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‘Acceptable Risk’ is the Latest Addictive Mystery
October 15, 2017  | By David Hinckley  | 3 comments

If you really, really, really don’t need one more TV show to occupy more of your life, don’t start watching the murder mystery Acceptable Risk, because once you do, it’s devilishly hard to stop.

A six-part series imported from Ireland, Acceptable Risk starts Monday on the streaming service Acorn. Two episodes will be released each Monday for three weeks.

Elaine Cassidy (top), from The Others and The Paradise, stars and pretty much steals the show as Sarah Manning, a highly skilled professional who has decided she doesn’t want to have it all.

At least not at the moment. She turns down a lucrative offer to rejoin her old company, the ultra-powerful Irish pharmaceutical conglomerate Gumbiner-Fischer because she wants to stay at home with her two children and have a third with her new husband Lee (Paul Popowich).

Lee works for Gumbiner-Fischer. He’s a sales rep. Sarah met him after her first husband Kieran, who also worked for Gumbiner-Fischer, fell into the canal one night and drowned.

It was a tragic accident, everyone agreed, the result of an intemperate decision to walk home after an evening of drinking with clients, which for better or worse was part of Kieran’s job description.

So Sarah starts Acceptable Risk on an upbeat note, secure in her plans and hopeful her wounded family can be reassembled with Lee and then a new sibling.

Per Gumbiner-Fischer policy, Lee doesn’t reveal much about his doings on the job, even to Sarah. So she’s mildly surprised when he calls her from Montreal to say he’ll be back in Dublin soon and yes, he’d love to have a getaway weekend for just the two of them.

A few hours later Detective Sergeant Emer Byrne (Angeline Ball) knocks on Sarah’s door to say the Montreal cops found Lee’s wallet in the pocket of a body that had been dumped on the street.

Sarah is too stunned at first to wonder whether she just has very bad luck or if something is going on here. When the shock wears off, sure enough, she does, partly because she realizes she knows nothing about Lee. F’rinstance, she doesn’t have a name, contact or phone number for a single member of his family.

Detective Byrne has some questions, too.  

Meanwhile, back at Gumbiner-Fischer, head honcho Hans Werner Hoffman (Morten Suurballe) tells Sarah, who is an old friend, that the company will provide her with whatever she needs in this time of grief.

That may not, however, be the only message circulating in those rich and powerful corridors. A press rep gets rather testy when Detective Sgt. Byrne (right) pays a visit.

It sounds complex as well as ominous, and certainly, the setup raises more questions than it answers. But thanks to a core group that also includes Sarah’s sister Nuala Mulvaney (Lisa Hogg), we feel like we at least know the lineup and have some idea who’s on which team.

Cassidy faces a challenge with Sarah, who’s brilliant but insecure, who was already fragile from Kieran’s death, who isn’t quite sure how to deal with the children and who is only starting to get a hint, which she would prefer not to believe, about the scope of what could be going on.

Cassidy plays it masterfully, quickly achieving the vital goal of getting the audience completely on her side.

Suurballe is sneaky sinister, like an invincible corporate titan should be, and Byrne captures the bulldog cop who can’t let go even when she realizes the bull may be a lot bigger than she first realized.

If you don’t think you have another six hours to watch this play out, fine. If you watch the first hour, you’re probably committed to the last five.

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Cancel comcast, dish, direct tv. Keep Amazon. Acorn is only 5.00Usd per month. You won't miss a thing and be richer to boot.
Oct 20, 2017   |  Reply
Barbara Lee, I'm agreeing with you, but haven't a clue what to do.
It isn't just the cost, it is unavailability as well.
Comcast required 3 times as many stations as were even watchable. and little known sometimes costly sources seem to have one-offs.
Perhaps consumers need to create "collectives" of well chosen sources, and pool their power.
Oct 17, 2017   |  Reply
Barbara Lee
I am so angry and upset that there are so many different service you are required to pay for monthly to watch the better shows on TV. I pay for extra channels on Comcast, netflix and amazon prime. I can't afford to add Hulu, Acorn or others. Seems very unfair to me.
Oct 16, 2017   |  Reply
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