Ripper Street: The Verdict
What a good show! I wasn’t thrilled with the finale (way! too! bleak!) but really good show overall. It’s really intense and atmospheric—everything I expected. I recommend it to anyone who likes any combination of period dramas, crime shows, and Matthew Macfadyen 😍.
Other things I liked: the theme song and entire opening sequence are among the best I’ve ever heard/seen. I’m CONSTANTLY humming the song. Not only was the setting super vivid in general, I particularly liked how they handled the post-Ripper context, letting it frequently inform the show but never letting it take center stage until the final episode. (As I said in my finale post, I thought that was a super clever move!) I liked that every episode title was spoken in the episode. It was always fun to keep a lookout for the title drop and then be like “there it is! they said the thing!” I enjoyed the use of historical people as characters, some of whom I had heard of, some of whom (including Reid) I hadn’t. I liked the three adorable constables. There were some amazing characters, especially my dapper tragic gay weasel Best, who is now my avatar. (I still intend to make another post just about him.) I’m also constantly grateful for my beautiful American garbage surgeon Jackson, my angsty romantic pugilistic ginger sergeant Drake, and my classy progressive volatile rogue detective inspector Reid.
Things I disliked, other than the finale stuff I’ve already complained about: I don’t know if the problem was with them or with me, but I was chronically underwhelmed by the female characters. The exception is my mischievous dependable theater princess Mimi. Though I wasn’t a huge fan of Rose, I was really sad about how the show left her. Sometimes the writers dropped threads messily—Cobden, for example, straight-up vanished from the plot, and that scene at the end of “Threads of Silk and Gold” where the dude (I forget who he was) blackmailed Best never went anywhere. On a similar note, Mathilda got over her psychological trauma, like, really easily. The portrayal of the Chinese characters in 2x01 was probably the thing that annoyed me the most in the whole show. It was especially stark given that every other Oppressed Group of the Week in s2 (seriously, that was the theme of the season) was portrayed more thoughtfully. I thought they did better with the Indian characters in s4, who were portrayed as, you know, actual people.
There’s probably other stuff I meant to say that will come to me later. Overall, cool show!!! Very cool show. I’m gonna go listen to the theme song now.