Here we go, then. It’s time for the crème de la crème, the dog’s bollocks, the grand fromages – the top five crime dramas of the year, and the ones that really stood out for us. This year has seen plenty of quantity but perhaps not the overall quality of previous years, but these top five are all superb pieces of work in their own ways. And the unifying theme? All bar one are from America, and the other is from Canada – sadly there were no British crime dramas aside from Unforgotten in the Top 10 this year. If anything, 2017 proved that American crime drama was back with a vengeance. Let’s have at it.
NB: SPOILERS INSIDE
Award-winning novelist Margaret Atwood is undergoing a well-deserved renaissance among a new generation of readers and watchers, thanks largely to the remarkable adaptation of her book, The Handmaid’s Tale, earlier in the year. The series, which starred Elisabeth Moss, has been the drama of the year in any genre, at once engrossing and harrowing. Now another Atwood adaptation – Alias Grace – hits streaming site Netflix after originally airing on Canada’s CBC channel. It’s hard not to compare it to The Handmade’s Tale, but this stands alone as another fantastic, well assembled (by writer Sarah Polley and director Mary Harron) and thought-provoking piece that stays with you and haunts you for days afterwards. And what’s more, it’s a crime drama.
I think it’s fair to say that The Handmaid’s Tale is probably the best drama of the year in any genre, and it’s brilliant to see Margaret Atwood get the credit she deserves from a new generation who have been introduced to her key themes of imprisonment, civilisation versus nature and women’s place in the world. Because of The Handmaid’s Tale stunning, rightful success, the next big Atwood adaptation – a murder mystery, no less – will be eagerly awaited. Alias Grace will arrive on Netflix on 3rd November, and the streaming service has released a trailer.
There has been a bit of news this week featuring brilliant, big-name actresses and here’s another item that I just read about. Anna Paquin, of course, is an Oscar winner and much-loved star of True Blood, and now she’s set to star in a mini-series that will be broadcast on CBC in its native Canada and Netflix around the world, and is based on the ninth book by Margaret Atwood.