What I’m Watching
I don’t remember how I heard about the BBC television show “Luther.” I do, however, remember watching the first few episodes via not-exactly-legal means in my dorm room and being floored by its graphic crime stories that were unlike anything else at the time. Following detective chief inspector John Luther, played by the wonderful Idris Elba, the show pits him against one twisted serial killer after another in the seedy underbelly of London.
Picture CBS’ “Criminal Minds” but way more dark and horrifying since it isn’t limited by network television. The first season was the more episodic, crime-of-the-week format with a larger arc. Now, its fifth season is one psychological thriller story told in four parts.
This show was my first introduction to Elba (I still haven’t gotten around to watching “The Wire.” Sorry!) and is why I bothered to see the lukewarm “Prometheus” and “Thor” movies. His casting in “Pacific Rim” was the cherry on top of a fun blockbuster and I, like many others, believe he’d make a great version of James Bond.
Yet Elba and Luther are only one part of the show. Mirroring him is the seductive and sinister Alice Morgan played by Ruth Wilson. Like Joker and Batman and Holmes and Moriarty, Morgan and Luther are fabulous foils that straddle the line between enemies and allies. While the crimes are an important aspect, the heart of the narrative is their emotional and mental states elevated by their strong, charismatic performances.
The final episode of “Luther” airs Sunday, June 23, on BBC America. Catch up now because you won’t want to miss it.