Last week, I raved about how Inside Man (BBC1, Monday and Tuesday), a quartet from former Doctor Who host Steven Moffat, is a pompous but also quite brilliant person – real In fact, like the best episodes of Moffat’s Sherlock.
Since that series was at its peak, before it slipped into complacency, Moffat and co-creator Mark Gatiss were able to get away with the most outrageous episodes simply because of the sheer ingenuity of the writing.
Sherlock never was anything less than far-fetched. It is important, however, to always stick to the logic laid out in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Holmes stories: “When you have eliminated all that is impossible, then whatever remains, however impossible, must be true.”
I’ll have to eat last week’s words, all 750 of them, about Inside Human. Hopefully it is conceived to become a Fargo-Characteristic thriller with a touch of black comic antics that have evaporated in the unruly mess is the next three episodes.
The improbability of the first season – an easily explained misunderstanding of a USB stick filled with spirals of child pornography out of control, culminating in panicking vicar Harry (David Tennant) impulsively locks his son’s math tutor Janice (Dolly Wells) in the basement while he frantically tries to figure out what to do next – almost forgivable.
Many horror movies revolve around a character hastily doing something stupid in the heat of the moment, without stopping to think about the consequences of their actions. But Inside Man becoming increasingly amnesiac and divorced from anything that could be mistaken for reality.
It depends not only on Harry, but also on his goofy wife Mary (Marshal Lindsey) and ultimately on their son Ben (Moffat’s stepson, Louis Oliver) behaving stupidly. stupid again and again to the point that it all becomes silly and repetitive.
Perhaps the dumbest scene of all happened during Tuesday’s finale when Mary threatened journalist Beth (Lydia West) – who seemed to have limitless money for flights to the US – with a… bread knife while making a “whist” sound.
This nudge Inside Man into full-blown sitcom territory. Strange, that, because Moffat seemed to mean something serious about human nature and the human capacity for violence.
“Everybody is a murderer – all it takes is a bad day,” is the mantra of murderous wife Jefferson Grieff (Stanley Tucci), who spent his time on Death Row to help solve particularly puzzling crimes, including the mysterious disappearance of Janice.
If that’s the message, if you want to call it that, of the series, it hasn’t been expressed with much conviction.
Moffat actually seems to be writing two different series here. One is about an ordinary man – vicar Harry – who is driven by dire circumstances due to his own stupidity at the expense of risking jail (not to mention eternal punishment) by murder another human in cold blood.
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In this case it was a faulty gas heater that was leaking carbon monoxide. Not the most energy efficient way to work someone, especially given the way gas prices are going these days.
The other is about a convicted murderer and criminal genius like Hannibal Lecter, who solves cases from his cell that confuse the police and the FBI. He has a network of outside associates available – the newest, initially unintentional, recruit is Beth – who assist him by doing the work he can’t.
It sounds as old-fashioned, hackneyed, and derivative as this setup is (edited slightly to make Jefferson an innocent man wrongfully convicted and it could run on US network television at any time. over the last 50 years), it might have done for a half-baked series, as opposed to a half-real series, it’s here.
A brief post-credits scene makes it pretty clear that there will be a second part of Inside Human. Unfortunately, the fact that it’s none other than Janice – who survived asphyxiation and hit his head with a hammer several times – suggests that Moffat has yet to do anything to her, Harry and Beth. Mercy.
In an interview with Radio Times magazine last week, Moffat said – jokingly, one suggested – if he had power, he would probably be shot by a lot of television critics. Honestly, he would need better ammunition Inside Human.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-reviews/inside-man-review-silliness-swamps-thrills-in-a-deeply-foolish-finale-42041991.html Inside Man review: Silliness is full of suspense in a stupid finale