What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Fall is an adult-oriented gritty crime drama about a serial killer. For a serial killer drama the violence level is low, but viewers can still expect to see dead bodies, police officers brandishing guns, murders, and women being stalked. In addition, couples flirt, kiss, and make references to potential one-night stands. The serial killer stalks vulnerable women, and there is a sexual edge to his stalking, as he steals underwear and sometimes displays it to unnerve his victims. There is some cursing, including "f--k." Scenes sometimes take place in bars, with characters drinking and sometimes acting tipsy.
What's the story?
In the gripping crime drama THE FALL, Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) has come from England to Belfast, Ireland to review the police investigation of a politically sensitive murder. To her dismay, she not only discovers that the murder was part of a string of serial killings, she learns that simmering violence is part and parcel of Belfast living. Meanwhile, we meet Paul Spector (Once Upon a Time’s Jamie Dornan), a rumpled-handsome grief counselor, dad and husband who has some extremely alarming extracurricular activities. Will Gibson catch up with Spector before it's too late for the next victim? Or will she get caught up in political infighting within Irish crime enforcement circles?
Is it any good?
One of the most distinctive (and positively delightful) things about The Fall is how showrunners show instead of tell. They could rig up some clunky dialogue in which a couple of cops explain to the viewer that Gibson is an outsider, a rebel, and an oddball; how much better to instead show how she stands out in a room full of cops, or to show us her confidently informing an attractive man she's just met that she's at the Hilton, room 203.
Then, too, serial killer Paul Spector is a quiet guy. He listens to a bereaved couple relating their agony at losing their son, murmuring only a few calm questions. If you closed your eyes, you could imagine that this grief counselor is really trying to help. Instead, the viewer sees Spector doodling out a picture of the grieving mother topless. The contrast between his calm and supportive demeanor and what he does to the women he stalks and kills makes The Fall all the more chilling. This is binge watching at its best: Compulsively watchable, yet so smart, well-written and beautifully acted that you won't have a junk-food-TV hangover. It's not for kids, but older teens and adults may enjoy watching (and getting creeped out) together.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether The Fall is a realistic crime drama. Are real-life criminals and cops usually so good looking? So well-dressed?
Watch a few other crime dramas, such as The Killing or Prime Suspect. How does The Fall compare to these shows? Is it more scary or less? Funnier or less funny? More interesting and absorbing or less?
Why do you think The Fall focuses on a handsome male killer who stalks very attractive female victims? What about this dynamic is telegenic or interesting to watch? Would anyone make a show about an unattractive killer who stalks average-looking victims? What does it say about viewers that they'd rather watch gorgeous people be stalked and killed?