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Wire in the Blood—a surprising gem

Wire in the BloodWire in the Blood, on paper, seems like it would be a tired and unnoticed example of a procedural drama featuring a genius who helps the police solve crimes, particularly catching serial killers, lost in the sea of other crime dramas featuring a genius who helps the police solve crimes, particularly catching serial killers. Not so—it distinguishes itself very well and was compelling.

And not just because it's a British production.

The best part of the show is the main character, Dr. Tony Hill, a clinical psychologist who profiles violent criminals. The series focuses almost exclusively on him leaving the other characters very much in the background and, perhaps, not as well defined as you might expect secondary characters in other series to be fleshed out. However, this is actually the right balance because Tony Hill can carry every episode practically by himself.

He's a genius, sure, but there's a lot of character to the character and it's wonderfully acted by Robson Green—so much so that I cannot conceive of any other actor, living or dead, playing the role as well as he did. Wow. Very good work.

Tony has a touch of Asperger's Syndrome and this makes him interesting to watch. He's a bit crazy profiling very crazy people, and sometimes goes a little crazy himself. Unlike other US dramas, like say The Mentalist, his smarts are not enough to keep him out of trouble so he's definitely not in command of his environment. The dynamic this character sets up with the other characters is all around compelling.

Of course the murders are interesting as well. Since they're all serial killers there's always a twist and an obscure pattern and scenes of victims in distress. You know the formula. And though the series is formulaic—one can well predict what's going to happen next—this doesn't dampen enjoyment of the show because really the reason to tune in at all is to see what's going to happen to Tony Hill next.

Wire in the Blood is available on Netflix streaming, which is how I saw it, and I would highly recommend it! It uses the formula of the genre to present something new, unusual, and interesting. They're British seasons, so about four episodes per season, each episode an hour or an hour and a half.

Give it a watch!

Compare and contrast

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