Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pilot Review: Informer

Informer (Amazon)
Premiered January 11

It’s only two weeks into 2019, and already we have a British import making its American streaming debut after an initial broadcast back on BBC1 in October and November. This one isn’t quite as short as some of the limited series concepts seen recently, producing six episodes instead of four. It feels closest to an HBO production, “The Night Of,” one that finds a young man from a family of immigrants implicated in a simple crime that makes his life much more complicated and dangerous. Actor Nabhaan Rizwan appears to be new to movies and television, but he does a superb job as Raza, who understands the situation he’s in and tried to do as much as he could to avoid this fate. I remember Paddy Considine from “In America” and “Red Riding: 1980” a number of years ago, and he’s well-cast as a hardened agent helping the intrepid newcomer played by Bel Powley, who stood out to me from the cast of the lackluster “Mary Shelley” last year. Holly seems to be the most interesting character next to Raza, creative in how she manipulated circumstances to compel him to be an informant and able to conceal any emotions or tells that might give her away. It’s not clear how the events that we see playing out will ultimately lead to the opening shooting after the phone was left on the train, but this is just the latest mildly intriguing premise that, were there fewer compelling shows to watch and more time, I might stick with to watch unfold.

How will it work as a series? Six episodes seems like the perfect amount of time to track Raza’s immersion into this dual life as he becomes an informant to whatever attack ultimately occurs that he helps to uncover through his work. There are enough dimensions of the story that it’s sure to be enaging throughout the process.
How long will it last? The reviews seem to be pretty good, and the timing of this show just a few months after “Bodyguard” got everyone interested in this kind of series should help it greatly. I’m not sure that it’s as accessible, but it’s always possible that it could earn a second season. I’m betting that this will be it, likelier for creative reasons rather than monetary or viewership figures.

Pilot grade: B+

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