And now we turn to the perfunctory new thriller Hunted (tonight at 9:00pm on BBC1) from the Spooks people. In the first episode of Hunted, where Melissa George plays a private security operative who suspects one of her colleagues is trying to kill her, there’s a murder. I can’t bear to go into details, but it involves a helpless victim’s eyeball, and a syringe. You can fill in the gaps.
I can’t forget that either, but for all the wrong reasons. It was a classic gross-out scene, a piece of violent flummery smeared on to a pointlessly complex plot for the emptiest of reasons - dramatic effect. I can almost imagine the script and the line “Put a horrible bit in here”. Hunted seems very proud of it, because it’s even repeated in the “Previously on Hunted” catch-up at the start of this week’s second episode.
A half-decent script wouldn’t need these hollow shock moments; there is nothing wrong with a shock moment if you have a good script (see Good Cop) but, if you don’t, it’s just cynical manipulation. There’s nothing thought-provoking about "the eyeball incident". It doesn’t make you consider anything deeper than “Dear god, that’s just horrible and I feel sick.”
In this week’s episode, there’s a torture scene where a man is tied to a chair and beaten in the face with coils of heavy chains. At this point, you might find that The Choir: Sing While You Work over on BBC2 provides the perfect refuge.
Hunted is on tonight at 9:00pm on BBC1.
Catch the final episode of Good Cop this Saturday at 10:30pm on BBC1.