James Nesbitt's new BBC crime drama Bloodlands has received a lukewarm reception from viewers following tonight's premiere (February 21).
From actor-turned-writer Chris Brandon, and executive produced by Line of Duty and Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio, the Northern Ireland-set series follows Detective Tom Brannick (Nesbitt), who is forced to confront an assassin with a personal and devastating link to his past.
In tonight's series opener, we saw Tom called to a crime scene in Strangford Lough, where a car belonging to a former IRA member had been pulled from the bottom of the loch.
Tom soon recognised the calling card of a serial killer from 20 years ago called Goliath, who was known to murder those who were considered a threat to the Northern Ireland peace process. One of those individuals happened to be Tom's wife.
Unfortunately, the cold case mystery doesn't seem to have grabbed viewers en masse, with many lamenting an abundance of crime drama tropes and Northern Irish clichés.
One particularly displeased viewer tweeted: "#Bloodlands – easily the worst thing I’ve seen this year. A series of Northern Ireland clichés with loads of poor acting and camera work thrown in – shockingly bad!"
Others drew attention to the show's shaky cameras, with one writing: "Dodgy camerawork, terrible accents, overacting, patchy storyline and poor casting to say the least. Really disappointing given the usual high standard of @jed_mercurio #Bloodlands."
Check out more of the reactions below.
The cliches in this baby is off the charts! Everything from deadwife to 'you're off the case McBain!'. I'm telling you, camp classic in the making. Who's good at coming up with drinking games? #Bloodlands
— Kevin Aigrette 🥔 (@BibliotechNoir) February 21, 2021
— Don Beukes EKPHRASTIC Writer Blogger (@DonBeukes) February 21, 2021
Managed to get through the first 20 minutes of #Bloodlands before being worn down by every bad Norn Iron cliche in the book. That and half the cast of Derry girls, the wooden acting, 'Dunfolan' PSNI Station, 'Aiden O'Neill MLA' etc etc etc 🙄🤦♂️
— Gareth McCullough (@Gareth_McCull) February 21, 2021
It's worth noting, however, that many of the positive comments came at the end of the episode, with many finding plenty to enjoy about the premiere.
Wow!!! What a fantastic first episode - I KNEW this would be good, but I think it’ll be great!! James Nesbitt is so believable.
This will stir up some awful memories for those who remember ‘the troubles’ though & lived through it. #BLOODLANDS pic.twitter.com/btStmr1coi
— Liz ❤️🥂❤️ (@fabfrom56) February 21, 2021
— Amy De Bhrún (@amydebhrun) February 21, 2021
— Carole Bowe 📚💙 (@Cazlar123) February 21, 2021
Well, Bloodlands was good wasn't it? Lots of talent in this small part of the world... #Bloodlands
— Chad 🎶 📺 🎦 (@Chadderbox2018) February 21, 2021
Bloodlands continues next Sunday on BBC One at 9pm.
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