Pop Culture Gadabout
Monday, February 25, 2008
      ( 2/25/2008 11:40:00 AM ) Bill S.  


INQUESTING: The second season of Da Vinci's Inquest, recently issued in boxed set by Acorn Media, begins and ends on cases that will feed into the Vancouver coroner's advocacy of a controlled red-light district in the city. Both two-parters center on the murder of city working girls, and they provide two of the most compelling episodes of the series' sophomore season. The second, featuring a skull-faced Matt Frewer as a sadistic accountant with serious self-control issues, reaches the sinister depths of the first season's concluding serial killer storyline and provides the former Max Headroom with a great vehicle for his typically idiosyncratic acting style. (I read on IMDB that Frewer has a role on Da Vinci's creator Chris Haddock's newest teledrama, Intelligence, but, to the best of my knowledge, that series hasn't yet shown up in the states.) Judging from its first two seasons, though, Haddock and his writers definitely know how to polish up their season bookends.

If the remaining nine Season Two episodes aren't as consistently gripping, they maintain the same blend of crime show procedural and social drama as the first. Haddock and his writers continue to share a healthy distrust of neat resolutions, resulting in a procedural world that's distinctly removed from the tidy realms of the C.S.I.s. Their characters' lives are nearly as messy.

Dominic Da Vinci (Nicholas Campbell) still wrestles with his alcoholism - in the season's sole comic episode, we watch him and detective Leo Shannon (Donnelly Rhodes) get blitzed in a bar and then sneak into an indigent dead man's place to retrieve a winning lottery ticket - and remains his engagingly opinionated self. His relationships with his ex-wife and daughter (Gwynyth Walsh and Jewel Staite, respectively) receive only minimal play this season, and, with the exception of Leo and his sometime partner Mick Leary (Ian Tracey), the rest of the show's ensemble isn't really given all that much to do either. I keep wishing that Helen, Da Vinci's secretary, had been given more moments in the show since actress Sarah (Men in Trees) Strange can do more with a look than many actresses can with a fully scripted, front-and-center scene. Perhaps in season three?

Unlike the first season, though - where the convening of an actual inquest was used more as a threat to move things along - the second season actually lives up to its title by featuring two episodes centered on full inquests. In the first, Dominic holds a hearing into the drowning deaths of three herring fishermen after their boat capsizes; in the second, the death by cop of a seemingly deranged assailant leads to inevitable questions of objectivity for the former cop turned coroner. With both cases, the politics behind each inquiry (family vs. fisherman's union vs. fishing company in the first inquiry) are parsed as distinctly as the facts behind each case. Not for nothing would this series ultimately morph into Da Vinci's City Hall.

Acorn's packaging also contains a brief segment of sound bites from the cast and crew about the series. No big surprises here (the cast enjoys working on a hit teleseries!), but I did like hearing Haddock talk about the process of chipping away softer moments in each script, so that the show can be "much closer to the British style" of procedural drama. From what I can tell, the less-is-more approach is working. In its second season, Da Vinci's Inquest remains one smart, hard-nosed crime drama.
# |



Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).



On Sale Now!
Measure by Measure:



A Romantic Romp with the Fat and Fabulous
By Rebecca Fox & William Sherman

(Available through Amazon)

Measure by Measure Web Page







Ask for These Fine Cultural Blogs & Journals by Name!

aaronneathery.com News
Aaron Neathery

American Sideshow Blow-Off
Marc Hartzman

Arf Lovers
Craig Yoe

Attentiondeficitdisorderly
Sean T. Collins

Barbers Blog
Wilson Barbers

The Bastard Machine
Tim Goodman

The Beat
Heidi MacDonald

BeaucoupKevin
Kevin Church

Big Fat Blog
Paul McAleer

Big Mouth Types Again
Evan Dorkin

Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Blog This, Pal!
Gordon Dymowski

Bookgasm
Rod Lott

Cartoon Brew
Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck

Cartoon Web Log!
Daryl Cagle

Clea's Cave
Juana Moore-Overmyer

Collected Editions

The Comics Curmudgeon
Josh Fruhlinger

The Comics Reporter
Tom Spurgeon

Comics.212
Christopher Butcher

Comics Waiting Room
Marc Mason

Comics Worth Reading
Johanna Draper Carlson

a dragon dancing with the Buddha
Ben Varkentine

Egon

Electromatic Radio
Matt Appleyard Aaron Neathery

Estoreal
RAB

Eye of the Goof
Mr. Bali Hai

Fred Sez
Fred Hembeck

Greenbriar Picture Shows
John McElwee

The Groovy Age of Horror
Curt Purcell

The Hooded Utilitarian
Noah Berlatsky

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Daniel Frank

The Horn Section
Hal

The House Next Door
Matt Zoller Seitz

Howling Curmudgeons
Greg Morrow & Friends

The Hurting
Tim O'Neil

I Am A Child of Television
Brent McKee

I Am NOT the Beastmaster
Marc Singer

In Sequence
Teresa Ortega

Innocent Bystander
Gary Sassaman

Irresponsible Pictures
Pata

Jog - The Blog
Joe McCulloch

The Johnny Bacardi Show
David Allen Jones

Journalista
Dirk Deppey

King's Chronicles
Paul Dini

Let's You And Him Fight
One of the Jones Boys

Mah Two Cents
Tony Collett

Metrokitty
Kitty

Michael's Movie Palace
Michael

Nat's TV
Nat Gertler

Ned Sonntag

Neilalien

News from ME
Mark Evanier

No Rock&Roll Fun
Simon B

Omega Channel
Matt Bradshaw

Pen-Elayne on the Web
Elayne Riggs

PeterDavid.net
Peter David

(postmodernbarney.com)
Dorian White

Progressive Ruin
Mike Sterling

Punk Rock Graffiti
Cindy Johnson & Autumn Meredith

Revoltin' Developments
Ken Cuperus

Rhinoplastique
Marc Bernardin

Scrubbles
Matt Hinrichs

Self-Styled Siren
Campaspe

Spatula Forum
Nik Dirga

Tales from the Longbox
Chris Mosby

TangognaT

The Third Banana
Aaron Neathery & Friends

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.

Toner Mishap
B2 et al

Trusty Plinko Stick
Bill Doughty

TV Barn
Aaron Barnhart et al

Unqualified Offerings
Jim Henley

Various And Sundry
Augie De Blieck

Video WatchBlog
Tim Lucas

When Fangirls Attack
Kalinara & Ragnell

X-Ray Spex
Will Pfeifer

Yet Another Comics Blog
Dave Carter



A Brief Political Disclaimer:

If this blog does not discuss a specific political issue or event, it is not because this writer finds said event politically inconvenient to acknowledge - it's simply because he's scatterbrained and irresponsible.




My Token List of Poli-Blogs:

Alicublog
Roy Edroso

Eschaton
Atrios

Firedoglake
Jane Hamsher

James Wolcott

Lance Mannion

The Moderate Voice
Joe Gandelman

Modulator
Steve

Pandagon
Amanda Marcotte & Friends

The Sideshow
Avedon Carol

Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
Skippy

Talking Points Memo
Joshua Micah Marshall

This Modern World
Tom Tomorrow

Welcome to Shakesville
Melissa McEwan & Friends



Blogcritics: news and reviews
Site Feed



Powered by Blogger



Twittering:
    follow me on Twitter