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Low Winter Sun

Anchor Bay Entertainment // Unrated // August 12, 2014
List Price: $49.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kyle Mills | posted September 15, 2014 | E-mail the Author
From the network that brought you such powerhouses as Breaking Bad, which is often considered the greatest drama of all time, Mad Men, A wonderful period piece, and The Walking Dead, one of the most popular shows of all time, comes Low Winter Sun, a remake of a popular British television series by the same name. This series was pushed to the moon and back by AMC, even debuting it in the time slot behind the final season of Breaking Bad. Unfortunately (for them, fortunately for us) the series didn't catch on and was promptly cancelled after only 10 episodes. Did the series get a fair chance?

Low Winter Sun starts out with two men drowning a colleague and staging it to look like a suicide. In the opening minutes, We come to find out that the murderers are decorated detectives of the Detroit Police Department's homicide division, and the murdered was a fellow officer. The murderers are revealed to us to be Detective Frank Agnew (Mark Strong, reprising his role from the British Miniseries) and his partner Joe Geddes (Lennie James) and they together just murdered Geddes former partner, Brandon McCann.

The series revolves around the pair, whom don't really know each other, having to trust one another and help each other dodge the problems that come their way, such as discrediting a witness who put them at the crime. Luckily for Frank and Geddes, Agnew is assigned the case and he thinks this is perfect since he can successfully sabotage it. However, his world is rocked as they pull the car out of the water, revealing a second body. Frank feels he has gravely underestimated Joe and this puts them at each others throats throughout the season.

Unbeknownst to both Agnew and Geddes, there problems are made MUCH worse than they appear on the surface. They uncover the fact that McCann was under federal investigation by Internal Affairs due to McCann's dealings and connections with Detroit crime boss/drug lord, Damon Callis (James Ransone), which led to the deaths of some street dealers and the disappearance of a prostitute and sole witness to these crimes, Katia (Mickey Sumner), who turns out to be Agnew's lover.

To make matters worse for them, the Tenacious Internal Affairs officer that was investigating Brandon, Lieutenant Simon Boyd (David Constabile) has been let loose to figure out just what exactly happened to McCann. Agnew instantly knows the gravity of the situation as the troubling IA officer is immediately on their trail when Boyd becomes suspicious of him.

To complicate things even further for the two, Frank finds hope that Katia may be alive and is now a dog with a bone, he becomes obsessed with finding her. Geddes, on the other hand, doesn't want her found because she knows too much about his own involvement with McCann's extracurricular activities. On top of that, Damon is out looking for the killers of McCann. The last but not least of their problems is that of fellow officer Dani Kahill (Athena Karkanis), a cop on the straight and narrow, whom is quite taken by Agnew but also leery of him at the same time.

I never watched this show back when it aired, but I did keep up with reviews of it and I recall one stating that this series is if "The Wire met The Shield", which is one hell of an asinine statement as I believe both of those shows to be 2 of the top 5 dramas ever and this show even at it's best can't touch even their worst episodes. The one thing that kept my attention throughout this season was it's performances from the lead actors. Outside of that, this show is a mess that tries to do too much in such a limited amount of time.

- Positives:

+ Strong performances from the central actors, especially from Mark Strong and Lennie James.

+ An engaging start and a solid finish.

- Negatives:

- A LOT of wasted potential.

- The majority of the episodes are boring and tough to get through.

Video and Audio:
Low Winter Sun is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen that looks fantastic! The series has some excellent cinematography that compliments the series feel grittiness. There were no signs of any grain or noise. An overall beautiful release.

Low Winter Sun is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that gets the job done quite effectively. The dialogue is crisp and clear throughout.

Extras: - 18 minutes of deleted scenes.

- A collection of Featurettes that run approximately 5-7 minutes each that go along with each episode and delves deeper behind the events that took place. All together they total about 50 minutes.

- A Look at Low Winter Sun - A five minute featurette that has cast and crew discussing the series.

- Detroit Grit - A three minute clip that talks about the city where the series events unfold.

- Designing the Precinct - a five minute behind the scenes view of the production crew designing the sets.

Low Winter Sun hooks you from it's opening moments, but sadly can't hold that firm grip. As the series progresses it just gets worse until it's an unbelievable mess, and at the very best the series is just "OK." The only real reason to check this show out is for it's strong cast in Strong, James and Constabile. Rent it.

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