Oh good, I thought, 10 minutes into last night's Case Sensitive (UKTV). I do like a good detective story.
Sadly, I, like many cops in this drama, had jumped to the wrong conclusion. Case Sensitive looked good, but it quickly degenerated.
Cop and sidekick pairings have been around for decades and occasionally can still achieve perfection, as both Danish and American versions of The Killing showed.
There's a nice enough dynamic between Charlie (Olivia Williams) and Simon (Darren Boyd). They'd slept together the week before when she'd had too much to drink, which would give any professional relationship an extra edge. But their relationship (and their acting) is the best thing about this drama.
Someone had taken a potshot at the plot and peppered it with holes. And oh the foreshadowing. There's lots of screaming, the first serious bout being when a 5-year-old girl on a play date discovers her friend from school dead in the bath with her mother. Unfortunately this bath death leads to a damp recurrence of forebodingly dripping taps.
Mother and daughter dead in a bath becomes a theme, not a random occurrence: by the end we learn that another mother and daughter had also died this way.
In between the four deaths the viewer had to put up with an implausible number of people taking someone else's name while philandering, a highly suss motive, and a singular lack of curiosity by most people about what had happened to others.
It was a tightly fought competition, but there were two winners of the most implausible moments. One was Cop Charlie going to a freaky abandoned house in the isolated countryside, seeing a car parked outside, and declining the offer of assistance from fellow officers (which of course they ignored).
And the other was the psychopath describing how his 6-year-old daughter murdered her uncaring mother by chucking a lamp into the bath, then having an attack of conscience and dying while trying to rescue her mother. A 6-year-old with murderous intent? How could he know this if he wasn't there?
- © Fairfax NZ News
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