Marcella (2016 Netflix series)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Solaris, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    I watched this eight-episode show over the past few days and find myself with very mixed feelings, mostly leaning to the negative side.

    The premise: a stay at home mother (Marcella), who is a former police detective, has returned to active duty after a murder that fits the M.O. of a serial killer case she worked on years before. The twist, so to speak, is that Marcella is an unstable character, prone to blackouts where she does things she can't remember. Possibly terrible things that compromise the case she's working on.

    On the plus side, the cast is pretty good, led by the excellent Anna Friel as Marcella. Friel is what holds all of this nonsense together really, while the rest of the actors provide solid window dressing. Individual scenes work well, and it's artfully photographed.

    On the preposterous side, in just about every episode there's a red herring which is never resolved, just left to confuse the viewer and distract from the plot. The complex web of supporting characters is introduced matter-of-factly without explanation, which has the effect of keeping you on your toes (good) while also adding more confusion (bad). And the blackouts range from being a critical source of tension to a lazy out for the writers who clearly can't be bothered to think of a resolution for certain situations.

    In all, this could have been a much better show if someone with a strong editorial sensibility had trimmed the silliness out of the script and pushed the writers to think a little harder. I could almost enjoy it without thinking very much, but once it's over the problems kept nagging at me.
     
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  2. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham
    I didn't like it for the reasons you outline.
     
  3. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I liked it despite the reasons you outlined (with which I agree).
     
  4. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I agree with your analysis, but I still find myself leaning towards the positive side of the ledger, despite the narrative issues. However, I may have felt differently if not for Anna Friel, which is a major asset and helps to paper over some of the cracks.
     
  5. Coricama

    Coricama Classic Rocker

    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    I can't argue with your analysis of the show, but I like looking at Anna Friel. Can't wait until season 2!
     
  6. Yovra

    Yovra Forum Enthusiast

    I couldn't stand the attitude of the 'Marcella'-character, so I lost interest after three episodes. Her colleagues are totally unprofessional dimwits and the other characters unlikeable oafs. I think this was a bad attempt to make a Scandinavian thriller. Come to think of it: after The Killing and The Bridge there's hasn't been a ''leading'' Scandinavian thriller anymore, i.m.o.
     
    Solaris and Rufus McDufus like this.
  7. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident

    I just finished this one.
    Can anyone who's seen it explain why Marcella moved the body?
    Was that resolved, or are they keeping it under wraps until next season?
     
  8. silverhead

    silverhead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edinburgh Scotland
    It was as we say here in Scotland "mince".Started out promising but quickly went downhill and i lost interest.good cast.crap script.
     
  9. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Against all good sense I started watching season 2, which showed up recently on Netflix. Be warned that the central case involves sexual abuse and murder of children which for me at least makes getting through each episode a squirmy experience -- children in danger isn't exactly entertainment. There's still a complex web of characters introduced without context, but the red herrings seem to be gone. This appears to be more of a matter of waiting to see how all these threads converge as Marcella tries to get a handle on her unraveling private life. I'm about to start episode 4.
     
  10. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    I spoke too soon. Just finished episode 6 and this show is as much a dumpster fire inside a train wreck as last season...and yet I have to watch to the end. Dammit!
     
    SomeCallMeTim likes this.
  11. jriems

    jriems Audio Ojiisan

    Just wait until the 8th episode. The final few minutes actually had me upset - upset that I had spent so much time investing in the second season, only to leave me with...what it left me with.

    When you get finished watching, let me know if you think the ending is as patently ridiculous as I thought it was.
     
    SomeCallMeTim likes this.
  12. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Yes, agreed, completely insane. Among its many sins, it turned a character we could feel compassion for into someone completely un-redeemable. "Anti-hero"...whatever. I'm not simply upset, I'm angry at the people who made this. Do they have any sense at all? All the loose ends from red herrings are bad enough, but THIS? Nope, I'm done.
     
    jriems likes this.
  13. jriems

    jriems Audio Ojiisan

    Glad I'm not alone in my disdain for the direction this train wreck took. Besides agreeing exactly with your feelings on how they destroyed any empathy with main character, I thought this was the coup de Gras of stupidity:

    Have her disfigure herself in the most easily recognizable way possible, THEN GIVE HER AN UNDERCOVER GIG.

    I'm also done. No season 3 for me. Such a disappointing show.
     
  14. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Oh certainly, those last three minutes went into total bat**** territory. The writer of this show should seek professional help. And definitely make sure he's never left alone around children!
     
  15. jriems

    jriems Audio Ojiisan

    Since we appear to be the only two viewers, they're probably in trouble.
     
  16. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I also watched it, and agree, it was terrible.
     
    Solaris likes this.
  17. Daryl M

    Daryl M Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I, as well, can't get enough of Anna Friel. A completely different character here than the
    one she plays on `The Girlfriend Experience', I must say!
     
    SomeCallMeTim likes this.

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