Customer Review

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ON MY HIGH HORSE, 2 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Southcliffe [DVD] (DVD)
Gore blimey guv tv drama's now seem to be competing with one another in a misery fest contest from voyeuristic serial killer drama to emotional wrenching of The Mill and such.Southcliffe is an entry to this current canon of glum,this is no warm Horlicks and hot water bottle Downturn Abbey show to nestle into the sofa with.
Its pretty bleak.Essentially its about grief and it's consequences.
What attracted me to watch this series was Sean Durkin who previously directed Martha Macy May Marlene,i liked the idea of watching an "American" director work on a british tv programme,its nice to see a director not just following the normal career trajectory.The first episode for me was the strongest and most engrossing,Sean Harris ia a brilliant actor who if anything is criminally underused.I first came across him in See No Evil and then Red Riding Trilogy,immense in both.Intense would be an understatement.
I would bet a rather large sum of money that Tony Grisoni's script reads a lot different to the finished result,Durkin as a director at this moment is very much concerned with space,space between characters,events, is frustrating and very much what I believe has led to the woeful reviews and accusations of being dull and weak.
Durkin admits in an interview on the disc that what appeared little in the script became larger and what seemed larger became smaller.A reversal that most viewers will find annoying and flying in the face of a strong paletable narrative.And they would be right to a degree...there is a fine line between the profound and the ponderous.
It does feel at times that the style is getting in the way of the substance at the expense of characters and story.Somewhere within Southcliffe is an amazing show of such scope and depth.
Even though Durkin infuriates me there is something there,a vision which I think over time and more projects will no doubt flourish.In many ways with all our fast paced mtv style edited U.S box sets it's cool that a director is slowing down.
Nowadays it seems everything is judged instantly....too quick in my opinion and there does seem a very rigid set of expectations with shows.
Southcliffe is make no mistake about it flawed but it is also ambitious.Definetly an oddity in amongst Luther boxsets.
I had problems with it but I cannot at this moment make a definitive statement that I either A]LIKE IT B]HATE IT.Who knows maybe in 6 months time I will be saying its awesome.
If it is a failure it is an interesting failure.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Sep 2013 10:02:34 BDT
I think this is a very fair review - I kept meaning to stop watching, but there is something at the core that kept me
coming back. Not a gore-fest, as I don't remember seeing a corpse, and I agree with this reviewer about the
slowing down being a bonus. Different.

Posted on 2 Sep 2013 23:21:49 BDT
mister joe says:
Thanks very much Mrs.Rachel at one point I was contemplating writing a 2 star jobbie but I had a certain admiration for the show in the fact that it did not exactly pander to it's audience,to the point where it actually could be considered self indulgent.
I suppose as viewers we are spoilt with endless hbo series that are written perfectly,shot perfectly and acted perfectly whereas Southcliffe seems a little rough round the edges.
I understand the scorn being aimed at it but I think the motivation was from a good place.As well as being "dull",pretentious in places it also has this odd resonance.I think Durkin could be one to watch but nowadays culture seems to expect the perfect debut album,the flawless sophomore effort.Loads of artists I like whether they be author,musicians,directors have a body of work that may start off far from perfect but grow,progress.
Also regardless of results the actors really are working in this show.I think there may be a revision in time.Thanks for reading and comment.

Posted on 5 Jun 2014 06:29:56 BDT
Timelord007 says:
Excellent informative review Mister Joe.

Have you seen Rory Kinnears recent performance as the Frankenstein monster in Sky Atlantic's Penny Dreadful he gives a mesmerizing performance.

If yu haven't I'd advise you to seek out the dvd when it s released my friend.
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