I don’t know about you, but I find good TV and film really inspirational.
The set design, props and costumes can make or break this type of media and if they are spot on it elevates the piece to something beyond the average film or TV show. From the memorable built-in wardrobe that Kurt Russell built for Goldie Hawn on her yacht in Overboard (the shoe carousel of dreams if you haven’t seen it), to the front-cover picture perfect penthouse apartment where Don and Megan lived in Mad Men, I’m one of those people who will sit through something purely for the clothes or the sets.
I’ve been known to frantically search for stills from a film or a set photograph of something I’ve seen; Indiana Jones’s living room in the Last Crusade film comes to mind; I’ve still yet to find an image of this- I clearly need help.
Recently I was treated to a preview of a new show coming soon to UKTV Drama: The Pinkertons. It’s based on the real life cases solved by the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1860s America, specifically Kansas City, Missouri. It’s an action packed and quickwitted action adventure and it’s great to see a strong female character as one of the leads. There are also a lot of beards which is a plus too!
My first thought watching this was that it felt very similar to Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, from the sparring dialogue and the humour to the colours of the shots, and especially the opening credits. This is no bad thing in my opinion and of course is relevant to the era, with the Sherlock stories being set in the late 1800s too.
The crux of the story is that a father and son (The Pinkertons) team up with America’s first female detective. Using a combination of undercover work, brand new forensic methods and brawling when needed, they work on a freelance basis solving crime.
I was rather impressed by the production values in this show; it was completely immersive. The houses and buildings, the vehicles, and of course the great costumes. Who doesn’t love a cowboy or a saloon girl outfit? And these are done really well. There’s a feral nature to this point in history, as there were lots of desperate people with limited education. The show communicates this without lingering, the episode I watched was fast paced, with the crime solved within the hour.
Perfect Sunday night entertainment I think.
Watch it for a bit of escapism, a punchy (literally in some cases) plot, evocative production design, great beards and a fun, strong female lead.
The Pinkertons starts on Sunday 30th August at 8pm.