Public Service Announcement 44 of 2018: The Sinner

Broadcasters, production companies, and streaming outlets are all trying to maximise their returns on the remarkable amounts of money they’re sinking into making TV. So it will, I suspect, become increasingly common for shows to turn up on more than one platform.

Thus crime/mystery anthology drama The Sinner started off on the USA Network in America, jumped to Netflix there and in the UK, and as of tonight is being shown by BBC Four. This first season stars Jessica Biel as a woman who, in an apparently unprovoked and motiveless attack, stabs and kills a young man. It was sufficiently well received for Biel to net an Emmy nomination, and for the show itself to be renewed for a second season – already available on Netflix – with a substantially different case. I suspect it’s too late for us to review it week-by-week, but I’m planning to watch, even though BBC Four is sticking doggedly to its stupid-double-bills policy (tonight, 9pm).

And coming soon to UK screens: Madam Secretary, Bull, and perennial Unpopcult favourite Hawaii Five-0. More about them and other shows in due course.


4 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement 44 of 2018: The Sinner

  1. Snoskred December 1, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    I loved it, and I don’t think it is ever too late to review something week by week – I like to hear your thoughts on things when you see them, which may be much later than when I see them now thanks to this platform thing.

    I will have to watch the second season soon, the first one was brilliant. 🙂

    • Jed Bartlet December 6, 2018 / 10:58 pm

      Loved the first two episodes of The Sinner, Snoskred. I’m in for the season.

    • Jed Bartlet December 25, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      Just coming back on to say that I really liked this, and that the final two episodes stuck the landing. Definitely worth a look. I’m on board for season 2.

  2. CJ Cregg January 26, 2019 / 3:48 pm

    Feels like I’m being a bit of a negative Nelly these days, criticising everything all the time, but….. after a great start, I wasn’t as impressed by the rest of the first season as everyone else was. The acting was great, the cinematography and scenery was beautiful, and the atmosphere was nicely eerie but the story went round in circles for ages. I did find the basic story compelling and I stuck with it, but I was getting really antsy to just get to the end by about ep 5 – I felt like it could have been wrapped up comfortably in 4 eps or 6 if absolutely necessary rather than 8. It seemed very much like someone had seen season one of True Detective and thought “let’s make that, but without the misogyny!”

    The ponderous vibe and the seediness of so much of the story felt very similar to what I can remember of True Detective (although I only managed 3 eps of TD so I’m probably not the best person to make the comparison), as was all the unnecessarily protracted time we spent on Harry’s “challenging” relationships. I kept expecting someone to announce that “Time is a flat circle” at any minute. The initial killing on the beach was striking and visceral, and properly shocking – an impressive feat when we’ve seen so much violence on tv that we’re a bit desensitised to it. But I felt the sexual elements were laboured and Cora herself never transcended passive victim status throughout, which is strange when she was the one with the knife. I will give season 2 a go because I really like both Carrie Coon and Bill Pullman, but I think this one would have benefited from much more editing along the way.

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