25 Days of Crime-mas Day 7: Line of Duty sets a very high standard

Line of Duty -- Courtesy of Acorn TV
Line of Duty -- Courtesy of Acorn TV /

Line of Duty is one of the most critically acclaimed TV crime dramas, and with good reason. It’s our pick for Crime-Mas Day 7.

TV crime drama fans have definitely heard of Line of Duty after all the buzz the BBC Two crime drama has gotten since its premiere in 2012. It’s become a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s been a long time since any crime show has had the amount of attention that this one has gotten, and that’s reason alone to make sure it’s on your watchlist. This is a series that exemplifies the crime drama and demonstrates where the genre is going next.

But if for some reason you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, we’re here to tell you why you need to watch Line of Duty and make it your next addiction.

Here’s why you need to catch up with the series:

From the creator of Bodyguard

More from TV Crime Dramas

Anyone who got obsessed with Netflix‘s thriller Bodyguard needs to check Line of Duty out pronto—they’re both created by the same writer-producer, Jed Mercurio.

If that’s not enough for you, Bodyguard star Keeley Hawes (who played Home Secretary Julia Montague) has a main role in Line of Duty series 2 and also makes a few guest appearances in series 3.

And both shows are equally nail-biting. If Bodyguard had you on the edge of your seat, Line of Duty provides the same kind of adrenaline rush, except it plays its suspense out over six seasons instead of just one. And since we don’t know when we might get another series of Bodyguard, this is your best bet to get a very similar fix.

The Line of Duty cast

There are three key characters in Line of Duty. The central hero is Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston, Death in Paradise), the newest member of Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12). He starts the series as a fresh-faced newbie, but has changed tremendously over the course of the five seasons that have aired so far.

Steve’s primary partner is Detective Inspector Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure, Broadchurch), who’s experienced in undercover work and often goes undercover during the series. Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar, Ashes to Ashes) is their boss.

Each season features a different person being investigated; other than Keeley Hawes, that list has also included Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Thandie Newton (Westworld, Rogue) and Stephen Graham (The Irishman, Boardwalk Empire).

Related Story. 5 great TV crime dramas on Acorn TV. light

What is Line of Duty about?

Line of Duty follows a core team of investigators who work for Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (which is shortened to AC-12). As the title suggests, they pursue cases of police corruption and other kinds of misconduct. In the U.S. this is what we generally refer to as Internal Affairs.

Each season details a new investigation, with a new star coming in to play the target of that case, and other supporting cast members as well. As such, each season tells a separate story, though a few subplots and character development points do come up more than once.

Why should you watch?

Because it’s really, really good. It’s almost unheard of for a series to be as consistently outstanding as Line of Duty is. Most shows have a few good seasons and others that aren’t as great; this one has yet to stumble.

And since the case—and the show’s supporting cast—changes each series, it feels like every one has its own distinct flavor. It’s almost like watching an anthology show, because of how it has new twists and a partially new ensemble every season.

Episodes to watch

Since each Line of Duty series has an ongoing, self-contained storyline, this is one of those TV crime dramas that it’s best to watch in its intended order. It also helps because the characters do evolve over seasons, so jumping into a later season might cause some confusion, too.

To that end, start from the beginning. The first series introduces Steve and shows how he gets involved with AC-12, and it’s an honestly compelling story. It also explains a lot about how the unit works, and how this particular team came together. Once you get started, you’re in for one heck of a ride.

Next. See the full 25 Days of Crime-mas schedule. dark

What do you think of Line of Duty? Which TV crime dramas are making your list for the 25 Days of Crime-mas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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