The crime drama is a genre everyone is familiar with. There are good ones that keep you guessing and they are bad ones. The bad ones take the best bits of the the good ones but appear to water them down. ITV’s latest foray into the crime drama is eight-parter Paranoid is sadly one of the bad ones.
I say sadly because it starts so promisingly. The brutal stabbing of a mother on a sunny day comes as such a shock that it’s almost difficult to watch. From then on though the series offers nothing even the occasional viewer of the genre won’t have seen ten times over. The series is led by Indira Varma as Detective Nina Suresh. I could describe Nina but I’m happy just to say she’s bloody irritating! She whinges and moans when on duty. In one particularly excruciating scene she’s screaming ‘I want children’ at the top of her voice. She’s dumped by her boyfriend, but quite honestly who could blame the poor chap, which sends our Nina into a downward spiral. Then there’s dippy young officer Alec Wayfield (Dino Fetscher) who again I found ruddy irritating. Alec and Nina have a bizarre professional relationship that goes from shouting insults to flirting in the space of a few badly constructed lines of dialogue.
There are a few bits to latch on like the wonderful performances from Robert Glenister as Detective Bobby Day (I hate the name though) and his relationship with Lesley’s Sharp’s mysterious witness. Seeing the pair on the screen just made me wish I was watching their episode of Prime Suspect which ironically was called ‘The Lost Child‘ and aired on ITV in 1995. The pair make an interesting pair and Sharp is really interesting as the only witness to the brutal crime who Glenister’s character seems drawn to. Sadly Bill Gallagher’s poorly written script spends too much time on the private lives of his annoying creations and not enough time on the investigation. There is an attempt to make the plot more interesting by giving it an european connection but that seems a vain attempt to draw in those of us who like to indulge in our subtitled crime drama on a wet Sunday afternoon.
In the end even if the crime aspect of the story did interest me you have to like the characters to properly invest in a series like this. Sadly I have no desire to spend anymore of my time with these infatuating people who. in my opinion all need a good slap. If you do want to immerse yourself in the cream of crime drama allow me to point you to the first season of The Bridge, the truly magnificent Swedish crime drama which is available on Netflix or DVD. Don’t waste anymore of your time on Paranoid. I certainly won’t be.