On DVD and Blu-Ray On The Small Screen Reviews

The Five: Season 1 – DVD & Blu-Ray Review

There are a lot of television shows out there that deal with missing or murdered children. Because it’s the most shocking part of humanity. The whole world is thrown into rage and disgust when the horrendous acts happen against our young-uns that art choses to explore (or exploit) the revolting dark side of humans and the awful stuff they do to children.

With that in mind, The Five is enlisted to continue the trend of missing and/or dead children in the latest television series from Sky1.

Created by novelist Harlan Corben, The Five revolves around the titular number of friends who have all grown up. Well, only five have grown up. See, about twenty years ago, when they were literally babes in a wood, the youngest of them Jesse went missing and a convicted paedophile confessed to his murder. Decades burdened with guilt, the rest of the group have been separated, living their separate lives and moving on from the tragedy. But if seems that the past doesn’t want to stay dead, and a new crime scene reveals Jesse’s blood. Could the boy be alive and well? Jesse’s older brother Mark (the always superb Tom Cullen) and detective Danny sets out to unravel the mystery.

This is a weird statement to say but in the sea of murdered and missing children that is our television drama, The Five manages to keep its head above water. Corben, famed for his intense clandestine stories, has helped craft an invigorating and compelling episodic series that has plenty of cliff-hangers that send your stomach overboard. The pacing of the enigma as it unravels in front of you is quite genius and handle delicately as you are urged furthermore into the forest of bad people and the awful things that they do. It’s engrossing and as the story twists down the wooded path of deceit and lies, you’ll be on the edge of your seat.

The biggest problem with The Five, however, is that no matter how gripping the story is, how twisting the storylines get, there is just no proper investment in the characters. It’s like a magic trick where you actually kind of want the assistant to be sawn in half because it would make am already interesting show bloody amusing. Comparatively against the likes of Broadchurch which makes you care whole-heartedly about each of the characters that you are immediately absorbed into the pivotal heart of it. The Five doesn’t really have that and no matter how large surprised watery eyes can get, you don’t really care enough about the characters to be fully absorbed.

With that in mind, The Five does bouts of mystery really well. So you aren’t invested in the characters enough to care about their fate but you are pulled along the breadcrumb trail so inventively that the narrative becomes too important. You’ll start and you’ll have this aching need to finish, so much so that it’ll consume you for the whole ten episodes.


One comment

  1. I’ve never understood the charm that critics and tv execs have for dead ends, red herrings, rat holes and endless ‘twists’. It smacks of vaguely patronizing or even disliking your audience. Yo don’t have to be strictly linear but it’s just laziness borne of having to stretch 2 hrs of tv into 20.


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