Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fire up the Quattro!


... my favourite nonreconstructed sexy male detective is back. And it's nice to see him back being hot, hot, hot after Philip Glenister's disastrous turn as a Texan Vampire Smiter in the truly awful Demons. I still can't get over the fact that they managed to make him so unsexy...
But anyway, here he is back in Ashes to Ashes doing what he does best, being unpc, brutal, rude, uncompromising, but always with a swaggering sexual charisma which Jonas Armstrong would be well advised to study.
Not everyone seemed to like the first series of Ashes to Ashes, which after Life on Mars was always going to be a hard act to follow, but I did because I love the Gene/Alex dynamic, I've really enjoyed Chris being turned into something resembling a decent male by Shaz, and of course I love, love, LOVE the music. Well why wouldn't I? The 80s, bad hair, big shoulders notwithstanding was the decade of my youth, so anything that reminds me of that has to be good...
I'm glad to say series two has started promisingly with a ( spoiler alert), potentially murky plot involving police corruption in Soho, which looks like it's going to be a key part of the overall series arc.
Gene and Alex are sent to investigate the death of a copper in a Soho nightclub (hilariously encountering Princess Margaret on the way - her car is holding them up, which led to a new Genism "I don't stop for the sixth in line to the throne!" ), who it appeared had died in an autoerotic game that went wrong. Of course, the truth turned out to be somewhat more complex then that, and while the copper's Superintendent (Super Mac, who may or may not be the series villain) was keen to clean things up and move swiftly on, Alex and Gene soon uncover evidence that he's been murdered and fitted up.
In the meantime, just in case you thought this was a straightforward cops and robbers show, Alex is hearing voices everywhere: from an old woman, to a barking dog, telling her she's been found, and someone is leaving her flowers so she knows she's not forgotten. Her daughter even turns up in an episode of Grange Hill (a touch I rather liked given that Grange Hill was a programme I was still occasionally watching in 1982), but of course she can't get through to anyone. At one point Alex even got kidnapped by - who exactly? We're not sure, the potential murderer, a figment of her imagination, or someone else entirely? - and injected with a drug, so she was coming round at one point in 2008, only to return to 1982 when Gene pitched up to rescue her. In the last series, Keeley Hawes came in for a lot of criticism for being too shrieky (I rather liked her slightly off the wall ranting at everyone else myself), but this time around she's toned it down and is a bit more accepting of where she is, which made the pathos of the moment when she thought she'd got back and whoever was keeping her captive drew back what she thought was a hospital curtain to reveal that she was stuck in a warehouse, even more poignant.
There was pathos too, in the death of the young northern girl who dies in Gene's arms. Apparently Philip Glenister doesn't get why women fancy Gene so much. I'd say it's for scenes like that - seeing a tough guy, being so tender and so angry too, at such an unnecessary death, is very very seductive I find.
Although by the end Alex and Gene had discovered the culprit (the dead copper's best mate), and Alex had managed to talk him out of shooting half of the Met, it's clear that they've only just dipped a toe in the murk of corruption, and there is clearly more of the same to come. Which is just fine and dandy by me.

I loved it, and can't wait to see what happens next. I'm just hoping the Gene Genie isn't the fourth fictional hero to cop it this year. That would be simply too much to bear...

3 comments:

Lisa said...

I soooo disagree with you about Jonas Armstrong studying "swaggering sexual charisma." First of all, swaggering is akin to being arrogant, which Jonas isn't; this is precisely what I like about him. And as for "sexual charisma," well, in my book, Jonas just oozes it!!!

Jane Henry said...

Well we're all different, Lisa! I find Jonas just weedy and not at all charismatic. And yes of course Gene Hunt is arrogant, but he's attractive nevertheless. In real life I wouldn't go near him but Philip Glenister brings a certain something to the role I find!

Juliette M said...

Who are the other 3 copped-it heroes?