Paranoid: A Slow Boil (Review)

Screenshot from Paranoid

Paranoid is a crime series set in Cheshire that uses a “softly softly” approach in its pacing. This is a slow boil but the pacing allows the show to present some interesting characters with a lot of depth.   It comes from the same chap who brought us the  2009 The Prisoner re-imagining; Bill Gallagher.

The eight part series, which aired on Netflix in September, has a lot of familiar faces. From Shobna Gulati from Coronation Street and Dinner Ladies as the physician treating Detective Bobby Day (Robert Glenister) to Indira Varma as Nina and the splendid Lesley Sharp as Lucy Cannonbury.

A woman is stabbed to death in broad daylight in the play area of a park. Quick thinking Lucy grabs the victim’s child and saves him.   As the detectives question witnesses and Lucy, a “ghost” detective begins his own investigation.

Lucy and a number of other witnesses are approached by Detective “Galen.”  The dead woman’s father; Eric Benton (played by John Duttine) reveals that her ex husband is an American who lives in Germany.

The cast of characters are an interesting lot. Nina has just been dumped by her boyfriend of four and a half years. Alec, her partner at work (played by Dino Fetscher) gives her a shoulder to lean on and Bobby, the senior detective of the group seems to be suffering from severe anxiety. 

Nina is an abrasive and over the top detective that would drive anyone mad who had to spend any amount of time with her. Presumably in her long relationship she was a bit calmer.

Bobby feels like he is one step from a breakdown and he is drawn to their main witness, Lucy.  The detectives contact a German colleague; Det. Linda Felber (Christiane Paul) and ask her to  hunt down the victim’s ex.

The detectives ask Linda to inform the victim’s ex about her death and to find out anything else about the man. Ferber goes to hunt the man down and she finds his dead body floating in an indoor pool.

Bobby is sent a DVD from the “ghost detective.” The footage on the recording is of him.

This Studio Canal production seems to be taking a leaf from the Brit crime thriller River; offering up cops with a full set of issues.  Like the BBC drama, the police are as interesting as the crime they are investigating.

Lesley Sharp, who won two Best Actress Awards for the 2005 drama Afterlife (which also starred a pre The Walking Dead’s  Andrew Lincoln) manages to command every single scene she is in. .

Game of Thrones actress Varma gives a complex performance portraying a woman who is annoying as hell one moment and then softly vulnerable the next. Her character is also, it seems, a pretty good cop.

The added device of the ghost detective makes for a complex storyline but it is the impending meltdown of Bobby that grabs the viewers attention.  Like River, Paranoid moves at a languid pace but this allows for a depth of character its story to be solidly revealed.

This may not be a quaint and twee British drawing room mystery but it offers up a puzzle that will, or will not, be solved by detectives who feel real. These cops are damaged people who have a job to do and their issues make it all the more interesting.

It looks like the detectives in Paranoid will be following clues across Europe.

Paranoid is streaming on Netflix. Head over and check this British mystery out.

Bicycle versus Car: 0 – 1

Loves Truck Stop Each time I’ve ridden my, much admired I have to say, red Schwinn to and from town, there have been a considerable amount of drivers who refuse to leave adequate space between their motorized vehicle and my bike. Each time this happens, I fill the air with profanity and either lift one hand to indicate gap and or give the hand gesture for “wanker”

Or both.

At least one time I flipped an ignorant so-an-so a fairly furious bird…

Each time this happens, I vow to write an article about idiots who do not know the rules about leaving enough space between their vehicle and a bicycle. Whilst waiting to store up adequate vitriol to write said article, yesterday, the thing I have been dreading finally happened.

A car forced me off the paved surface. Not, however, off the main road, but off of a parking lot. (Which in my shocked state yesterday I continued to call a car park. This is particularly funny as my colleagues in the Prison Service were always poking fun at me for calling it a parking lot while I was in England!)

The whole thing was my fault. If I had not stopped at the truck stop where I’d left my pocketknife two days ago, it would not have happened. After checking with lost and found, it was not there, I got back on my bike and headed toward the exit to town.

In this portion of the parking lot, there are car spaces on each side for parking and the right hand side was full. As I passed the cars, a station wagon backed out of its space and sat there idling with its reverse lights on. I swerved to the far left to avoid the car and seconds after doing so a blue four-door sedan turned into the parking lot on “my side” of the road driving straight for me.

I was parallel to the station wagon facing the blue car. To my left was a 10 to 12 inch curb, an aggregate shoulder surface and a streetlamp with a large square, and yellow, base. I moved as close to the curb as I could while attempting to break.

The only thing I could tell about the blue vehicle was that a man appeared to be driving. The windows were tinted fairly dark and it was difficult to see with any certainty. The station wagon had still not moved and the sedan headed right towards me.

My bike impacted with the curb at roughly 7 mph as moving away from the car seemed prudent. I tapped the top of the curb with my left foot and the second time I tried this maneuver my foot “hopped” and both the Schwinn and myself went airborne. Approaching the ground I started to “tuck and roll” but my elbow was not quite tucked in enough.

I did roll, however, and stopped when the back of my head came in contact with the base of the streetlight. At the same time, my backpack hit the ground with some force. My first thought was of my MacBook Pro, my only real source of income at the moment.

I sat up slowly and ignored the panicky desire to open my pack to check the laptop and began to check for bruises, broken bones, et al. A group of men were working on a SUV opposite me and they paused to glance over.

“Did that guy hit you?”

“No mate, he forced me off the bloody road!”

They shook their heads and chuckled. No one asked if I was okay, so I must have looked all right. I checked my legs and found that the right leg, on the shin area, had a huge amount of swelling on the front, about as long as your forearm. My left leg had a fist-sized bump near the outside of the calf and my left elbow had an egg-sized lump on it.

I quickly checked my bike and it appeared to be fine. I walked it to the front of Loves Truck Stop and locked my Schwinn up. I searched for a member of staff and after finding one, explained what had happened and asked if they had a first aid qualified worker on hand. She took me to the first aid section (aspirin, salves, et al). I said, “No, I don’t want the section, where is your first aider?”

She replied that they did not have one, that if anyone is that badly injured they are rushed to the nearest hospital.

I was amazed. In England, each place I worked had insisted that a minimal amount of staff were trained in first aid who could treat others who were injured until the ambulance could arrive. Not, apparently, in this country.

I went back out, hopped on my bike and rode it across the humpback bridge, over the I-10, and went to Burger King. I had a couple of coffees, a snack and called the VA to see what I could do for treatment.Burger King

I also rang the local “Urgent Care Clinic.” The young lady explained how they had worked VA treatment in the past and gave me the number to Quartzsite’s transit service. They came and collected me from BK and dropped me off at the clinic.

As the pain and swelling increased I spoke again with the VA who gave permission for me to use the local clinic, as the nearest facility was miles away. There was some initial confusion when the local folks thought I had actually been struck by the blue sedan and not just forced off the road. Apparently they cannot treat patients struck by a vehicle.

Finally, after what felt like hours, I was seen to. The nurse was concerned about my right leg. She put an Ace bandage on it and gave me instructions to put ice on the swelling every four hours for the next 48 hours. I was to keep the leg elevated and under no circumstances was I to walk on it.

The receptionist rang the local police to report a “hit and run” as the blue sedan never stopped. Although in this case it was a “forced off the road and run.” Her thinking was, even though I had very little information for local law enforcement, they could at least give my bike and me a lift home.

The police opted not to “follow up” the report, unless I really wanted them to. I explained that was fine as all I had noticed, before tumbling off onto the aggregate and dirt, was the color of the car and I was not even sure of the driver’s gender.

They did take me to get my bike from Burger King and helped me to load it into the back of the Range Rover police vehicle. They gave me a lift home and we chatted amiably all the way back. The officer, whose name I never did quite catch as it was a long one, said that they were going to start a campaign to inform drivers to leave enough space between them and a bicycle.

While waiting to be seen at the clinic, I did what I always do when in shock. I paced, ran off at the mouth and joked around a lot. (I was told off for pacing by the nurse.)

Since my return home, I have discovered a few things. Re-wrapping an Ace bandage, for instance, is an enormous pain in the arse. There is no way to put the thing on so that it looks like the original configuration and it feels loose where it did not before.

Frozen mixed vegetables work just as well as frozen peas as a substitute for ice and elevation is highly overrated. (Although it is quite comfortable.) The settee, where I have bivouacked for my period of recovery, may be comfy, but in terms of getting 3G on my hotspot is the worst area I could have chosen.

My T-Mobile signal is so weak and erratic that it is difficult to make a phone call let alone hook up to 3G (that they charge me for but in reality is 2G) so that communication with anyone is nigh on impossible.

I have also learned that the day after banging one’s head into a yellow concrete streetlight base, is when the swelling and tenderness starts.

Thankfully, since my heart attack in 2012, my pain gauge has increased. I am in pain, and it is difficult to walk, but it is nowhere near as agonizing as the day it took hours to “rush” me to hospital for my double heart surgery.

This little town constantly amazes me. Quite a number of the folks here are very friendly and helpful. Taking the “glass half full” road, I am counting myself very lucky that the bugger in the blue car did not hit me with his vehicle. I realize that I need to practice that tuck and roll maneuver just to see if I can get that elbow in quicker.

Finally: The biggest plus is that my laptop made it through virtually unscathed. Oh, the outside is a bit scuffed, but the inside bits still work and that is the most important thing of all. As I finish this article off, I thank the big guy for letting me off “lightly” with my bike versus car challenge. It may by 0 – 1 in the drivers favor, but as the local Sheriff, or deputy, put it, “things have a way of working out he’ll get his just reward one day.”

18 March 2015

Bruce Jenner Smoking Hot, Talking Not

PHOTO OF JENNER ACCIDENTSo gender bender Bruce Jenner was not talking on his cell phone before the accident that killed one person, he was smoking and not fleeing the paps who were hot on his tail. According to one news agency the 65 year old reality television star and former athlete is used to the photographers chasing him. Even more so since he stated his intent to have the op so he can legally become Ms. Jenner.

The rest of this article can be read on Viral Global News

Justin Bieber You Have the Right to Feel Harassed

Justin Bieber You Have the Right to Feel Harassed

It has to be said that if nothing else, Justin Bieber comes out with some unintentionally funny quotes; in his four hour long video taped deposition the priceless gem of the lot was his statement, “You have the right to feel harassed;” which, to be fair to the entertainer, came after the proceedings in a tweet. At least one website has collected several “comic moments” from Bieber’s taped appearance in court to answer a lawsuit regarding charges that his bodyguard had, allegedly, assaulted a photographer.

Justin Bieber You Have the Right to Feel Harassed

Justin Bieber You Have the Right to Feel Harassed

It has to be said that if nothing else, Justin Bieber comes out with some unintentionally funny quotes; in his four hour long video taped deposition the priceless gem of the lot was his statement, “You have the right to feel harassed;” which, to be fair to the entertainer, came after the proceedings in a tweet. At least one website has collected several “comic moments” from Bieber’s taped appearance in court to answer a lawsuit regarding charges that his bodyguard had, allegedly, assaulted a photographer.

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