RIP on TV: Luther

LutherScott and I finally finished the third season of Luther yesterday, after weeks of procrastination because who knows when there will be more? It’s almost like Sherlock in that way, except that I think you at least get more minutes of Sherlock when it comes around. I often wish that American television would follow Britain’s lead in short but amazing seasons, but I do like not having to wait literally years between seasons…

If you haven’t seen Luther, I don’t know if I can actually recommend it as a thing to watch, because it is absolutely batshit crazy. Of the fourteen total episodes, I can’t think of one that didn’t cause me to stare at my screen, jaw dropped open in complete disbelief that THEY would do THAT. Which is probably why I can’t stop watching, because I want to know what the heck they’ll do next.

In the first episode, the show seems pretty normal. We are introduced to DCI (sidenote: greatest job title ever) John Luther, a copper who put a man in a coma sort of accidentally-on-purpose in order to get information to solve a crime. Luther is clearly one of those detectives who knows where the line is and dances all around it but stays firmly planted on the correct side when it’s time to be held accountable, but also clearly he is a Sherlock-Holmes level crime-solving savant so people are willing to look the other way when necessary. It’s a thing that’s been done, but I love seeing it done so well. And the actual plot? Very first episode, we’ve got an extremely intelligent murderer carrying out the perfect murder. Luther knows whodunnit, but can’t prove it, so he has to let her go, which turns out to be terrible for him.

The rest of the first season revolves around this murderer stalking Luther and trying to make his life better in extremely counterproductive ways, and also Luther trying to repair a failed relationship with his wife, and also Luther and his higher-ups wondering if that guy in a coma might wake up and get Luther charged with attempted murder, and also Luther’s regular horrifying homicide caseload. In six episodes. Ballsy.

Things only get crazier from there, with a lot of insane murderers-of-the-week (including one who commits incredibly brutal crimes based on the roll of some dice) and some season-long arcs that make you wonder how Luther survives being Luther. I certainly couldn’t.

If you have the stomach for some serious gore and some serious flouting of every law known to man, and have a dozen or so hours to spare, I would say that Luther is not a terrible way to spend them. But if it’s, like, nice out or you have friends who want to come over or an interesting book to read, you should probably do that instead. It’s a much nicer and happier place here in our world.

an RIP watch

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