Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pilot Review: Collateral

Collateral (Netflix)
Premiered March 9

The last time I watched a four-episode series that first premiered in the United Kingdom and then made its way to the United States via a streaming service, it was the dark and immensely worthwhile “National Treasure.” That miniseries boasted a superb but small cast, and this new dramatic thriller has an equally compelling if considerably larger one. I was immediately excited to see Hayley Squires, a BAFTA nominee for “I, Daniel Blake,” as the pizza shop manager who didn’t want to close the shop after her delivery guy was killed, and Billie Piper from “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” as the recipient of said pizza who wasn’t too happy to cooperate when she was being questioned. I couldn’t quite place John Simm, who was a great part of the sadly cancelled “The Catch,” as the MP from the opposition. And of course I knew who Carey Mulligan was, and this was quite a different role for her than most of what I’ve seen, especially her recent film-anchoring performance in “Wildlife,” which I saw at Sundance, much more serious than usual and rarely willing to crack a smile. As to the plot of this show, it seems to be complex and I am intrigued even if I’m not filly engaged, and I’m certainly willing to at least give it another episode if not all three to see where it goes. The simplicity and confusingly random presence of the dead pizza delivery guy are enhanced by the greater political happenings and immigration conversations, and I’m curious to see how it all connects.

How will it work as a series? There’s a lot of ground for this show to cover, and my expectation is that each episode will link characters that we’ve seen in isolated storylines and deepen the bonds that we’ve already seen to explain just what’s going on and how high it all goes. I feel like this should last more than four episodes, but I’m confident that it should be interesting enough for the duration.
How long will it last? I think this is designed to be just a four-episode series, though reviews seem to be positive, which could encourage BBC2 and Netflix to revisit it. The fact that creator David Hare said in an interview with Indiewire that a second season wasn’t going to happen is probably the most damning information, but I suppose that anything is possible down the road if it does well enough on Netflix.

Pilot grade: B+

No comments: