I don't remember who recommended this series to me. I want to say it was my friend Ben. We've had a number of conversations about strong female characters--as opposed to Fighting Fucktoys™ and he's got a good eye for such things. Gillian Anderson's Stella Gibson definitely qualifies. I bounced hard the first time I tried to watch it. But I came back to it because I'd forgotten that I'd watched bits of it before. It wasn't long before I remembered, mind, but The Fall is set in Belfast. I enjoy watching films, tv, and such set in places I've visited. It's fun.
What sold me: shortly after I reached the point where I'd bailed before, Stella reams out her superior for slut-shaming one of the victims. "All victims [of serial killers] are innocent, including prostitutes." The discussion about anthropology. 'walking marriages' and 'sweet nights' just sounded like thinly veiled excuses to be abusive to men. Also, just yet another portrayal of Feminists as man-haters and ball-busters. It didn't convince me. However, the speech about slut-shaming? That hooked me enough to continue. I'm glad I did.
Possible spoilers ahead. The rest of this post is behind the cut. Scroll down.
 I've a thing about infidelity--I hate it as a story element, and will automatically ditch in most cases. I don't find it remotely sympathetic, and it takes a great deal of work to come back from that one. Particularly when the character isn't remorseful about it. It's a button I have.
 And I'd just bailed on The Killing--I grow frustrated and bored with murder mysteries that drag on and on without any kind resolution. And let's face it, no political figure would last 15 seconds with that shit hanging over him. [pause] Yes, there's Trump proving otherwise, but frankly, if I wanted to watch that I'd just turn on the news.
 My trust issues and past do, in fact, color my view of open relationships. That doesn't mean I'm right. It just means there's no way in hell I could be in a relationship like that.
Two scenes sold me: the first is when Stella talks to the serial killer 'alone.' She tells him "You think you're special. You think you're a god. You're wrong. You're just the same stupid misogyny that's existed over centuries. You're not special. You're boring. I will find you. And I will do it for [names all of the women he's killed]." That made me cheer. The second scene that sold me was when Stella leaves a crime scene at night to walk to her car alone. The local cop offers to walk her to her car. She tells him she can take care of herself. Understand, they're in the middle of the Shankill (hard core Loyalist territory.) Sure enough, the hard men come out onto the street and block her path to her car. She never flinches. She stares down the apparent leader and tells him to get out of her way. He issues his threat. She takes a sudden menacing half step toward him. He flinches. His mates have seen him flinch. That was a beautiful moment. She out bluffed him. He stands aside. She continues to her car while he continues his threats. She lets those threats roll off of her as if he's reading the weather report.
One thing: it's odd seeing Belfast graffiti that isn't sectarian. Most of what I saw (in 2015 no less) was. I can't help feeling that they searched long and hard for nonpolitical graffiti. On the other hand, it's possible the series isn't all filmed in Belfast but another visually similar area like Liverpool or east London. I did see one instance of an UVF mural. That looked right. It was also another moment when I said to the tv, "Um. Bad idea, dude."--the first being when he nosed around the Shankill at night. I don't know why I knew the group approaching were Loyalists before they spoke. (This was before they confront Stella.) But I did. It didn't look like the Shankill. (I'm not 100% certain it wasn't.) But I think that maybe it's because the only time I was ever met with a confrontation anything like the one portrayed during my NI visit was in the Shankhill.
Anyway, I'm in season 2 now, and I didn't even notice. Things look like they're going to get even more interesting. Neat trick. Most of these crime shows barely hold me through the first season.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.