Criminal on Netflix: Good or Bad? Worth Watching? If you are the kind of guy who loves to watch procedural TV shows, then this Netflix international series may be for you. Now, if you are the kind of procedural TV guy who loves the interview portion the most where suspected law breakers and rule-bending law enforcers go toe-to-toe trying to outwit each other, then brew yourself a cuppa and binge this show. It is really, really good.
When deciding whether a show is worth watching and whether we would recommend it to our friends, we try to answer the following questions: Did we enjoy watching it? Is the acting good? Does it make sense in its created universe? Did we get bored while watching? Is it predictable? Does it go all over the place? Does it work for its intended audience? [For more Netflix reviews, check out our post on The Naked Director from Japan.]
We also like to look at whether the show may not be safe for some groups, whether there are scenes that may be uncomfortable to watch, and lastly we’d like to pick the MVP of the show.
So with the above guide questions in mind, let’s review Criminal in all its editions (Germany, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom).
Did we enjoy watching it? Very much so. It is one of those shows where you end up clicking the play next button even if you planned to watch only an episode because you have to do something else but you decide to not do what you have to do because you enjoy watching what you are watching. Whew, that’s a mouthful.
Is the acting good? They are all top notch which is what you have to be if the gig limits you to an interview room or the room behind the mirror. You gotta be able to convey the required emotion without the aid of, you know, beautiful backdrops or adrenaline-inducing action. No sir, there is no Jennifer Aniston in this international cast and by this we mean there is no actor of limited talent but gets cast in a role because of a powerful agent. Hehe.
Does the show make sense in its created universe? Yup! The episodes are taut and well-written. The twists make sense and don’t appear from out of the blue, you know, deux-ex-machina style.
Did we get bored? Not at all! The strength of the show is that it is episodic so there’s no unnecessary stretching of the story line.
Is it predictable? Or do you kinda know where is it going? Predictability is a sign of a lazy show and, for the most part, there’s no predictability here. We say for the most part because we predicted where the Yilmaz episode (Germany, second episode) was going.
Does it work for it’s intended audience? If by intended audience you mean those who love CBS’s Elementary and other procedural shows then the answer is yes, yes, and yes. For us, this show filled the void left empty when CBS bid goodbye to Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Joan Watson (Lucy Liu).
Who is the MVP of the show? Probably all of them? However, we have a soft spot for Isabel (played by Carmen Machi) which is why we decided to GIF her. Seriously, this show is a testament to the acting talent that can be found in other parts of the world. Props to Netflix for hiring them and bringing them to us in our living room.
Any uncomfortable parts to watch out for? Okay, this show may be uncomfortable to watch for those who are claustrophobic. As we mentioned above, the scenes are limited to the interview room, the room behind the mirror, and the hallway. However, we do catch glimpses of the outside world through the floor to ceiling window on the hallway.
The Isabel episode (Spain, first episode) also made us very uncomfortable about the way the issue was resolved. Grandma Akita, Deena, and I agree that a line has been crossed on that one. Do you agree?
In ending, here’s a question for you fellow Famewatchers: The hallway looks similar for all four countries, no? Did Netflix gather all the cast in one venue and did the shoot in the same location?
You go gurl!
Image source: Netflix