No, I mean REALLY attractive.
The Fall, like all great crime dramas (nope, that’s not even remotely correct) begins with a selfie. That’s right: within the first few minutes, this show rewards you with something wonderful you didn’t even know you wanted. Serial killer selfies! Just imagine the possibilities, if this were something they all did–Jeffrey Dahmer in the bathroom, twisting uncomfortably to get the best possible angle; Ted Bundy making a peace sign and duck lips.
Sorry, is that a little too dark and twisted for your morning coffee? Perfect, now you’re in the right mindset for The Fall.
You Keep Saying The Fall What The Hell Is The Fall
The Fall is a crime drama/miniseries from BBC2 that premiered this May and was made available on Netflix the very same month. Smart.
The story follows killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and detective Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson). Stella is brought in to review the investigation on a string of murders that Paul has committed (unbeknownst to her) in Belfast, Ireland.
It’s one of the most stylish, haunting (even sexy?) crime shows I have seen in a long time. Take a look at the trailer to see what I mean:
The Main Selling Point
I won’t lie to you people: Jamie Dornan is the main reason you should watch this show. Our own Jamie introduced us to Mr. Dornan as her dream pick to play Bennett Ryan in Beautiful Bastard, after which I made a point to check out his new show–I had no idea he’d be so mesmerizing in The Fall.
Seriously, the obvious draw is this
But then something happened that surprised me:
He’s actually GOOD. At ACTING. And as a result, I have never felt so conflicted about a character as I do about Paul Spector (my body’s saying yes, my mind is saying no, he murders, you dummy). Paul is the type of killer who breaks into your house a few days before he kills you, just to sniff around (um, literally). To do these night missions, he changes out of his Irish sweaters and into his murder outfit, a sleek black ensemble with a makeshift balaclava. Blessedly, we are privy to a lot of this changing.
Once inside your house, he moves like a cat stalking its prey (whether you are there or not). I don’t know how Jamie Dornan does this, but the way he physically moves is incredible and terrifying. He slips behind corners like a beautiful, lethal shadow. The actual murders are pretty disturbing, but not gory, since he kills by strangulation. I can’t believe I just said that. See, I’m still making excuses for him!
Sexy, sexy editing
The showrunners aren’t stupid. They know how disarming Paul is, and some of the scenes they choose to play out simultaneously can get really twisted. In one of the most memorable, Stella has a bootycall with a cop she has picked! out! off! the! street! while Paul tenderly (there I go again) washes the body of a woman he has just killed. Flashing back and forth between bodies makes for a really disturbing experience that I have to admit was also somehow beautiful and sensual. It’s unnerving.
Kids with Irish Accents
To make matters worse, Paul comes home from a fresh kill to this:
This is the worst. He has a tiny son with an Irish accent, saying “Daddeh? Where were you?” Ovary explosion. In fact, he has a whole family, and hides his murder backpack (that’s a thing) in the ceiling of his daughter’s bedroom. FOOLPROOF, right? Wrong. The daughter is having nightmares about naked women and drawing murdery things at school. Good one, Dad.
Stella Gibson, Bossypants
Stella is such a great character, not least of all because of her attitude toward sexuality. Early in the season, she tells her driver to pull over, hops out, and invites this guy up to her hotel room:
I’m just trying to get you to watch the show, people. Is it working? When other detectives pass judgment on a victim’s lifestyle, she drops truth bombs like these:
In case you’re not convinced you need another crime drama in your life, The Fall is only 5 episodes long. Plus, it’s not riddled with clichés. To prove it, here are…
5 Crime Show Tropes that The Fall Avoids
1. The protagonist detective with demons/a past.
Don’t get me wrong, I love flawed characters–but after a while, the conflicted hero thing gets so repetitive. It’s not a surprise anymore to have a detective with issues; it’s more of a surprise when they are great at their job, full stop. Stella Gibson is a BAMF. She sees what she wants, and she takes it. She also knows that she is good at what she does, and doesn’t apologize for it.
2. Romantic tension between leads.
You won’t spend the season wondering “will they or won’t they” about the detective and the killer. Trust me. Sex is present, but it’s rather matter of fact, leaving tension to criminal endeavors. Of course, tumblr disagrees, but they’ll ship anything.
3. Wisecracks or one-liners while removing or putting on eyewear.
Belfast isn’t that sunny.
4. The zany geek in their tech cave/science lab/morgue.
People are good at their jobs, and knowledgable about science, without being loons.
5. The string of red herrings before you discover the killer is the guy they talked to in the first ten minutes.
You know the real killer’s identity from the first scene, yet it’s anything but boring.
As a reminder, there is also THIS
Have you watched the first season of The Fall? Have you fallen into a Tumblr abyss searching for Jamie Dornan? Let’s discuss.