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Acorn Dives Into the Production Pool and the Result, 'London Kills,' is More Than Worth It
February 25, 2019  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of television, a cop drama doesn’t have to aim high to entertain.

London Kills, a new police procedural available starting Monday on the streaming service Acorn, is simply a solid, fast-paced drama with stories and characters we can enjoy watching.

Following standard procedure on police shows, we follow a core team through multiple cases, not all of which are solved each episode.

The cases are framed against the backdrop of some tense interpersonal dynamics, which is a fancy way of saying that even though our cops work together against the bad guys, they don’t all think their colleagues always get it right.

Hugo Speer heads the squad as Detective Inspector David Bradford, who has returned to work from a “compassionate leave” on which he embarked after his wife went missing.

She’s still missing. He was going stir-crazy sitting at home. So he’s returned to work, which comes as a mild and not entirely pleasant surprise to Detective Sergeant Vivienne Cole (Sharon Small), who had been running the team in his absence.

She’s particularly surprised because he arrives, unannounced to her, just as she is starting to assess the circumstances under which the body of a young tech prodigy was found hanging from a tree in a London park.

She and two assistants, Detective Constable Rob Brady (Bailey Patrick) and Trainee Detective Constable Billie Fitzgerald (Toni Allen-Martin), had just arrived and while we never see the body, it is apparently gruesome enough that TDS Fitzgerald loses her breakfast in a nearby patch of shrubbery.

The victim turns out to be the scion of a prominent political figure, which makes things a bit more delicate and reinforces Cole’s suspicion that Bradford may have returned before he was ready to focus fully on the game.

Cole and Bradford don’t seem to dislike or even disrespect each other, really. Both are simply prone to say what’s on their minds, which isn’t always fully approving and leaves their two associates at times in an uncomfortable middle.

Because the mystery of Bradford’s wife weighs on him, it does affect his approach to cases, and not always indirectly. At the same time, Cole liked the lead role enough that she’s noticeably chagrined at now taking orders again.

If all this sounds like everyday police drama stuff, it’s sharply written and very nicely acted by all involved. More to the point, the cases are crafted well, moving smoothly through twists and reveals that will challenge viewers to figure out what might be coming next.

London Kills is one of Acorn’s first commissioned series, reflecting the service’s goal of producing as well as delivering content. If it’s not a head-spinning splash, it tells a good story, and no matter how much television we get, there’s always room for another one of those.

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Would you consider including information on streaming shows on services perhaps we have not yet subscribed to, whether service has added full seasons, so we may binge, or download, or we must wait week-to week for them?
Feb 26, 2019   |  Reply
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