Anna Paquin crime drama, Bellevue, starts in Canada

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bellevue_ep101_092316_jt_0157Crime drama is everywhere at the moment, and broadcasters from all over the world have cottoned onto the fact that if you do one well it has global sellability. The BBC announced that BBC4 would be showing a Canadian crime drama on BBC4 later in the year – Cardinal – for the very first time in this country. Now Canada’s national broadcaster, CBC, has launched a new crime series to great fanfare. It stars Oscar-winner Anna Paquin and is called Bellevue. 

The eight-part series is set in a small blue-collar town with a lot of ‘good people’ who ‘live right’ and take it upon themselves to make sure the neighbours do too. Driving the series is Detective Annie Ryder (Paquin), a cop whose intense personality has always been at odds with her hometown. When a transgender teen goes missing, Annie dives in to unravel the disappearance that suggests foul play, despite finding herself in a difficult position as she must cast suspicion on people she has known all her life. As the case pulls her further away from her family, she is also confronted by a mysterious person from her past with disturbing answers and a terrifying need to get inside her head. Allen Leech will star as Annie’s on again, off again ex, Eddie, while Shawn Doyle will take on the role of Annie’s superior, Police Chief Peter Welland.

Here’s a trailer:

This, from Canada’s Globe And Mail newspaper:

It’s very good, an atmospheric, well-acted drama. In its favour, it has a distinct Canadian gothic sensibility – it’s about decay, a mining town gone to seed, and it’s about hockey, religion, revenge, death, loss, the mystery held by the reservation outside of town, the mystery held by a closed mental-health treatment centre outside of town and the mystery held in the dense woods around town. Also, it’s about transgender teens.

It’s very good, an atmospheric, well-acted drama. In its favour, it has a distinct Canadian gothic sensibility – it’s about decay, a mining town gone to seed, and it’s about hockey, religion, revenge, death, loss, the mystery held by the reservation outside of town, the mystery held by a closed mental-health treatment centre outside of town and the mystery held in the dense woods around town. Also, it’s about transgender teens.

Bellevue, especially in its opening episode, can seem to teeter on the brink of overindulgence in balefully ominous visuals, but it holds back. On the evidence of the first two episodes only, it pulls back from its obsession with anxiety, loneliness, despair – both in Annie and the missing teenage hockey star – to focus on the whodunit mystery.

So far, no UK broadcaster has picked it up. But it looks good and I wouldn’t count against picking it up.

More news as I get it…

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One thought on “Anna Paquin crime drama, Bellevue, starts in Canada

  1. Charlotte Carling

    Having seen the first episode, I can agree with the reviewer about bordering on overindulgent ominous visuals. First episodes are often focused on setups though, so I’ll continue watching to see where they take it. Whodunit territory wouldn’t be bad at all.

    Like

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