The daily trials and tribulations of the officers of a Manchester constabulary working together to keep the streets safe, No Offence follows the lives of the members of a city police force as they try to bring down a serial killer with a fetish for Down’s Syndrome girls, whilst also dealing with a series of other cases and tricky personal relationships.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how good this turned out to be – so much so that I would go as far as to say that No Offence is probably one of the best new shows on TV. We (me and my parents) were sceptical of the programme after watching Babylon a while back and finding it to be the biggest heap of I don’t know what, so when we saw this trailered, we weren’t too optimistic. But on the night it was on we had nothing else to watch, so we gave it a spin and it was one of the best things we did all week. It was fabulous! It was billed as a comedy, but the story in between the gags (some of which were absolutely hilarious) was brilliant. In the long running case there were all manner of twists and turns that the whole series was gripping right to the bitter end, and the new cases uncovered each week provided something else to get your teeth into. Plus, there were, inevitably, the messed up personal lives of the officers, and a pending investigation into one constable’s conduct on a previous case. I mean, let’s face it; No Offence certainly hit the ground running.
I really liked all of the characters in the show. Some were very complex, such as Elaine Cassidy’s DC Dinah Kowalska. She was a single mum originally from Poland who, prior to the case No Offence follows, had run an innocent man under a bus after trying to apprehend him as a suspect. She then takes a survivor of the fetish serial killer into her home in an attempt to form bonds with her to get information and redeem herself.
Then there was DI Vivienne Deering (Joanna Scanlan) who brought many of the more satirical moments of the program. She played the no-nonsense, straight up officer in charge of the cop shop and she was wonderful. But she also had a hectic home life, with a husband who is left feeling very neglected due to the devotion she has to her work.
Other characters include the wet lettuce leaf that is DS Joy Freers (Alexandra Roach), Spike Tanner (Will Mellor) and the very funny, very dry Miller (Paul Ritter). They are a very mismatched bunch that you would never place together, but they do ultimately get the job done, and the fact that they are so badly thrown together does make it very entertaining.
As I’ve said before, the writing was tremendous. It is all the work of Paul Abbott, the creator of Shameless, and is very cleverly put together indeed. The plot line, despite originally being billed as a comedy, is actually very intelligent, and therefore the show does not rely on its gags to carry you through all eight episodes. Also, the thought that had gone into the story of each case in the show leads to quite a few ambitious twists and turns that are executed very successfully, and keep you coming back for the next episode.
Overall, I seriously recommend you see No Offence. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it is a must watch. It was just awesome… There is no other way of putting it. I would happily sit and watch the whole series again tomorrow and be as hooked as the first time. It is seriously addictive and I will be greatly anticipating its return next year.
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