TV Review: Bodyguard

Aired: 26 August – 23 September 2018 on BBC

Created by: Jed Mercurio

Written by: Jed Mercurio

Starring: Richard Madden, Keeley Hawes, Sophie Rundle

Genre: Drama, thriller

Rating: 4.5/5

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Image: BBC

It’s the show everyone seems to be talking about, and the most-watched, as it had the biggest BBC drama overnight viewing figures since the Doctor Who Christmas episode of 2008. The big question is – is it worth the hype? The answer to that question is simply yes. This review will be relatively spoiler free, so don’t worry about seeing any in this post. If, however, you decide not to read on for fear of spoilers, take one thing away: go and watch this show.

Bodyguard follows the story of David Budd, who is assigned to protect the Home Secretary, played by Keeley Hawes. The story is set in London in a time when the terrorist threat to the UK is very high. The plot unfurls across six episodes, and maintains high tension and mystery throughout. Tension and suspense drives the thrill of this series, and boy does it have bucketfuls of suspense. There are lots of twists and turns with conspiracies, and I found it totally unpredictable in the most exciting way.

I liked that it wasn’t too violent. So many TV shows these days have unnecessary violence. There was one scene where rather a lot of blood got splattered about, and David Budd does seem to regularly walk about with injuries and blood on his face. But the suspense is built from tense scenes, rather than violence, which I really liked. Nothing felt rushed. The slow build of scenes meant that suspense took the forefront in this series.

I’ve talked a lot about the suspense, but another thing that makes the show great is the characters. The main character, David Budd, is an Afghanistan war veteran suffering from PTSD now working as a protection officer. Richard Madden did a great job at portraying his character, and aside from the main conflicts, another part of the story was seeing David’s developing relationship with his wife (whom he is separated from) and children.

It’s great to see the number of female characters in important positions. Not only is there the Home Secretary, but there are three key female characters within the police force, including the Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command.

I haven’t quite given Bodyguard five stars, instead leaning to a 4.5 rating. Why? When I have heaped praise upon it? There was one scene in the last episode that seemed a little unrealistic to me. There were a couple of others things that were maybe little plot holes. But other than that, I can find little criticism for this show.

It was unpredictable, thrilling and totally worth watching. Although the main plot was resolved, there were a couple of loose ends that weren’t tied off, potentially leaving it open for another series. As it has proven so popular, I wouldn’t be surprised if we haven’t seen the last of Bodyguard.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books By My Favourite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

There are so many books I have enjoyed, but haven’t read any more works by the author. I really should read the books on this list.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but as of January has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.

1) Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows – I finished the Grisha trilogy this year and now I’m looking forward to diving into another of Bardugo’s series.

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2) Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince and others – I feel very behind on Clare’s books. I still haven’t finished the Infernal Devices series and she keeps bringing out more and more novels.

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Book Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

9780147513861The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings

Publishing Info: April 2017 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons (first published April 2016)

Pages: 422

Star Rating: 3/5

 

Back Cover Summary:

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

 

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised that this book didn’t blow me away, considering my fairly neutral reaction to the first book. But I felt invested enough to read the sequel.

It was very slow at first. A quarter of the way in very little had happened. I’m not talking about a lack of action. Action scenes aren’t required to move the story. The problem was that nothing happened to move the plot forward. About a third of the way through it started moving a bit but was still plodding. Perhaps some of the problem was Shazi and Khalid being apart, the spark their relationship created in the first book was missing as a result of them being apart for the first third of the novel.

After a slow start, it picked up half way as more magical elements were introduced to the story and Shazi and Khalid find out how they are going to break the curse on him. This gives them a more defined goal to drive their next actions which made me more engaged in the book.

While the first half was too slow, it picked up from the midpoint and I really enjoyed the second half. There were many twists which kept me glued to the pages. A character death made me shed a tear so I must have felt invested enough in the characters to care about their fates!

The first book explored one set of characters at the palace, then this second novel focused more on Shahzad’s friends and family, but that meant some of the characters from the first book felt left behind. They were there, but there wasn’t enough development of their characters, and since I had been invested in them in the first book, that was disappointing. A friendship between two of the characters that had been rocky during this book wasn’t really resolved which was also disappointing.

Overall, while I feared I wouldn’t enjoy it at first, the second half was much better, and if not for the slow first half and some things being left unresolved, I would have given it four stars. Too many threads were introduced and then left behind as the plot moved along. An important thread seemed to be introduced with Artan and his family but that subplot was abandoned in the second half and I was left with too many unanswered questions. Despite this, I’m glad I read the duology, and I would read more from Renee Ahdieh in future.

You can read my review of book one, The Wrath and the Dawn, here.

Top 10 Tuesday: Bingeworthy TV Shows/Amazing Movies

I really need to watch more TV shows! In the past, I didn’t watch TV that much, but when I went to uni and lived alone, being able to watch whatever I want meant I started watching more TV. This list is a mixture of shows I loved and shows that were strangely addictive even though they were fairly average.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but as of January has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.

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