10 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Dark, Forbidding, Foreboding; Unbelievable Police "Psychodrama",
This review is from: Vera - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
It's surprising and unfortunate that the ITV crime drama, "Vera" is being picked up for a second season. There is more "psycho" than "drama" in this very dark and brooding police who-done-it, set in Scotland. I call it unbelievable, because...it is: the characters, plot, background music, and scenery are very surreal. The characters are unbelievable: a Detective Inspector, Vera Stanhope, played by Brenda Blethyn, who is brash, brusque, and not believable. This reminds me of taking Patricia Routledge ("Keeping Up Appearances") and trying to cast her as "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates." No DCI would behave this badly during an investigation. And her assistant, a DS played by David Leon, is treated as a son than a team player. The most believable character was that of the pathologist, who played it as a more realistic part. The plots are herky-jerky, with no central theme that, instead, is made up of small vignettes, that are constantly changing, with no real carry-over: one is jerked along from one "scenette" to the next; no smooth transition; no substance that helps the overall plot, which basically just jerks you along. It is not fulfilling to the viewer. And the scenery (which is an injustice to the gorgeous Scottish scenery that many are familiar with) is so dark, moody, grimy, and surrealistic, that one wonders if Macbeth himself is going to step out of the abandoned castle in the first episode. The music, mostly classical and moody, is inappropriate, except that it matches the dark scenery. Having struggled through the first two episodes, I couldn't stand to choke on the next two. If I could, I'd give it a rating of ½ star. The series, if it continues, needs a fresh director, who can take control of the scripts and music, and do something more creative for the crime drama viewer. If the producer can't do without the two lead characters, at least make them more believable and less "dark," and bring them down to earth. Otherwise, it's not worth the time or money.
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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jun 2011 17:59:11 BDT
I presume you are a 'Southerner' stating that this series is set in Scotland. The scenery is that of the North East of England (unless Scotland has a castle the exact image of Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland or the border between England and Scotland has been moved). I believe that it was filmed in November and this being the case the scenery is rather bleak, as it would be anywhere at that time of year. I am hoping the next series is filmed during the warmer months - where people will get a chance to see our beautiful countryside as the backdrop to this drama. Brenda Blethyn has produced an accent which is not bad - there is an odd word or two which could do with a bit of work but on the whole quite a good attempt - better than a lot of people have managed(as a Geordie I know what I am talking about) but I agree with you when you say this is not how I would expect a DCI to behave at times.
Posted on 2 Jun 2011 08:10:28 BDT
Dr Watson, not the one that is 'presumed' obviously. The review is spot on, this series is terrible OTT acting. Sadly your knowledge of the UK and locations leaves a lot to be desired. Scotland it ain't but the North East.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2011 12:59:11 BDT
"an injustice to the gorgeous Scottish scenery that many are familiar with". You obviously are not! Try Northumberland - the accent gives it away (pet)!
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2011 19:15:37 BDT
Mr. J. J. Rushbrooke says:
Stole my reply Lez!. I have to say it's difficult to take seriously a critique from someone who places Dunstanburgh, Embleton, Howick and Boulmer in Scotland. What accent did he think it was, for goodness sake. It's a good watch - excellent acting - unrivalled locations (as a frequent visitor to the area I agree the summer months can be more picturesque, but November set the mood beautifully) - very good plot. I was somewhat undecided after the first episode, but fully comitted by the third - bring on the next series.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2011 00:05:22 BDT
It doesn't really matter where the places were the series was simply abysmal for a supposedly serious crime series. It was more comedy acting than serious by Brenda Blethyn. She is as I posted a good actress but not in this.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2011 14:09:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Aug 2011 14:13:16 BDT
In reply to JJ Rushbrooke - As I loved the series, I too am looking forward to the next series - and hoping that BB has worked a little on perfecting her accent (not that it needed a lot of work) and the wardrobe department 'tidied' her character up a bit and make it a more believable character portrayal of a DCI.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2011 14:12:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Aug 2011 14:12:42 BDT
In reply to P Waller - I think she is portraying a complex character - hopefully we will learn more in the next series. I would not say it was comedy acting - my bugbear is with the wardrobe department - no DCI would dress like BB has been dressed in the first series.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2011 14:25:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Oct 2011 07:53:12 BDT
Heaven forbid another series of this dross. She is portraying someone that is more remedial than complex. No DCI would ever get involved at that level of investigation other than for television. If there is another series it will hopefully be on the backwaters of television like ITV 2 or 4. It should not be on mainstream ITV 1.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2011 14:46:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Aug 2011 14:46:42 BDT
I will rephrase to, she is portraying someone who is more backward and in need of some form of psychiatric care than portraying someone complex. She is too good an actress for this.