James Nesbitt is not alone, there are many. There’s Nesbitt, the sassy charmer from the pesky Golden Pages commercial and the rom-com-drama Cold Feet, always ready with a twinkle in his eye and a smile/smirk on his face.
everything except when Cowardice wife (Helen Baxendale) tragically died in a car accident. I can tell you that in this particular flicker-free zone, you can’t see a smile/smirk. Oh no.
Here is the manic, deliberately over the top Nesbitt from Jekyll, and the tough, steel-eyed Nesbitt from an undercover cop thriller Murphy’s law.
Then there’s Nesbitt, which some of us like best: a nuance from Bloody Sunday, Occupation, Five minutes of paradise and an unrivaled first season The missing, which ended with the actor’s agonizing face memorably filling the screen.
To be honest, I’d rather have any of those Nesbitts – yes, even the pesky Golden Pages – over the Nesbitts we’ve seen too much in recent years.
This is Nesbitt from Babylon, Stay Close, Bloodlands and now Suspect (Channel 4/All 4). In each of these series, he plays a police officer. Nesbitt has always been versatile (I’ve been saying for years that he’s underestimated and taken for granted), but he seems to indulge in this dangerous pastime of typecasting unreservedly.
In much the same way as his counterpart from Ballymena and five minutes of heaven co-star Liam Neeson seems pleased (strange Derry Girls cameo aside) to spend the rest of his film career playing hard-hitting, retirement-age heroes in unobjectionable, fun-filled action films where he’s well paid and can wear a leather jacket, Nesbitt seems happy to be the TV guy for the cops.
Ghost cops. Sad cops. Emotionally wounded policemen. Evil cops. Brutal cops. Angry cops. Corrupt cops.
in the eight Suspect, which began on Sunday and unfolds in nightly dual lists of half-hour episodes ending tomorrow, Nesbitt’s cop, Sgt. Danny Frater, could be a combination of several of the above, as there’s a lot of grim mumbling about his past behavior.
Mostly though, he’s just fucking furious. He rushes from one place to another, from one guest star to another. Each episode is different, everyone turns to face the camera, Who do you think you are? style, in the opening credits.
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Danny interrogates, intimidates, barks, screams, and blinds, and occasionally slightly physically assaults.
Suspect, adapted from a Danish TV series called Forheret, it’s a kind of sentence that starts with a stupid premise and then gets stupid. During a routine conversation with pathologist Jackie (Joely Richardson) about a discovered Jane Doe, Danny discovers that the young woman on the stove is none other than his ex-daughter Christina (Imogen King), whom he apparently kicked out of the house, because she was gay.
It was suicide, Jackie says, unusually evasive and evasive for a pathologist. “The murder looked like a suicide,” Danny says. But all physical signs point to suicide, says Jackie. I don’t care, says Danny, who instructs Jackie to open up his daughter and look a little deeper. Really.
I’ll paraphrase here because some of the dialogue is really awful. Danny, who seems to have enough personal baggage to pay the Ryanair fees, eventually calms down, or rather pretends to calm down. It’s still boiling inside.
When Jackie is talking outside with Danny’s boss (Ben Miller), who is also unusually evasive and evasive and apparently a suspect himself, Danny grabs his daughter’s belongings and runs out the back door to track down the killer. If a there is a killer.
Every Episode Suspect it is essentially a stage fight between Nesbitt and a guest star playing someone associated with Christina. Frankly, this is quite an impressive list of names. In addition to Richardson and Miller, there are Niamh Algar, Antonia Thomas, Sasha Dhawan, Sam Heughan, Richard Grant and Ann-Marie Duff.
But the further down the rabbit hole Danny goes, and the more convoluted and convoluted Christina’s story becomes, the less interesting it becomes. Suspect becomes.
Although there is no shortage of suspects. Suspect, You can’t help thinking that the real culprit here is Agent Nesbitt.