Sundance Now has an Aussie show about a female detective trying to solve a string of murders that includes the death of her trainee. The first episode deals with a new case involving the killer — yes, they know who he is, just can’t catch him — and her investigating the incident. She is brash, she is prickly, she is overbearing. While you frequently see the same character in its male form (the brilliant asshole detective), the brilliant bitchy detective isn’t any more fun to watch.
In the opener, she is on mandatory anger management training (big cliché #1) and everyone blames her for the death of her trainee partners six months before (cliché #2). She has a new partner and she treats him like crap, the same way she treated the previous trainee and through flashbacks, you see that she did have a bit of a soft spot for him even if she refused to let up on him. The only real lead they have on the guy and where he might be is his sister who claims she hasn’t seen him, doesn’t know where he is, etc. Cliché #3. The plotting is atrociously obvious.
And yet, there is something else in the episode that might be worth watching. Not the relationship between her and her ex-husband or his new girlfriend. Not the anger management stuff or her relationship with her new trainee. Not even the killer who has almost no mystique or sense of mystery/awe about him to make him seem menacing or worth investigating. He basically seems like a low level street thug, nothing more.
But the robbery that takes place is with an immigrant on a work visa…for some reason, the killer doesn’t kill the guy, he lets him live. And there is a whole sub-story about the store, the racist owners paying the immigrants as little as possible, the relationship between the clerk and his immigrant visa girlfriend and the three friends they live with to save rent money. In most shows, the victim would have some minor screentime, and almost always with the detectives asking them questions — in this show, you see the two lovers going on a date, interviewing for jobs, hanging out discussing the future, trying to tell their parents about their lover by Skype, etc. Whole sub-storylines, none of which would seem at first glace to have ANYTHING to do with catching the guy who has killed multiple times.
And yet I don’t care. I didn’t like anyone in the entire episode, nor do I care what happens to them. Sight unseen, I originally predicted RENEWAL. Instead, I’m changing that prediction to CANCELLATION, although with it being an import, the same renewal forces may not apply.