RR: The Fall


Written by Allan Cubitt
Directed by Jakob Verbruggen
Starring Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, Bronagh Waugh, Niamh McGrady

Sophy says: Since The Fall is returning for its second series tomorrow we thought it was about time we told you all to watch it. Now, I’m going to level with you guys here. This show is not for the faint of heart. There are several scenes that are nearly unbearable to watch, not so much because they’re gory as because they are emotionally gruesome. This is a show where you cry and not in a good, cathartic, You’re a lot better than you know kind of a way, in a way where you feel a bit sick and sort of angry and cry because there’s nothing else to do about it. This show will distress you and it will piss you off to the core of your being. And it’s meant to do that.

The Fall doesn’t gloss over things. It presents us with a psychopathic rapist and murderer and shows us exactly what his life is and the way it ruins other people’s. We are with Paul Spector when he’s stalking his victims and when he’s squeezing the last breath of life out of them. We’re with him when he’s a husband and father. We’re with him at work and in the home and in other people’s homes. This isn’t some shadowy night-time figure at the heart of a mystery. This is a human being gone horribly wrong.

The Fall is really painful at times because it’s Paul’s story. We’re seeing things from his perspective and his perspective is seriously the absolute flipping worst one in history. So it’s kind of a relief that this is also Stella’s story, and Stella is a lot of things but she is not a psychopathic rapist and murderer.

AND SHE IS PLAYED BY GILLIAN ANDERSON. With icy blonde hair, an aggressively posh wardrobe and a precise British accent. Stella is the perfect counterpoint to Paul, pursuing him in the name of truth and justice with the same steely, sparse zeal that he pursues his victims. Although she’s certainly not an evil person like Paul, she is strange like him, chilly and absent, unapologetically amoral when it comes to her own sexual fetishes. She is a woman on the fringes of society and she has no fear of that – no shame in it. Stella Gibson is a woman who could behave the way the world wants her to – I’m pretty sure she’s a woman who could do anything – but who chooses not to on a daily basis. Because she doesn’t believe in compromising herself for other people. Because what matters to her is her own assessment of herself, nobody else’s. Because she trusts her own mind more than anybody else’s, and her own heart for that matter. Basically she’s just better than everybody else and she knows it and she’s not going to pretend she doesn’t because what would be the point she has shit to do? And how she manages to be badass in silk shirts straight out of my mother’s wardrobe I don’t know, but she does and then some. And she’s even more badass in a swimming cap and goggles.

WATCH WATCH WATCH. And try not to get too attached to any pretty young, brunette professional women :/

Rin says: kteebellfast.

I think there was a point where you were like, ‘Thank god I’m blonde” and I was like, “Thank god I’m not professional.”

There are a number of things I love about this show, even though it’s one of the more disturbing shows I’ve ever seen (which says a lot). Saying the word I love in this context actually feels kind of creepy and awkward, but I am very fond of the way this show frames Paul. Like Sophy said, we are let into this guy’s life, his family his work, and for the most part these are the kind of things that humanise a person. That should humanise a person, but all it ever really does is show us how much he isn’t really a person at all. There are no redeeming factors and there are no shades of grey (:D) when it comes to Paul, he is the villain and a terrifying one at that.

Thank god for Stella.

For a show that depicts the worst kind of brutal violence against women, it is also a show that celebrates feminism and I think it’s that contrast/balance which makes this show work so well. I wouldn’t say it is subtle in its approach to GENDER EQUALITY! but it is also definitely not preachy because it is so intrinsic to Stella’s character that it seems to naturally flow out of her. It’s not an agenda it’s just who she is.

I wouldn’t say this is a show for everybody but I will say that everybody should watch it.

Sophy says: Basically. And just on that 50 Shades of Grey thing HOW IN GOD’S NAME DID THEY CAST JAMIE DORNAN IN THAT ROLE AFTER HE PLAYED THIS ONE? It’s lucky I never would have seen that movie anyway because actual worst casting ever.