Sunday, 1 June 2014

Quirke - well that's an hour of my life I'll never get back! (rant)

Yes, I wrote 'hour', even though BBC's new Sunday-night drama, Quirke, starring Gabriel Byrne runs for an hour and a half, I couldn't make it through the entire disjointed mess. Not even Gabriel Byrne could save it for me!

Number 1, if you're making your chief character a pathologist, there needs to actually be a focus on the crime being investigated, when, in fact, ol' Quirke, chief pathologist in Dublin, spends most of his time with a drink in his hand and staring meaningfully into the middle distance - which pretty much sums up the whole show really. I have to say, I didn't see the pilot, so I jumped in at the second ep, but I don't think that would have helped. The whole story failed to flow and the suspicious death our protagonist is investigating takes a back seat to a large collection of family problems, including alcoholism and abandoned daughters. In fact, I'd hardly say Quirke is involved in any investigation at all.

There are two plots in this story, Quirke's family issues and a dead woman, that are clearly on a collision course (even if Quirke seems uninterested in either of them), but it's like two tortoises going head to head, so slow, in fact, I gave up caring. It might have been bearable if I actually liked any of the characters, but, there aren't any! Just a load of words being spouted by people on a screen. If you think of the plot as a pond, the character depth is that of a small puddle.

So, in short, in my opinion, this show is style over substance - a pretentious non-plot trying to drop in a bit of murder to make it interesting - and FAILING.


  1. There's nothing I hate worse than mystery shows (or even medical mysteries, like House) where the mystery gets overshadowed by melodrama. I don't care who's sleeping with who and who's feelings are hurt - tell me the answers to the LIFE-OR-DEATH questions, dammit!! And this is why all my CPs keep telling me to flesh out and make my characters more emotional - coz I'm naturally interested in plot, action, and "the point." Not in characters whining and complaining. So although I didn't see the show, I'm totally on your side!

    1. I'm a more plot oriented writer as well, so I know where you're coming from. I do appreciate character driven stories as well, but Quirke didn't even have any characters either, it was just a mess, a total, boring tangle of ideas that never really formed.


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