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Been watching Spooks (called MI-5 in the US). Love the series so far, it's far more realistic in looks and tone than the spy!glamour thing shows like 24 or Alias have got going on. I love the humour, too. It's irreverent and often downright evil.

Hugh Laurie is brilliant as MI6 man Jools Siviter. The character is very similar to House, only with a British accent and more of a potty mouth. Lovely.

The only thing I don't like about the series (in fact, it drives me crazy), is the one established 'romantic' relationship on the show, between Tom Quinn and frumpy-housewife-with-spawn Eliie Simm. We don't see it developing or anything, we are merely told repeatedly by just about every main character in this series that Tom is completely in love with Ellie and her little girl, that they are perfect for each other, etc.

Since Tom and his agent colleagues are all intelligent, complex characters and Ellie is dumb as a brick and just about as pretty, I'm having a hard time buying that. The writers try so hard to establish a conflict between Tom's wish for a private life complete with family and his job as a spy that they forget to show, rather than tell.

Instead, Ellie spends most of her screen time bitching at Tom for some thing or other, demanding of him to give up his job while he's in the middle of an important mission, and so on. Tom is amazingly tolerant of that--he loves her, you see--but both me and my husband were praying for her quick death by the third episode.

I've thought for quite a bit about why I had such trouble suspending my disbelief for this relationship, and I think I finally know. It's not that she has a really big chin, after all Tom has quite a large nose and I find him perfectly sexy. It's not even the whining. I could take intelligent, philosophically valuable whining.

It's just that in a world populated by brilliant, deep people playing deep games, Ellie's as flat as a pancake, and about that bright. She's really quite stupid, and there's the rub. I can't imagine an intelligent man falling so head over heels in love with a stupid, selfish woman. Not this deeply, and certainly not for that long. They've got nothing in common except for (presumably) decent sex, and once the whining commences, not even that.

But! The rest of the series is lovely so far. Major characters do die, so you never know what's really gonna happen from one episode to the next (unless you're me and spoil yourself on the evil intarweb before you even start watching, dammit!) so yeah.

Anyway, a series where Anthony Stewart Head and Hugh Laurie guest star can't be that bad to begin with, but I'm glad to report that it's in fact much better than I hoped.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 28th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
I love the show too - though I'm sure they changed the name to MI-5 over here since 'spooks' is the nickname we use for CIA agents. *shrugs* Whatever.

I hate to spoil you if you don't already know what happens, so I'll refrain on commenting on the Tom/Ellie relationship.
May. 28th, 2006 08:25 am (UTC)
I wasn't bothered by the name change of the show at all. I bought the British DVD edition anyway. :)

Oh, and you can spoil me on Tom/Ellie if you want. I've just watched the first two eps of season two, so I hope that's over and done with for real now. ^__^
May. 29th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Heee! I'm delighted that you're enjoying it. Converting people to Spooks feels good.

I never really hated Ellie, but I suspect it's mostly due to the fact that I cannot hate any character played by somebody from Queer as Folk UK. I'm very, very biased, and I blame it all on Russel T. Davis. That said, she sort of always bored me.

And now you're making me want to watch S1 again. And buy S2, because I haven't seen it in far too long.
May. 29th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
Heh, thanks again for reccing it!

Well, I guess my problem is that I detest bitchy females in fiction in general. That said, I've watched some more episodes, and I've realized that it wasn't only Ellie as such--all of the 'softer' female characters on the series display these unexplainable, sudden onsets of PMS. One episode they're cute and funny, the next they're selfish bitches who make idiotic demands ("Tom, I know you're a secret agent and all, but I want you to travel with me to Egypt for a week of sun and fun. Or even better, Afghanistan! What, your bossed won't let you? How dare they!").

So I think it's a problem with the script. The writers did a bang-up job with Tessa, who's strong and marvellously amoral, but whenever they write normal women they seem to revert to schizophrenic psychos, presumably so that Tom can angst about his inability to maintain a healthy relationship.

Which is not surprising considering that his women are all eventually replaced by alien monsters from the planet PMS. :P
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )