I blame Guy Ritchie. He’s the one who thought reviving the spirit of The Sweeney, and the gangsters of Kray-era London was a good idea.]
He’s the one whose wise-cracking, ladz bantz, let’s all have a pint in a seedy, yet curiously hipsterish, dive bar shtick inspired countless low-budget rip-offs.
Now, in a haze of tyre smoke and testosterone, here comes Bulletproof (Sky One, Tuesdays, 9pm).
This starts off with stars Noel Clarke (Doctor Who) and Ashley Walters (Top Boy and Safe House) trading blows in the boxing ring, before trading jibes in the changing rooms. It’s an effective opening, and nicely establishes the easy-going, sassy relationship between the two leads, who convince as pals with a long, shared history.
Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there.
The plot – involving a ring of gun-toting car thieves – is kicked off when a woman who snitches for our two heroes is run down in front of them.
Given she is on screen for such a short time before being brutally dispatched, she may as well have been listed in the credits as Ms Plot Device.
Obviously, these two maverick cops care more for bringing down the perp than caring for a critically-ill woman, so they immediately set off on a car chase through the streets of Liverpool – standing in for London.
There is a lot of gunplay, seemingly without the need for the IPCC, further car chases and lots of banter down the station.
For something which wants to be seen as modern, it’s very old fashioned, and it lacks wit, and high-octane action.
As a comedy series about mismatched colleagues, Clarke and Walters could make it work.
But as a buddy-cop series, I’m afraid it’s just not in my manor guv.
I invested four hours over four nights watching Innocent (ITV, Mon-Thurs, 9pm) when the mystery plot was solved in the last half-hour by the introduction of an out-of-left-field plot point. Unsatisfactory.
Best drama of the week, by far, was Humans (Channel 4, Thursdays, 9pm) which has returned for a third series with some trenchant points on bigotry, racism and ‘the other’, hidden in a sci-fi concept.