Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “The Fall” (The Gillian Anderson One)

Dear Frank,

The-Fall-BBC-2-posterI am right now watching Gillian Anderson make out with someone who isn’t David Duchovny. This is very confusing for me!

I should probably back up a little.

Whenever I’ve fallen deeply for a show, Frank, I’ve often been compelled to track down other media featuring the actors in question. It is why I have seen no shortage of very strange British dramas featuring Doctor Who cast members, the David Duchovny “comedy” Evolution, and at least one episode of the show Eureka, because of the lady who did the voice for Elisa Maza on Gargoyles.

Still, it’s always really weird, isn’t it? I mean, we accept no shortage of movie stars in no shortage of various roles, but when you closely identify an actor with a part — there is no getting around it. Especially when said actor has a history of investigating serial killers! So that’s why, for the duration of this post, I will be referring to Gillian Anderson as Scully. Sorry, girl. Blonde hair or not, The X-Files is forever.

The Fall is a serial killer drama from Britain, where because of time zones, I guess, it literally takes the entire first episode for the serial killer to actually kill somebody. It is soooooooooo slow. SOOO SLOW.

This is in part because there are many many scenes where, like, we watch Scully eat a hamburger and look at her computer. The first scene of the first episode? She cleans her bathroom and washes her face. That’s all that happens. NOT EXAGGERATING.

What’s the actual plot? Well, Scully is a very good detective who is British (though her accent is… let’s just say it’s a bit inconsistent, in that classic “I am an American who lives in England a lot and so I just sound weird all the time” way), and she gets sent to Belfast to investigate the investigation of a murder crime.

While she investigates the investigation of the murder crime, we get to meet The Guy They Cast As Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey After Charlie Hunnam Came To His Senses, who is totally the murderer and is in fact going to murder more women in their early 30s who are professional brunettes before the end of this series. (Hmmm. Maybe I should dye my hair red again, Frank.)

TGTCACGI50SOGACHCTHS is, on the surface, a nice family man with a wife, two kids and career as a grief therapist. But we get to see him stalk around and be super super creepy, so WE KNOW BETTER, Frank. And by the end of Episode 1, he has actually gotten around to murdering somebody. (There might have been some raping too? IT IS UNPLEASANT TO WATCH!)

He’s not bad looking, TGTCACGI50SOGACHCTHS, though he has a weird mossy beard thing happening that doesn’t work for me. Unless you look like the Beard Czar, you should shave it off.

This beard is not a good beard.

This beard is not a good beard.

But he’s not the one that Scully makes out with (as mentioned before) — instead, she’s getting a ride to her hotel from some cops, and they pass a crime scene and there’s a totally hot detective there, and Scully’s like, hey, who’s that hot detective, introduce me to him.

The cops do so, and she’s all “I’m at the Hilton and this is my room number and you should totally come over so I can tap that ass.” And then he comes to her room and she taps that ass pretty hard.

It takes like 20 minutes for all of that to get set up, followed by BAMF hardcore bonin’. Frank, this show is SO SLOW, except for when it gets crazy fast, slapping you across the face with an explosion of sex and/or violence. But the first season is five episodes long, and I think there’s about one dead person per episode and fewer sex scenes? This is NOT American television.

This is the sort of show where you don’t even really bother to pause it when you’re browsing Tumblr in another screen and this video of adorable corgi puppies comes across your dash — it just kind of keeps moving from moody atmospheric scene to moody atmospheric scene.

I mean, there’s plot to it, including a thing about some drug-related crime stuff, an underage babysitter, and Scully rambling about matrilineal societies in China. Scully also uses swears, drinks wine with Archie Panjabi from The Good Wife, and occasionally shows human emotion on her face. (Gillian Anderson is very good at the acting thing, but plays things pretty close to the chest.)

I guess that means I recommend it, Frank? Like I said, it’s really really slow, but it’s not uninteresting. Basically, it’s a lot like Luther (the BBC’s other sexy serial killer funtime drama), except no Idris Elba or Paul McGann (who by the way is aging WELL)…

Based on recent conversations, Paul McGann should rename himself LL Cool P, because LADIES LOVE HIM.

Based on recent conversations, Paul McGann should rename himself LL Cool P, because LADIES LOVE HIM.

Frank, here’s ultimately what you need to know: The Fall is interesting television, but after nine seasons of X-Files, there’s something about it that feels inessential. Maybe that’ll change in Season 2, though, especially if Scully actually gets to interact with TGTCACGI50SOGACHCTHS a little bit. Nothing like sexy serial killer interaction funtimes!

And doubly especially if he loses the beard. If 50 Shades of Grey means that TGTCACGI50SOGACHCTHS gets rid of that terrible, terrible beard, then it’ll have brought the smallest amount of good into the world.


About Liz Shannon Miller

Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor, and has been talking about television on the Internet since the very beginnings of the Internet. She is currently Senior TV Editor at Collider, and her work has also been published by the New York Times, Vulture, Variety, the AV Club, the Hollywood Reporter, IGN, The Verge, and Thought Catalog. She is also a produced playwright, a host of podcasts, and a repository of "X-Files" trivia.

Posted on December 4, 2013, in Some Spoilers, TV and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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