Sometimes a TV series sags a bit in its second season. The scripts aren’t as good as the writers become lazy and rely on the same tricks they used in the first season. Well, if you pick up the DVD package containing all seven episodes of No Offence: Series 2, the great Manchester England based police drama from Acorn Media you’ll find not only hasn’t it fallen into that trap, this season is just as good, if not better than the first.
For those who don’t know, No Offence is a brilliant and irreverent police procedural whose three lead female characters, Detective Inspector (DI) Viviane Deering (Joanne Scanlan), Detective Constable Dinah Kowalska (Elaine Cassidy) and Detective Sergeant Joy Freers (Alexandra Roach) are as unconventional as the show. They form the core of a team of Police Constables and detectives who tackle some of the more grisly crimes their city can throw at them.
The second season of No Offence gets off to real bang as the team is acting as security/protection for the funeral of crime boss Norah Attah’s (Rakie Ayola) son when a bomb explodes. While people are injured the blast could have been worse save for the fact the people running the crematorium hadn’t been paying their bills. For the body with the bomb in it wasn’t in the coffin but was actually buried outside the chapel when it everything blew up.
Suspecting a rival gang, and trying to head off a turf war between Attah and her rivals the Kennedy’s, DI Deering looks to find a connection quickly and hopefully broker a peace between them before violence gets out of hand. Unfortunately when the boss of the Kennedy’s is killed in hospital, all treaties are off and the streets erupt in violence.
If things aren’t bad enough when one of the buildings hosting one of Attah’s businesses is burned to the ground the team discover the remains of five teenagers. They were locked in a room being forced to work at computer terminals and didn’t have a chance to escape. Although Attah denies any knowledge of these children the team suspect her, or someone close to her was running the place.
While the main thrust of No Offence: Series 2 is the officers working to link Attah and her family to some seriously reprehensible crimes, as in the first series they also have to deal with the day to day stuff that happens on the street. We watch as the uniformed officers deal with everything from a dementia suffering bank robber trying to find the safe in a bank that was long ago converted into a bar, a man impersonating a paramedic in order to rip off senior citizens, and bring down a woman who performs illegal ritual female circumcision.
While the women hold the prominent roles in this series of No Offence they are ably supported by men. Two in particular stand out from the ensemble of fine actors who are regulars on the show, Will Mellor as Detective Constable Spike Tanner and Paul Ritter as forensic pathologist Randolph Miller.
As in the show where each officer plays an integral role in the solving of a case, the same goes for the cast. Each actor brings something unique to their role which makes the show all the more interesting to watch. While the focus of the series is on the big picture of trying to bring down Attah, we always see how the nuts and bolts of policing is what brings about results. How knocking on doors, while unglamorous, brings about results just as much as a high speed chase.
No Offence: Series 2 is gritty, realistic and more than a little raunchy. Its currently one of the best police shows being aired on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Owning it on DVD will give you the chance to watch it over and over again, which is something you’ll want to do.
(Article originally posted at Blogcritics.org as DVD Review: No Offence Series 2 -Great TV Cop Show)
Richard Marcus is the author of two commissioned works published by Ulysses Press, editor in the books section of Blogcritics.org and contributor at Qantara.de. He has been writing since 2005 and his work has appeared in publications all over the world including the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine.