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The New Season of 'No Offence' Arrives on Acorn
January 7, 2019  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment
Few shows walk the line between tragedy and humor as boldly as the British police drama No Offence.

This triumph for No Offence, whose third season becomes available stateside on Monday from the streaming service Acorn, arises largely from the shoulders of Joanna Scanlan (below), who plays Detective Inspector Vivienne Deering, and Elaine Cassidy (bottom), who plays Detective Sergeant Dinah Kowalska.

They’re cops in Manchester, England, working a wide range of cases in sometimes unorthodox ways. Kowalska, in particular, can act impulsively and has the ability to make the viewer occasionally think, “Huh?”

She and Deering are good pals who sometimes have professional disagreements. They’re deadly serious in pursuit of criminals and can be a little off-center in their personal lives.

Okay, sometimes they start edging toward I Love Lucy territory. But if you’re a criminal, you don’t want them after you.

The new season, a contained story with six episodes, takes a more political turn than the previous two.

No doubt inspired by the rise of populist political parties in Europe and elsewhere, creator Paul Abbott builds the story around a fictional far-right British party led by the brother/sister team of Dennis and Faye Caddy (Neil Maskell and Sharon Rooney).

We meet them as they are attempting to disrupt a mayoral debate. The disruption turns tragic when a shooter pops up in the crowd, which leads to a rapid-fire series of events that leave a law enforcement officer dead.

The familiar light banter from the first few scenes of the opening episode vanishes as Viv, Di, and the rest of the team try to prove what they’re sure is true: that the right-wing group was behind the events that led to the death of their colleague.

It doesn’t turn out to be quite that simple for anyone, as we soon learn when we meet Bonnie Sands (Tamara Lawrence), who seems to be Dennis Caddy’s girlfriend and may, in reality, be something else. What else, no one is sure.

It’s a classic good guy/bad guy showdown in most ways. We like the police team, quirky and quarrelsome as they may be, and there isn’t much to like about the Caddys’ political party, which seems to be built on intolerance and militant nationalism.

Figuring out exactly what happened and pinning it on the real culprits, however, takes time. Happily, the twists don’t feel like filler. Abbott explores uncomfortable areas of the populist movement as well as some of the situations that have helped feed it.

Cassidy and Deering are intense and terrific as they figure out on the fly which rules they must bend to find their answers.

And one more piece of good news: Abbott has said he is working on ideas for a fourth season.

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Quirky, On the Fly, Unorthodox, you've used a few of the words that describe No Offence.I applaud you for trying a description. This is one of the most fun series on tv, if it suits your taste. UK, so cops w/o guns, rely on so much unspoken teamwork and creativity- simultaneously handling domestic violations, and crime gang cases simultaneously. All with a flair that I've not seen before. Often crude, and cynical,
but no more so than men's patrols, simply startling for a team of women.
But for the viewer-- fun. rapid fire dialogue, and they out-think the criminals.
Fantastic series for the right viewer.
Jan 7, 2019   |  Reply
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