mon 18/11/2019

My Life is Murder, Alibi review - whimsical tales of detection from Down Under | reviews, news & interviews

My Life is Murder, Alibi review - whimsical tales of detection from Down Under

My Life is Murder, Alibi review - whimsical tales of detection from Down Under

Lucy Lawless upholds the law as investigator Alexa Crowe

Lucy Lawless as Alexa Crowe, with Bernard Curry as DI Kieran Hussey

Lucy Lawless achieved cult status in the Nineties fantasy classic Xena: Warrior Princess, and later became a regular in such disparate creations as Battlestar Galactica and Parks and Recreation. In My Life is Murder, she joins the ever-expanding ranks of TV ‘tecs as Melbourne-based investigator Alexa Crowe.

We learned that Alexa used to be on the police force, but now spends her time making bread with a complicated German gadget called a Loobenschwegen (some fun was had with pronouncing the German instructions in a lubricious manner). Screenwriter Matt Ford must have a fetish for wacky brand names, since later we got a walk-on appearance from the Schmilford vacuum cleaner.

Alexa claims to be retired, but that appears to be true only when she hasn’t been offered a crime to solve. It merely took a quick coffee with her former boss, DI Kieran Hussey (Bernard Curry), to get her interested in the case of a woman who’d fallen from the 19th floor apartment of a male escort called Dylan Giroux. Did she fall or was she pushed? Have a guess.

Gritty realism is emphatically not the objective here, as the show aims to mix a little leisurely sleuthing with ironic glances at issues and obsessions of contemporary life (though it’s set in Australia, it could be transplanted to almost anywhere). Thus, the Giroux case afforded space for some reflections on Alexa’s life as a single woman in middle age (“Paying for sex doesn’t make you lonely, it makes you practical,” she asserted), and there was some mild satire of “wokeness” when Alexa enlisted her researcher Madison (Ebony Vagulans, pictured above with Lawless) so they could pose as a lesbian couple pretending to be flat-hunting in the suspect’s building. “That’s sexuality appropriation!” Madison objected. “It’s workplace harassment!”

You wouldn’t recommend Alexa’s investigative technique to aspiring young policepersons – she doesn’t bother with backup, and cut to the chase by simply booking an appointment for Giroux’s smarmy professional services – while cramming a complete case into a 43 minute show (when you take the ads out) required a few short cuts. For instance, Madison can find out anything about anybody within seconds using just a phone and a laptop, like a one-woman fusion of Google and the FBI, while every hunch leads miraculously to a new break in the investigation. It’s an enjoyable show, but on this early evidence it feels a little lightweight. Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher can feel secure for the time being.

You wouldn’t recommend Alexa’s investigative technique to aspiring young policepersons

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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