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Case Histories

Case Histories

On DVD: 
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
After Thought:

There wasn't a moment during the six part series that I didn't often wonder how Jason Isaac's hadn't been offered the role of 007. He certainly has the look for the part and the mannerisms. It wouldn't suprise me to find him in the role eventually.

Case Histories is based off of the first three books in the Jackson Brodie novels (Case Histories, One Good Turn, and When Will There Be Good News) by Kate Atkinson. The series follows Jackson Brodie, as played by Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), a former soldier and police officer, now a private detective, as he lands himself in cases that make the surrounding world seem tight knit and closed in. Brodie is also haunted by the death of his older sister and is separated from his wife and must find time to be a father to his little girl.

When you live in America you get used to ex-soldier types being complete bad asses, really it’s the basis for why they are so good at kicking ass. When I read that Brodie was an ex-soldier turned private eye I figured this was going to be an action type show, but Isaac’s character hardly ever gets into tussles with bad guys. Jackson Brodie is logical, smart when he has to be, and very rarely uses violence unless its absolutely called for. Kudos for not wasting his character on the kind of garbage I’d grown up watching in stars like Van Damme, Seagal, Stallone, etc.

The 6 part series has Brodie dealing with everything from rounding up a missing cat to piecing together the murder of a girl he found, and lost, floating in the ocean. What makes the show great is that it pulls no punches. There is violence, sexual abuse, gore, and graphic sex scenes. There is never a moment in any of the episodes that your not completely engulfed in the world of Jackson Brodie, and for that there is hardly a moment where the show loses momentum. There is the flashbacks of his sisters death which pop up several times in each episode, maybe the only truly boring and unnecessary part of the series we could have seen once and understood it as being part of Brodie’s drive. In any case the series works thanks to excellent acting by everyone from the main characters to the background characters, excellently written stories, and great direction. Then again I think the UK pretty much has this type of show down since they’ve been producing murder mysteries for seemingly ever and obtaining success with almost every adaptation to television. Case Histories though is one that I thoroughly enjoyed for its realism in its crimes. I did however think that the character of Jackson Brodie was a bit Whovian, being everywhere seemingly at all points in time. Well worth purchasing or renting. Enjoy.

*(Includes a 15 minute behind the scenes bonus feature)

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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