Because don’t get me wrong, your first fall is always the hardest and oh my GOD, the Three Garridebs and the Granada version and the BBC series and even Elementary isn’t terrible, but in answering Melissa’s question I have to go with Michael Jericho:
I’ve loved Robert Lindsay since the A&E Horatio Hornblowerseries, in which he took a character that I’d never thought much about and made him the weight and conscience of the entire program, such that the Internets invented elaborate and varying backstories for him and the fanfiction had fanfiction, we all gave that much of a damn. Watch “The Wrong War” (or “Frogs and Lobsters”) when he says he stands accused by his own conscience, and just try not to feel it like a punch in the gut.
But Michael Jericho … it’s not just the hard-boiled thing. Those are a dime a dozen. It’s the compassion he shows towards victims and the cruelty he displays towards himself and those who love him the most, it’s the intense race and class consciousness of the show itself. I’ve got a whole post somewhere about Law and Order: UK and the ways in which British crime shows deal honestly with divisions Americans like to pretend don’t exist. (I’ve been watching Prime Suspect for the first time and holy shit.) Servants and employers, black and white, immigrant and native-born, gay and straight, the show jumps right into it and chews it all up and finds no easy answers.
Mostly, though, it’s that Jericho is a story about people coming back from the war, and if you’ve been reading here since the Galactica days you know there’s nothing I love more than a story about the aftershocks. Jericho and his partner, Clive Harvey, came back from World War II and the world they left didn’t exist anymore. Jericho’s one true love married someone else. Clive’s wife and kids lived through the Blitz, but barely. All around them boundaries are blurring and the old rules no longer apply.
And everything they do, everything that happens to them, everything they do to one another, comes from the absolute disorientation you feel when it wasn’t the world that exploded, it was you. The world is the same. You’re the different thing.