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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 27 June, 2019
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5 reasons why everyone should be watching The Fall

The secret: it’s better than Love/Hate.

ARE YOU WATCHING The Fall? If yes, feel free to send this on to anyone who hasn’t seen the light yet.

If no, you should be. Here’s why:

1. Peter/Paul Spector, the best psychopath on Irish TV in years

Source: RTE

We know from the beginning that Spector – who uses different names – is the murderer. But Jamie Dornan’s many selves on screen make him magnetic to watch. He’s a loving father who preys on young girls; a husband who makes breakfast for his family while planning his next victim; and most strikingly, a grief counsellor who is also a serial killer.

2. Gillian Anderson’s fantastic female lead

Source: RTE

Expertly played by Gillian Anderson, Gibson is a tough-talking, shoot-first-apologise-later detective imported from London’s Met police. Her grapples with the politics of Northern Ireland’s law enforcement give the show some of its most subtle jabs. And frankly, it’s refreshing to see a powerful woman on screen who relishes casual sex but isn’t defined by it.

Not for nothing is there an entire F** Yeah Stella Gibson Tumblr.

3. The show is actually, genuinely terrifying

Source: Tumblr

One of the more controversial aspects of the show has been its almost-loving documentation of Spector’s killings – with home invasions, unwitting victims, and the looming undercurrent of sexual violence. If you don’t like hiding behind sofa cushions, it may not be for you.

The show is hard to watch at times, but utterly compelling. Frankly, The Fall makes Love/Hate look like a cartoon (of which more below).

4. The subtle portrayal of the Troubles’ legacy

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

One of the elements in The Fall’s constant atmosphere of threat are the repeated reminders of Belfast’s sectarian turf war, and everything that brings. Low-level thugs make recurring appearances to intimidate. Instead of merely using Belfast as a backdrop, The Fall is living in the aftermath of the Troubles – without letting them define the whole show.

And frankly, Stella is well able for these guys.

5. It’s been unfairly neglected in favour of Love/Hate

Source: Tumblr

The Fall is an RTÉ co-production, and forms a major part of their autumn schedule offering. But Dublin-set Love/Hate eats up the lion’s share of audience and media attention, despite a much weaker plot and performances that fall far short of The Fall’s Anderson and Dornan.

Yes, it’s nice to have a domestic production filmed in Dublin. But Belfast is only a couple of hours north…

Season two, episode three of The Fall is on RTÉ One at 9.30pm tonight. You can catch up on the previous two episodes here.

More: The Fall pips Love/Hate to the post at the IFTAs>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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