Imagine waking up in the middle of a lake and realizing you are dead. That’s exactly what happened to poor Neve Kelly (Clara Rugaard) in The Rising (Sky Max/Now). Hardly ideal, and Neve – a talented motocross rider who used to have her whole life ahead of her – is just as confused as we are.
Tied home, head disheveled and clothes soaked, Neve tries to remember what happened the night before. Something about a party; something else about a race. A local dog barks at her as she crosses a driveway (spooky death clue number one), and Neve’s worried face says it all: She’s in trouble.
Back home in their beautiful Grand Designs-style mansion, mother Maria (Emily Taaffe) and stepfather Daniel (Alex Lanipekun) are concerned. Clever Daniel dons his trusty Sherlock hat and heads into the woods, where he finds Neve’s phone in the dirt. Maria tries to call Neve’s alcoholic father, Tom (Matthew McNulty), but he’s asleep in his car. Eventually, Neve makes it home and is amazed to find that no one can see or hear her.
She thinks it’s all a big prank, but after she picks up a vase and smashes it on the floor, the horrifying, horrific truth begins to emerge. Neve no longer exists – the “real” vase remains intact on the unit behind her (we’ll get to that in a moment) – and it’s obvious to you, me, and the invisible girl who has no memory of death that the The only way out is for Neve to investigate her own murder.
Because, as it turns out, this is a cold-blooded murder in the English Lake District and, as is often the case with things like this, everyone is a suspect. Well, maybe not everyone, but there are a few shady characters lurking around, most notably Neve’s feisty friend Joseph (Solly McLeod).
If any of this sounds familiar to you, that’s because The rise – a moody and manipulative thriller with a twist – takes its cues from the Belgian supernatural crime drama, Beau Sejour. The original series is in fact an anthology tied to a simple, single plot device: the person wakes up to find they are dead – the person then tries to figure out what happened.
We’ve been on this kind of lark since Patrick Swayze drove Whoopi Goldberg insane Spirit. Still the best part The rise is its premise. The worst part The rise is his wishy-washy rule book. If Neve smashes a vase and the vase suddenly returns to its original place and shape, how can she ride a motorcycle from one point to another and back again without the motorcycle ever returning to its original state – oh god, my brain fell out.
Yes, the laws are not so clear on this matter. The further it casts its net, the more it risks losing its exceptional lineup. Writers Pete McTighe and Charlotte Wolf work hard to create a dark, serious tone in a gripping and occasionally disturbing opening episode. However, when we get to episode four, The rise starts to look and sound like a sodden British soap opera – Emmerdale on Halloween maybe. The dialogue becomes flimsy and formulaic. Everyone doubles down on their somber, sinister facial expressions. It would do well to ditch the high street clothing store soundtrack (you’ll see what I mean).
And yet there are signs that things could be getting better. Neve’s troubled father is one of the few people who can communicate with her after she dies, allowing him an attempt at redemption outside the box. It’s a neat idea, and The rise still has a lot to do. Who knows? It could still come to life.
In the meantime, home advantage (RTÉ One) is dead on arrival. The most positive thing I can say about the new season of Jennifer Zamparelli’s quiz show is that this week a lovely man named J went home with €5,000 in his back pocket. That’s all.
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A strenuous, confused endeavor, home advantage borrows the set keyword and ideas from your least favorite family Zoom quiz and combines them into a half-hour game show that struggles to feign interest in itself.
The concept – three contestants answering questions in a studio while their families stay at home and join in on a big screen – is awkward and confusing. The presentation – think futile, minus charm, wit, charisma, energy and spark – is devilish. The banter (Zamperelli pokes fun at when participants take ages to answer questions) is chronic. Everyone involved can – and should – do better.
Give for something a little happier Here we go (BBC One) one shot. Tom Basden’s playful, hilarious sitcom debuted in 2020 as a one-off special titled ” pandemonium, about a British family’s wayward attempts to salvage their summer holiday in the middle of lockdown. Now “the Jessops” have their own series and despite a shaky frame rig it’s a minor triumph.
There’s no time to introduce yourself – all you need to know is that the Jessops are just as crazy as any family, and that former Olympic archer Paul (Jim Howick) is still unemployed and his ailing wife Rachel ( Katherine) gave Parkinson), an adventure park family pass for her birthday.
The voucher is valid for six months, so it makes sense that the family – including Alison Steadman as Paul’s overbearing mother – would wait until the last day to use it. Chaos ensues and the whole thing is filmed with a camcorder by teenager Ben (Jude Collie).
Again, the narrative is about as logical as that in modern family, but what matters is that writer-creator Basden (who also stars as Rachel’s annoying brother Robin) and his enthusiastic crew of cast have crafted a rich, relatable sitcom that’s as sweet and good-natured as it is unpredictable and funny. More please.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/supernatural-thriller-is-dead-in-the-water-41597033.html Supernatural thriller is dead in the water