Inside Men

A short, 4 episode series about a robbery, the men involved, and the story that pulled them together. Typical of BBC, it has a great cast of familiar faces, as well as a few newer ones. In particular, Nicola Walker (of many shows including Spooks/MI-5, Touching Evil, and a recent appearance in Being Human, plays her trademark dishwater wife with full commitment) and Mackintosh and Brown (who were last paired in series 1 of Luther) play off one another in great form.

The characters here are all fleshed out well and each has their own interesting tweaks and drives. The plot and ultimate outcome are a bit less solid for my taste. The end is acceptable within the framework created. With an investment of only 4 episodes, I didn’t feel cheated as the rest of the ride kept me entertained. I can’t say it was my favorite resolution, nor overly satisfying. You may well come to a different conclusion on that aspect, but you’ll have to watch it through to decide.

I have to admit, I typically find BBC drama to be better constructed and more interesting than all but a very few American created shows. This is mainly because BBC gets to produce short series, focused arcs while US television has 20-22 episode seasons to fill and often loses control of the story or has to fill in the season with episodes of lesser quality. I think the key difference is that BBC drama tends to be more understated and real where American drama and shows tend to be broader and more representational. Interestingly, in the acting world, this is the complete opposite of how various styles of the craft came to be. Britain was know for a more presentational style of acting craft while America spearheaded naturalism and “The Method.” But in the writing at present we seem to have it reversed.

There are exceptions on both sides of the pond, of course, but this has been my general impression. And before you ask, I don’t watch the huge majority of BBC or American  television. I find the bulk of TV not targeted for my tastes, though I still watch more than I probably should. I do, however, attempt to filter the new shows with a try-out when recommended or if they intrigue me. At some point soon I’ll post my current list of what I’m still watching–it has been an evolving post that I’ve just never wrapped up as shows were cancelled or went off the rails through their seasons.

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