Luther (2010-2013)

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I’m back! Between getting my Master’s, applying for jobs, and being in a play, I haven’t really had a lot of time to be blogging this summer.  But now that I’m back I’m going to make it a point to try and update this blog at least somewhat regularly to all 5 of my readers who read it and give me feedback.  Anyway, now onto the review!

Idris Elba as John Luther

Created in 2010 by Neil Cross, Luther has just wrapped up its third and final season.  The series concerns itself with central Character John Luther, portrayed by Idris Elba, a Detective within the London Police Service and the battles between his personal and professional life.  Luther has something of a reputation as a Cop that will bend the rules to get the results and has a quick temper that affects his personal relationships.  Throughout the course of the series, the viewer sees how Luther balances these two functions within his personal and professional life, and the inner tumult that engulfs him and the people he loves.

While it is true that this type of “Good Cop, Gone Bad” has come before in the US and UK (think The ShieldThe Bill, etc.) what makes Luther unique is the way that the character is portrayed.  Elba does an incredible job with the character and he has traits that make the viewer not like him or question where Luther’s morality lies.  There are moments when Luther acts like a complete jerk to his friends, ex-wife, and superiors at work; this is designed to make Luther a less-sympathetic person and more of a anti-hero to the eyes of the viewer, and the writers and Elba do this incredibly.  You see how Luther is tortured and how he can be a jerk, but also see the moral righteousness that he holds dear to his heart.  The fact that people around him can get hurt make him more of a real person and not some one note “cop with misunderstandings” stock character that has been used to death in countless serial dramas.

Ruth Wilson as Alex Morgan

Another strong point of the show is the way Luther interacts with the criminals of the show, especially the character of Alice Morgan portrayed by the wonderfully evil Ruth Wilson.  In the first episode, Morgan and Luther form a tentative partnership that helps serve as Luther’s intellectual equal, even though she is a cold-blooded killer.  Alice Morgan understands Luther and what makes him tick and uses this to help him solve the crimes he is assigned as well as navigating the world of his murky personal life.  It is this relationship that make the show absolutely fascinating: the relationship between the fine line of good and evil working together.

Containing great performances, suspense, and interesting insights, Luther is definitely a show to check out, just don’t watch it without the lights on, there are moments when this reviewer got really scared!

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