Lang and Strawhan's Hyde and Seek is their best show yet
It's all in the name.
I was attracted to A Touch of Frost, which starred Sir David Jason as Detective Inspector Jack Frost. It ran for about 20 years and the repeats of the repeats are still being shown on UKTV.
Now our own Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan have created Hyde And Seek, a trans-Tasman thriller. Detective Gary Hyde searches for the criminals who killed his colleague, Nick Petrides.
In Hyde And Seek (TV3 Mondays), Gary Hyde is as grim as they come. He's almost po-faced.
That description probably originates from the words chamber pot, but a potty has more animation than DI Hyde. No botox could remove the lines on his face. He was born old.
Hyde and his team had been called to a homicide. The body of a New Zealander, Eric Hansen, was found lying by his van. While they're examining his remains, the van explodes and kills Petrides.
The explosion should also have ended Hyde's life. However, he'd stepped aside to call his wife, Sonya, and survived the blast. Now he's out for revenge.
Hyde has two murders on his hands. He quickly discovers that Hansen isn't a dinkum Kiwi who eats Vegemite on his Cruskits, follows the Crusaders and phones his mum on Mother's Day. Instead, he's Nils Madsen, an international terrorist who's a suspect in a Madrid bomb attack.
Hyde is told by his boss to share the case with Jacqui Walters from the Federal Police and then Special Investigator Claire McKenzie arrives from New Zealand. Claire may be a pen pusher from Immigration, but she's quick and slick with her Bic.
The action moves so fast that the writers forget to take the viewing audience with them as Hyde and Claire race around Sydney looking for Madsen's Middle Eastern associates who are linked to a possible assault on an Asia/Pacific Forum.
They find them, but the terrorists are killed by marksmen before they can be interviewed.
One survives and Hyde and Claire bundle him into a car and drive off. Now, I'm not too worried about the Asia/Pacific Forum, because Gerry Brownlee would be there and could shelter all the delegates behind him, but Hyde and McKenzie are certainly at risk.
Hyde And Seek is an entertaining, action thriller. Sometimes it steps out of logic and moves too fast, but is a welcome relief from Lang and Strawhan's other turgid series such as Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls and Filthy Rich. It's their best yet.
In those Auckland-based productions, they were never able to craft a decent Kiwi and, across the ditch, they're having the same trouble. But Hyde loves his kids and softens in the arms of Sonya. Claire could be Immigration's best asset to confront Winston Peters.
Following Hyde And Seek, I want a series about a law firm called Mortar And Pestle, who grind people down.
The Bachelor NZ and Married At First Sight are the sort of reality shows you admit to only in the confessional. So could The Last Resort (TV3 Tuesday/Wednesday) be worse? The idea of five Aussie couples flying to a tropical island to mend their marriages - in full view of a TV crew - sounds bizarre. And it was.
Yet it was cathartic and compelling. For a number of reasons, the marriages are on shaky ground. Lucy and Cal separated after he had a fling, Sharday told Josh he wasn't the father of her child, Stu had a head injury and lost his passion for Jody, Keelan preferred drinking with his mates to being home with Sarah and Lisa liked to wear the pants and dominate Don.
When Don was told the order of service at their wedding was "aisle, altar, hymn", she thought it meant something else.
They arrive at their island paradise, meet each other and, with the help of two psychologists, explain their circumstances and reveal their issues. There's also some other revealing. The women compare boob sizes, which is unfair to three of them who don't have implants. It's just a storm in a C cup before the real business begins.
The cameras are intrusive, yet are essential to record the conversations and confessions. I hope they all succeed in reconnecting and, in particular, Jody is finally satisfied. She's so horny, it's scary.
She wants to get back in the saddle, but Stu's horse may have bolted.