Show Review: Tin Star (2017)

I’d never heard of Tin Star until yesterday when it popped up on my streaming service, but I really like Tim Roth as an actor (Pulp Fiction is the movie my partner and I watched on our first date, haha) and figured I’d give it a go. I also found out the amazing Christina Hendricks is in the show, so OF COURSE.

FYI: it’s brilliant.

As usual, this has some spoilers.

The series is set in Canada (yay!) and follows an English-Irish family who have just arrived in the small, picturesque town of Little Big Bear. The opening scene is one that really sets the grim, brutal tone of the series: the family are driving fast, afraid, on the way to Calgary. They stop at a petrol station and the young son tells them he has to go to the toilet. When they pause, just for a second, a man in a mask appears and fires into the front window. We only see blood spray on the daughter, so it’s unclear who’s been hurt inside the car.

The show then flashes back a year to the family’s arrival in the town. Jim is the new sheriff, his wife Angela is settling in with the kids, Anna and Peter. The family want a fresh start and things are looking up in the town. Jim’s arrival at work is so quiet that the other officers are playing video games and tell him to go fishing; Angela goes to sell some fudge at a local fair and meets Elizabeth Bradshaw, another new arrival. Elizabeth, we soon find out, is the spokeswoman for North Stream Oil, who want to move in and start working around the town. Jim and many of the other townsfolk oppose this, but the push for more income into the town is strong. Susan, Jim’s friend, says people have been following her since she started speaking out. (I got really strong Zone Blanche vibes, actually.)

The harassment of those opposing the company begins to pick up, but the proof is hard to find. Until Susan is found dead in an apparent suicide on the side of the road. Not everyone believes this, however, and Jim and his officers start looking into other reasons she might have been targeted. Unbeknownst to Jim, Louis Gagnon, the head of security for the company, has bugged his office and is hearing every word that goes on.

Then, one night, Jim and his family are attacked in their home. They gather their things to leave and we arrive back at the intro scene. We find out that Jim ducked upon seeing the shooter and that the victim in the car is young Peter. (It’s really, really heart-wrenching.) Angela, too, is injured and taken to surgery. As Jim and Anna reel from the painful series of events, Jim spirals back into alcoholism and we learn that he has an alter-ego: Jack. Jack is nothing like Jim. One is a cop, one is a criminal. And so Jack begins trying to track down who killed his son by truly brutal means.

And the answer is far from clearcut … (trust me, the twists, guys!)

I was so stunned by how intricate and engrossing this series is. The actors are absolutely amazing, the scenery stunning and the soundtrack is lush. If you like crime drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat, this one is for you.

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