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Boxset Monday: Criminal (season one) (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

You all watch Line of Duty, don’t you? What do you watch it for? Is it the soapy relationship issues? Is it the arcane, interwoven plots, more padded with red herrings than a Hull Little Chef circa 1976? Is it its totally plausible view of police corruption investigations or equally great insight into how real criminals operate?

Of course not. It’s the interrogation scenes, when the brave officers investigating the corrupt coppers confront them with acres of incriminating evidence, resulting in a confession or at the very least said coppers tripping over a lie and incriminating themselves. They’re tense, marvellous studies of human interaction and how you can use mere words to get someone to do something they absolutely do not want to do.

Kudos then to Netflix for realising this and creating a show that’s entirely Line of Duty interrogation scenes: Criminal.

And if that were the limit of the format’s inventiveness, there wouldn’t be much to talk about. But Criminal is also Netflix’s new ‘gateway drug’.

The streaming service is arguably the world’s only truly international TV network, both acquiring and more importantly commissioning TV shows from around the world and then showing them in other countries.

Fancy watching Brazilian TV tonight? Then not only has Netflix got some of Brazil’s existing TV for you to watch, it’s also making entirely new shows for you in Brazil that you can watch.

That’s its USP and one that Amazon et al haven’t yet really started to emulate.

Criminal: Germany

Euro cop

The question is: how to make someone in the UK, say, want to watch Brazilian TV? Sure, there’s always a few internationally minded people willing to experience other country’s TV – I imagine they’re all TMINE readers, too – but that’s a minority interest.

So how do you get everyone else to at least try those bucket-loads of foreign TV you’ve got? Getting them started is the hardest part, but if you can do it they might end up staying on your service to watch more…

Do you do a co-production and film in loads of different countries? Maybe, but that’ll cost a load of cash.

So a final kudos to Netflix for turning in probably its most international while simultaneously cheapest ever TV show, despite being set in four different countries.

It’s also one of its best. Hello, Criminal.

Criminal
Criminal: UK
Criminal: France
Criminal: Germany
Criminal: Spain
Continue reading “Boxset Monday: Criminal (season one) (Netflix)”
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