You may have noticed a lack of entertainment related content in recent weeks. Apologies for this, I have been extremely focussed on sports coverage lately. However, I watched ‘Hinterland’ last night; a crime show that reignited my passion for TV analysis.
You can find ‘Hinterland’ on Netflix, let me explain why it deserves your time more than the myriad of other crime shows available.
The writers and directors put the story’s themes on show. It feels great to analyse because its themes are clear and they inform every aspect of the production. The main message, is that violence is corrosive. Everything it touches, it destroys.
This is illustrated by the visuals. The opening titles feature footage of various objects. They are all disturbing or remind us of death and decay. Rusty nails, dead flies and the like.
The crime scenes emphasise the savagery and ugly nature of murder. Blood covers every inch of the victim’s house in the first episode. One of the characters even describes it as ‘carnage’.
Violence corrupts people that are exposed to it. The main character of ‘Hinterland’ has been corrupted by the violence he has seen. He has a cold, jaded look in his eye. We see him smile a grand total of one time.
Tom Mathias wears a hangdog look, the unhelpful thoughts are written on his face, his baleful eyes have seen horrors and it has destroyed his optimism.
This frosty detatchment is brilliantly portrayed by Richard Harrington. Mathias’ psychological profile is masterfully written. He has become a difficult person due to the effects of what he has seen. He often hurts people’s self esteem with his coarse attitude.
Mathias has seen so much aggression that this is how he responds to the world. This is why he punches the vending machine when it isn’t working. Violence begets violence. His colleague tells him ‘there’s a knack’. She is trying to teach him that the soft approach is sometimes a better option.
The plot of the inaugural episode centres around a landmark called ‘Devil’s Bridge’. This is symbolic for evil being a passageway to hell. This draws from theology and conforms with the theme. Violence guides you along a path into darkness.
Fascinating stuff, all this just on the first episode. I cannot wait to watch more!