About Not Kevin Costner
Seems like it’s been a while since Netflix has given us a fresh show that really turns my head. Bodyguard, the newish British espionage thriller, delivers enough to make me forget about the fact that television is starting to trend down in quality.
This is only a recent phenomenon and could be a real thing, or it could just be a lull. Time will tell. TV’s still great and vastly superior to the movies if we take the best from column A and B, but it could be that there’s just not enough money to pay good writers for TV anymore. I read a few articles that spot this trend, but I need way more evidence.
Sorry for the digression. Let’s talk about Bodyguard and why it works. I’ll keep this really simple. Two reasons: It’s short, and you don’t know what’s going to happen to the protagonist.
I was guessing. A lot of the stuff they throw at you are used up tropes—the returning veteran with PTSD—not to say that this isn’t a real issue, but I think lazy writers use it too often for quick characterization. Here we have a fella who’s a little more complicated.
At first I didn’t like it, because he’s literally getting knocked around by every woman in his life. His bosses, his ex, the lady he works for—it’s sort of messed up—like he’s got battered dude syndrome—turns out, though, that it’s pretty interesting.
It’s a story that cleans itself up just when you think it’s going to be boring or out of control. A really well-thought-out structure that runs the perfect amount of time. It’s six hour-long episodes. Nice and tidy.
Holds Your Interest: 8.5
Besides the really intense opening scene, the first bit of the show basically runs you through the dude’s job as a bodyguard. This isn’t the most exciting stuff, but I was interested to see the nuts and bolts of that sort of work. It’s a life we don’t think about and it made me more respectful of people that guard others on a daily basis.
When it comes to crime/cop shows, it does take a minute to get used to the British style of law enforcement. It’s hard to put my finger on, but I had the same deal with Luther, another brilliant show. They’re way less cowboy about their cops and robbers. More cerebral.
Anyway, check it out. I think the Brits have had this thing for months, but it’s only a recent thing over here. Not perfect, but definitely a nominee for my favorite season of TV this year. Cheers. See you after.