Review : Mosaic (S1 E1/6), Saturday 17th February, Sky Atlantic

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NB Spoilers Inside

The hotly-tipped Mosaic reaches our shores this weekend courtesy of Sky Atlantic, having wrapped up on HBO in the States last month. It’s a big name affair with Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Erin Brockovich, Traffic) on directorial duties and Ed Solomon (Now You See Me) penning the script. The biggest draw for most people will be the casting of Sharon Stone in the lead role playing children’s author Olivia Lake who is drawn into a deadly web of intrigue and conspiracy, alongside a solid cast of veteran Hollywood character actors including Beau Bridges and Paul Reubens in support. Soderbergh likes a gimmick (his upcoming film Unsane featuring Claire Foy was shot entirely on an iPhone), and Mosaic started life as an interactive app, where you could choose which part of the story to begin from and sift through documents related to the case as if you were the detective. Unfortunately, this product was only made available in America, so I’ll be reviewing Mosaic the old fashioned way – episode by episode.

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Review: Modus (S2 E3&4/8), Saturday 17th February, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Last week, the second series of Modus began with quite the opening gambit – the POTUS, Helen Tyler (Kim Cattrall), was abducted during her first state visit to Sweden. This flung Ingvar and Inger-Johanna into action, but as far as concepts go it was fairly high up on the ladder. This, as many pointed out, presented a horrid juxtaposition with the series that preceded it on BBC Four: comparing Spiral to Modus is like comparing a Michelin-starred meal to a thin gruel. Still, this is where we are and, I have to say, for all its preposterousness I’m not hating it. I’m not loving it, but it’s not entirely awful. Continue reading

Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic starts on Sky Atlantic – will you be watching?

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One of the shows we were looking forward to immensely was Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic – a six-part series that started on HBO last week in the US and now comes to our shores via Sky Atlantic. It stars Sharon Stone (yes, THAT Sharon Stone) among others, and yes, I mixed the dates up: it starts tonight! Continue reading

Review: Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders (S1 E5/7), Friday 16th February

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Last week’s opening installment of the third two-part story in this series saw Rebecka thrust back into life up in the north of Sweden, this time getting involved in the murder of Wilma Persson and her partner Simon, who had been sabotaged while diving in a lake in Vittangijärvi. And what was under the lake? A Nazi aeroplane, buried under the ice all these years. So we had murders, Nazis, and, in this episode, moonshine and saunas and all sorts. What wasn’t to like? Continue reading

Review: Shetland (S4 E1/6), Tuesday 13th February, BBC One

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

There has always been something – actually, several things – immensely watchable about Shetland, the series based on and then inspired by the books by award-winning crime writer, Ann Cleeves. The islands themselves always look stunning, Dougie Henshall’s Jimmy Perez is one of the good guys in crime drama and doesn’t wear his grief on his sleeve like others, his relationship with Tosh (another hugely likeable character) is lovely, and, of course, the crime stories themselves lend themselves to deep characterisation, and old, small communities. All these ingredients were present in the first of this fourth series. Continue reading

Review: Trauma (S1 E2/3), Tuesday 13th February, ITV

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Mike ‘Doctor Foster’ Bartlett’s three-part psychological drama is stripped across three days this week, which is just as well because I don’t think I could take a full, six-parter of this tosh. I mean, it has John Simm and Adrian Lester in it, who are both fine actors, but the premise is as far-fetched as you can possibly get. And yet… and yet… it does have an addictive quality, and the same kind of fractious relationship at its heart that Bartlett seems to revel in. One of the questions this begs is: why do we enjoy watching people do bad things to each other so much? Continue reading