If it weren't for the phony Brit accent, Michael C. Hall's new thriller might not be such a stretch.
A year after the death of his wife, a UK paediatric surgeon’s life isn’t getting much better.
When his teenage daughter Jenny (Amy James-Kelly) goes missing Tom (Michael C. Hall) faces a new kind of turmoil.
Safe is a Netflix thriller created by author Harlan Coben (The Five) and written by Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, The Street, Accused). The title refers to a gated community in the UK where Tom is raising his two teenage daughters. Yes these are rich, white folk.
But while Tom is trying to move on with his life as best he can, Jenny harbours a grudge, for reasons unclear. When Tom tells a friend his commitment even extends to an app that spies remotely on his daughter’s phone (such an app exists?) he is cautioned against it.
“People are entitled to their secrets,” he hears.
That’s at the heart of this 8 part series in which Tom will discover all of his neighbours have secrets (as indeed does he).
When Jenny goes missing after a night out with 19 year old bad boy Chris (Freddie Thorp), Tom tries to infiltrate her circle of school friends to track her down. There are a lot of them to take stock of in the opening chapter, in what becomes a demanding narrative. Directed by Aussie Daniel Nettheim, it’s a challenge to stay on top of all the relationships.
But the most striking distraction in the series is Hall affecting a British accent. Given we are so used to his fine work in Dexter and Six Feet Under, how do we suspend such disbelief? It’s a fair effort but sometimes it sounds a bit like a bad Simpsons parody. Are we biased against US actors playing Brits as opposed to the reverse? Yes, absolutely, welcome to ‘Hollywood.’
Either way I found it distracting and wish they had justified having an American father in the UK -another character is French, a nod to producers Canal+ no doubt. Why not for Hall?
Shaking off the phenomenon that is Dexter won’t come easily, but I suspect Safe won’t be the one to do it just yet.
Safe premieres Thursday May 10 on Netflix.