Martin Freeman. My only question about the BBC’s reboot of Sherlock Holmes is why the BBC thought it was acceptable to only make three episodes? Because that is not acceptable at all. More episodes please. This is America. Both of those shows are very incredible and they are both very available on DVD so get with the programmes. (Get it? England.) Now, let’s talk about The Shadow Line, which is basically England’s answer to The Wire.
First let me just say, HOLY SHIT THE SHADOW LINE IS BASICALLY ENGLAND’S ANSWER TO THE WIRE!
I have only watched three out of the five episodes that have aired so far, so please NO SPOILORRIES, but man oh man, this is a very very good TV show! I’m going to give you a brief description of it, which, to be honest, kind of does reveal some minor plot points that might be more enjoyable to discover on your own if you want to just go for it, in which case you should really stop reading this and just go for it, but if you want a little more convincing then I will tell you a little bit about what the show is about without giving too much away and you can make your own decision as long as that decision is definitely to start watching this show. It opens with a murder (oooooh) of a high-ranking crime boss. Uh oh! No one knows whodunnit! The police don’t know, but also the criminals don’t know. Now there is a power vacuum in the underworld and you know how those can be, don’t you, Marlo? Meanwhile, the police detective assigned to the case, Jonah Gabriel (which, very good police detective name!) has amnesia because he HAS A BULLET STUCK IN HIS HEAD from something that happened that may or may not have been DIRTY POLICE WORK but he genuinely doesn’t remember and now he is a good guy but maybe he isn’t oh man?! The murdered crime boss had a nephew who was working in his organization and is a criminal but also a very spooky psychopath played by Rafe Spall, who clearly took his inspiration for the character from Heath Ledger’s Joker, which you might think is kind of rip-off except REMEMBER HOW GOOD HEATH LEDGER’S JOKER WAS?! The new head of the crime syndicate is this mild-mannered guy who just wants out and whose wife has early on-set Alzheimer’s and all he wants is one final score so that he can take care of his wife. And finally there is a third party, who after three episodes in we still do not know who he is or what he wants, but he wears a bowler and a topcoat and carries an umbrella and is always very calm and polite and reassuring which somehow makes him THE CREEPIEST ONE YET? If you’re not convinced yet, you are broken. Go to hospital you are broken.
I’m not sure exactly how to tell you HOW to watch this show, because obviously you should never illegally download anything because it is illegal and wrong and I’ve never done it in my life and I have definitely not done it in order to watch the first three episodes of this show and I’m definitely not currently downloading the fourth and fifth episode because I’m a good person and not a criminal, but you’ll figure it out. Use The Secret! Put it out into the Universe that you want to watch The Shadow Line. Because trust me, YOU DO.