Greetings and welcome to another of my regular Thursday televisions reviews and this week I have a newish drama on the BBC called ‘American Odyssey‘ though here in the UK it has aired under it’s original title of ‘Odyssey‘ and according to the creators it’s a modern take on Homer’s classic the Greek not the yellow one! It revolves around a special forces unit in Mali that uncover an unpalatable truth that major US corporations are funding Islamic terror, which frankly is not all that shocking to a committed cynic like myself as Bush Jnr was in business with both the Taliban and the Bin Laden’s anyway enough of the politics back to the review.
These political, espionage, media drama’s are all the rage at the moment thanks to the success of shows like ‘Borgen‘ and ‘House of Cards‘ and many others. The stellar cast including Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dar Salim and of course Anna Friel can’t save this show from it’s evident mediocrity. While the show is a well made coming from Americas NBC network and well acted by the cast the plot is like a scatter gun cutting to and fro from one lead member to another never allowing the viewer a moment to pause, which not only makes it difficult to follow but leaves you wondering if you missed something of vital importance. Stylistically it has been heavily influenced by the Nordic Noir drama’s from which it draws heavily. It seems NBC were of the same opinion as they have already cancelled the show after just one series which certainly doesn’t inspire confidence and leaves me wondering if the all the plot threads will get resolved in the 13 episodes of series one or if it will just leave you hanging, which after 12 weeks of watching would have me fuming.
Now I am not saying that this show isn’t any good it clearly is a decent drama but with such excellent other shows in the same genre it just fails to meet the standard provided by these other shows and seems like you should probably be watching one of those shows instead rather than this, of course if you have seen the other quality shows then this will definitely appeal and is a reasonable filler for Sunday night on BBC2. So in conclusion I think this is a worthy drama, it’s just not up to standard for the genre and will disappoint connoisseurs of political drama and as it has already lost the backing of the NBC network I find it hard to recommend you’d be much better off plowing your way through ‘House of Cards‘ or ‘Borgen‘ both of which have way more to offer the viewer. Once the third season of ‘The Bridge’ airs in the UK the substandard nature of this will become apparent, lets hope the cast find themselves in other dramas as I like their performances they’ve just been let down by the script and with that I’m off to wire transfer $35 million to Saudi TV1 in hopes they make a better drama.