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OKG Newsletter


Television series
 

Wired


Cash in on a British financial thriller

Rod Lott June 22nd, 2011

Like “Traffik” or “State of Play,” the 2008 ITV production “Wired” is a British limited TV series whose story is told via interlocking and overlapping arcs. Instead of drugs and political scandals, the name of the dangerous game here is the world of banking.

wired

Yes, I said “banking,” but wait! Don’t go anywhere! It’s really good, and you’ll get sex, drugs and dead bodies, I promise!

The main story zeroes in on single mom — er, mum — Louise (Jodie Whittaker of “Venus,” in a bravura performance). No sooner has she been promoted at the bank where she works than her gal pal’s sleazy boyfriend approaches her with a proposition: to set up a false account for him, for which she’ll take home £10,000 (about $16,000, Yanks).

Despite knowing she shouldn’t, she does, setting into play a metaphorical line of dominoes that branch this way and that, involving Indian businessmen with histories of human trafficking and assault, and an undercover cop (Toby Stephens, “Die Another Day”) who plays his cards so close to his chest, it’s difficult to tell what side he’s really on. Same goes for Louise, who graduates from innocent to devious over the course of the three 45-minute episodes.

Yes, “Wired” is over and done with in 134 minutes, so it’s like watching a long movie, and it’s rather rewarding to consume it as a whole. The Brits really know the limits of story, and get out when they should, whereas if this were remade in America, we would take the same plot and needlessly stretch it out into 12 or 13 hours, and then probably limp along for another season before the chloroform-soaked rag of cancellation came calling. There’s something to be said for brevity and efficiency, as you’ll see in this minor gem of a high-stakes finance mystery.

No extras are offered on the disc; just be pleased you’re getting to see something different from the usual and from under the radar. It’s mildly intense, certainly slick and all in all compelling. —Rod Lott

 
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