Friday, January 30, 2015

Weekend Musings: Low Winter Sun

Right now Low Winter Sun is available on Netflix, but we never know when that's subject to change. If you're reading this sometime in the future (now) and it's no longer on a streaming service, pick up a physical copy of the show. Believe me, it's worth it.

I was saddened to find out Low Winter Sun was never picked up for a second season, it's a one and done kind of show. Not that it wasn't unexpected, as the pilot was good, but off-putting. Great visual, score, acting, and story, but it felt too slow(?) and the show's main theme too obfuscated(?). Whatever it was, I don't blame the public for not taking to it right away, unlike Terriers, which I can never forgive.

The story focuses on Frank Agnew and Joe Geddes, who are both wonderfully conflicted dirty cops. More so Joe than Frank, who seems to have fallen in this deep hole by accident. They kill another dirty cop and clean up the scene of the crime, but uh oh, the dirty cop had a lot more heat on him than realized. In comes Simon Boyd from Internal Affairs who wants to clean up as much corruption as possible, with Frank and Joe in his crosshairs.

 Is the show good? No, it's great. It's upsetting that a show filled with as much nuance and depth with it's plot and characters. I'm serious, this show is smart as hell. We're not dealing with cardboard cutout characters with a plot trying to bash us over the head with what's right and wrong. Low Winter Sun gives us the noble and ugly side of characters at every turn, and we, the viewer, are trusted to make the decision for ourselves.

You can see why I'm so upset right now.

Mark Strong, Lennie James, David Costabile, Athena Karkanis, and literally everyone else gives phenomenal performances. If a show is judged based on its weakest link, it would be hard pressed to find one.

Let's focus on Lennie James, who really steals the show as Joe Geddes. Holy shit is Joe an asshole. Quite possibly my favorite asshole, because at every turn I want the best for this guy, but he fucks up. Joe doesn't fuck up like cutting the wrong wire or something so obvious. He fucks up by being a selfish bastard, when you see he's a decent person and want him to do the right thing for everyone involved in this mess. It's like seeing someone battle an addiction, and he keeps failing, and he keeps trying to get clean.

On the plus side, Low Winter Sun doesn't end on a cliffhanger or something like that. I felt content, or as content one can feel on a cancelled show that wants to explore more places. The show tidied up and left as best as it could, and that's all I can hope for.

I do recommend everyone to check it out. It's a show not worth missing.