Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ripper Street Just Keeps Getting Better And Better

Is there nothing about this show that isn't beautiful?  Between the sets, costumes, dialogue and brilliant performances it's hard to find a fault.  I find with most TV shows that no matter what, there tends to be something irritating about a show, whether it be a cast member or cinematography or bad writing, but this show, much like Boardwalk Empire, is not only is it historically well written and put together but superbly acted.  Well, Boardwalk had to deal with Paz de la Huerta, but they got rid of her right quick.  The truth is, there are no cast members in this show I would want to see removed, in fact I find myself wanting more of certain performances.  Basically, I think we need more Emily Reid (Amanda Hale who I wrote about in Being Human), her performance is quietly brilliant portraying extreme depth in silence.  That girl needs to get in some Pinter plays.

Everybody on Ripper Street is wonderful, and a shout out to Adam Rothenburg who is playing Captain Homer Jackson, an American actor playing an American.  I mean, even in America we don't cast Americans in main or sometimes even title roles, a good accent goes a long way.  But Rothenburg is not only the real deal, but he keeps up with veteran and extremely talented British actors.  It's not secret that the Americans and British have very different acting styles and educations, but Rothenburg shines along side his Brit brethren so bravo!

But I had a point when writing this blog and my point was this.  Matthew Macfadyen is brilliant.  It's like watching poetry in motion.  He plays Edmund Reid with grace and beauty.  Reid's character isn't a new one, damaged cop with skeletons in his closet and a crumbling marriage.  We've all seen it before.  But Macfadyen brings something new.  It's not all close to the cuff, get your work done and move on.  In every frame you can see the pain of his life shining behind his eyes and he is constantly battling against it.  I mean... look!  Look at this:
I can't!  I can't!  It's just too good!  And his scenes with Emily... OH!  The two of the together are a lethal emotional combination.  They play off each other so well.

In the past few episodes we keep seeing the same few characters popping up over and over again.  One of those characters is Deborah Goren (played most lover-ly by Lucy Cohu).  At first she seems like a minor character but she kept popping up episode after episode.  And without showing it overtly,  you could see the unhappily married Reid falling in love with her.  So what you ask, characters fall for each other all the time.  No, you don't understand, Macfadyen played it in such a way that you could tell he had no clue he was falling for her and you could see in his eyes the moment he realized how he felt.  When he finally kisses her, you felt the release of the building tension as much as his character must have.  Isn't that why we watch TV?  For these kinds of cathartic moments?  Boy does Macfadyen deliver.  I could honestly go on and on with how impressed I am with this performance.  Macfadyen truly breathes new life into a totally beaten to death character type.

Oh don't worry Jerome Flynn, I haven't forgotten about Drake, the brute with a heart of gold.  It's just that your presence on this show is disturbing to me as I adore you on Game of Thrones and your main character status on Ripper Street makes me believe you may be biting the big one this season.  I don't like that.  Either way, Drake is the complete opposite of Bronn, showing the range that Flynn can perform.  No offense Flynn, but you have the face of a tough guy, so it's not hard to see you as the muscle on a show, but on Ripper Street he is sensitive and kind... even if he does beat the shit out of most suspects.  His pining over the whore Rose (played by the absolutely gorgeous Charlene McKenna) was heart breaking.  He was like a puppy.  I love contradictions, but they are hard to pull of, Flynn does it with skill.

Another character that I hope to see more of is Long Susan, played by MyAnna Buring.  Her character is still a complete and total mystery, other than the fact that we know she is in bed (literally and figuratively)  with Captain Jackson.  And we also know she is a tough cookie.  For a women as lithe and beautiful at her, the tough bitch character is hard to play convincingly, but the small amount of fear in her eyes shows that her mask is on the verge of slipping.  I really look forward to see more of this macho madame.

If you haven't watched Ripper Street yet I suggest you do so, especially if your an aspiring actor because there is a lot to be learned from these talented men and women.  I hope to see a lot of awards in the futures of these actors because boy do they deserve them.