Mare Of Easttown Is Nearly Over, Before We Die Is Your New TV Fix

Courtesy of Channel 4.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you're probably as addicted as the rest of us to Mare Of Easttown. Among its many, many draws are Evan Peters’ drunk acting and Jean Smart’s one-liners but at the core of the show is Mare’s ‘no f*cks given’ attitude. In a world that long ago pigeonholed Kate Winslet as the romantic lead, Mare Of Easttown has demonstrated that there's a real appetite for women playing relatably moody, middle-aged detectives. But with only one episode of the HBO series left to go, we’re on the hunt for a similarly dark, female-led drama to fill the spot in our TV schedule. 
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Luckily, Channel 4 has one fired up and ready to go in the form of new six-part thriller Before We Die. Based on the successful Scandi noir of the same name, the Bristol-set series sees Lesley Sharp (Three Girls) take on the role of DI Hannah Laing, who works in the police's organised crime unit. The drama begins as Hannah is demoted to a desk job in a push towards early retirement. Due to some seriously tough parenting, she’s built a reputation on the force as someone who lets her work bleed into her personal life – in more ways than one.
Courtesy of Channel 4.
Lesley Sharp as DI Hannah Laing
Hannah, a divorced single parent, is in a long-term relationship with a married co-worker called Sean (Bill Ward). As a fellow detective in the OCU, the relationship has the potential to get messy, but it seems that their undercover dating life has been plain sailing for the most part. In particular, Sean has a great relationship with Hannah’s son, Christian (Patrick Gibson), despite Christian's criminal past. Although his relationship with his mother is shaky, Christian seems to see Sean as a friendly father figure who helps him get back on his feet after a series of drug-related issues.
One morning, however, after spending the night at Hannah’s house, Sean fails to turn up to the office. Concerned, Hannah begins anxiously calling his mobile, where she is met repeatedly with his voicemail. Informing her DCI, Hannah is told that nothing about the situation seems suspicious. But once she tells the team that Sean has been investigating a drugs operation which he believes to be related to a local crime family, things start to be taken much more seriously.
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Courtesy of Channel 4.
Christian and Hannah
It may not have the production values or the true-to-life grittiness of Mare Of Easttown but Before We Die is a clever and interesting take on your average police drama. The somewhat shiny characters feel a bit false but the twists and turns in the first hourlong episode prove that this series is all about the well-thought-out plot. Though it's on the audience to keep up with the scattered timeline, the episode packs in tons of backstory to illustrate how each character arrived at their current situation, showing how their lives became interlinked in ways they might not even realise themselves.
Overall, it's is a crime drama that errs on the side of a thriller, going straight for the big action moments rather than a slow-burn storyline. Connecting a complicated web of crimes and using a plethora of police shorthand, the series bears a resemblance to BBC One’s wildly popular anti-corruption drama Line Of Duty (although, disappointingly, with fewer references to Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the little lamb). Nevertheless, the narrative keeps things moving at a lively pace throughout the first episode and we're hopeful that the rest of the series will follow suit. If intrigue and high-stakes action is what you're after, Before We Die is certain to keep you on your toes.
Before We Die begins at 9 pm on 26th May on Channel 4

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