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Brenda Blethyn gives it the old college try, but Vera: Set 2 continues to miss the mark....
Acorn Media / 370 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: November 6, 2012
Brenda Blethyn seems like a solid candidate for a British crime drama series: she has a few Oscar noms under her belt, a seasoned and distinguished career on both stage and screen – give this lady a magnifying glass and let her solve some telly mysteries already! Alas, her series Vera - that the actress so vigilantly tries to lead us through again on this Set 2 edition - is a full-blown, dull-as-dirt turkey.
There is simply no push, no distinction to Vera as a show. I’ll be the first to say that 75% of great TV looks and sounds like, well, 75% of the other stuff on TV, but even if a show offers up such familiar material, it must be shaped and modeled just so in order for viewers to respond positively to both its adherence to a TV structure and its character and/or narrative nuance. Vera showcases neither of these.
Blethyn’s eponymous protagonist isn’t a well-rounded character – she’s pretty much just frumpy and cranky all the time (oh, and she’s a drinker - the cover of this Set 2 release even states: "Brenda Blethyn is Vera Stanhope, a sharp detective with a messy life"). And her foil, one Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth (David Leon) is a fuddy-duddy, lending a square’s banality to a role that ends up being relatively unnecessary. And the four mysteries on this DVD set – The Ghost Position, Silent Voices, Sandancers, and A Certain Samaritan – are as run-of-the-mill as they come.
Blethyn deserves better - and so does her audience.