Finishing the first year of uni meant that I had a bit more free time on my hands – meaning I could finally begin watching the highly regarded Line of Duty. The BBC drama, directed by Jed Mercurio, commanded a viewing audience of nine million for the finale of the most recent series. It must be good then, right? Well, yes it is, but there were a few things that I didn’t enjoy.
1) Every Series Had The Same Formula
Every series had the same formula with how their episodes worked; it became quite annoying and completely obvious in the end.
The very beginning of the first episode of every series would usually set up the story line for the rest of the series. It was usually some sort of attack or evident corruption from a police officer (the premise of the show).
The second episode obviously developed the story, showed how the anti-corruption officers would start investigating the corrupt officer before hinting to the eventual twist in the middle of the series.
By the fourth, the anti-corruption unit 12 would be finding more about the officer their investigating – but of course there was twist and turns along the way. The sixth and final episode of the series was of course the climax that we, most of the time, could see coming.
From my small knowledge left of A Level media, watching reminded me of Roland Barthes codes theory. I’m not going to explain that for you though, research it yourselves.
2) The Seemingly Obvious Who ‘H’ Is – Until The Story Line Changed
Now, I’ll happy be corrected on this if it becomes false, but it seemed pretty obvious who ‘H’ is. The mythical character enters the fray midway through season four and develops into season five.
‘H’ is supposedly a high-ranking police officer within the force. Now, multiple clues are left throughout to lead the audience to believe they know who it is – or at least me anyway (this is really hard without spoilers). However, in the very last stages of the last episode, the attention is taken away from said character as someone else is arrested. Coincidence? I think not.
3) The Story Line Change
In the final moments of series five, main characters Steve Arnott and Kate Fleming recognise something that was shown in a previous episode, in fact at the end of series there. They conclude that they have found three out of four corrupt officers known as ‘caddies’.
Clever really. Hide something at the end of series three so by the time the end of series five comes about the audience would have forgotten about it. An obvious way to continue a series, which I am not against in anyway.
4) I Feel Like I’ve Watched It Before
Call me a harsh critic, but once you watch one police drama, then you’ve pretty much watched all of them. I wasn’t a big ‘The Bill’ fan, but I did watch Luther. Line of Duty felt similar to Luther in the sense that it was officers investigating issues that were solved, but of course with twist and turns along the way.
I would highly recommend watching Line of Duty as it is fantastic. However, go into with more of an open mind than I did.