January 25, 2012

Justify My Netflix: Whitechapel, Season 1

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Whitechapel, Season 1

Today's movie: Whitechapel, Season 1, 2009 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because this quickie British crime drama boasts a premise that's hard for Anglophiles like me to pass up: based on the idea of a modern serial killer recreating the crimes of Jack the Ripper, the three-part show uses this as an excuse to do lots of location shooting in this once notorious Victorian slum, showing off its new role as the latest trendy creative-class neighborhood in the city, and site of many of the events of the coming 2012 Olympics.

The reality: Oh, okay, I suppose, although you should definitely not rent this for the lackluster actual story; because for being based on such an original idea, its execution is much more like any random generic episode of Law & Order, and I suspect will not hold a lot of appeal for actual Brits who live in London themselves. But still, for non-locals this is a great look at a rapidly changing neighborhood, which for those who don't know was bombed nearly into rubble during World War Two and then sat dormant for decades, which is why this area of the city seems to be the go-to place now for any of London's new glimmering 21st-century skyscrapers; and to be fair, the script itself will be of interest to Ripperologists as well, as it enfolds the debate over competing theories into the actual plot of catching this particular serial killer. (Depending on which theory the serial killer believes, his last kill will take place in any number of places, so the police must figure out which theory he believes in by examining the subtleties of his previous murders.) Just now finishing up its third season in the UK, this is a not-terrible show the same way that NCIS or Bones is a not-terrible show, and it comes moderately recommended in this specific spirit.

Worth your time? Kinda

Filed by Jason Pettus at 9:22 AM, January 25, 2012. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |