As I mentioned, my brother, who is my oldest friend, gave me as a Christmas gift a subscription to Netflix. (There goes the old productivity!)
He recommended a six-part dramatic series produced by the BBC titled “River,” about a fictional detective named John River. I watched the series in two or three gulps over the past couple of days, and re-watched the first two episodes last night and will re-watch the rest as soon as i can.
it is an extraordinary achievement, moving, profound, dark, believable. You care about the characters, and isn’t that the first requisite of successful fiction?
River is an older man, a detective on the London police force. River, as a native Swede who only came to England at age 14, naturally has an outsider’s view of society. But more than that, since he was a lonely child he has had the ability — the curse, too — to see and talk and interact with dead people. It makes him seem ever odder than he already is. He talks to himself — well, you can imagine. He has serious emotional problems stemming from his life-long isolation, and the story arc of the six episodes shows him learning to deal with them. His ability to speak to the dead is not the cause of that emotional isolation, nor the result, but of course it colors everything in his life.
Neither woo-woo nor cutesy nor fluff. As i say, an extraordinary achievement.