OVERALL: Definitely a good show to watch.
John River is a brilliant police inspector whose genius lies side-by-side with the fragility of his mind. He is a man haunted by the murder victims whose cases he must lay to rest.
I have watched a lot of police procedurals, and among them several British ones. This is by far the most unique series I have seen, following Inspector River as he looks for his partner’s killer. The twist on this, his partner still talks to him, along with many other victims and/or influences on his life.
The second twist, this isn’t a supernatural show at all. River just has mental issues and his abilities at being a detective manifest that way. It also shows how that mental illness takes a toll, resulting in a downward spiral.
The acting is great with Stellan Skarsgard as the center of the show (yes he is the father of all the young acting Skarsgard including Alexander). His acting is magnificent, and is in direct relation to the decades of acting he has put in. The rest of the cast are spectacular as well with the stars being selected for their acting ability and not because they fit into some weird young Hollywood attractiveness. This is one of the reasons I love British tv, they do have attractive young actors, but their shows starts seem much more relatable, real.
There wasn’t really any negatives I had with it, except of course the short season always throws me off (being American and used to 13-22 episodes a season, 6 episodes is always quick). I truly think though that is where British TV has American TV beat. It is about telling a story, if that only takes four episodes, that is ok. They don’t have to stretch it out to 22 episodes, thus making the show lose both pacing and heart.
Pros: In the top three for cop shows I have seen, and just a generally great series.
Cons: The fact there is no confirmed season 2, although honestly it might be good to leave it finished as an excellent show.