A gritty crime drama set in Brighton is just my cup of tea. Cuffs delivered in every way for me and I must admit I’m quite gutted to find out it’s not been renewed. This is such a shame because I don’t think I’ve seen a more contemporary, diverse and genuinely thrilling crime show on television and certainly not one which also has superb storytelling and character development.
Each episode involves several cases, which usually interweave and overlap at some point. These cases range from hate crimes, kidnapping and armed robberies to harassment of people on a nudist beach and neighbourhood squabbles over dogs. I really enjoyed the humour alongside the confronting cases.
I think perhaps the most impressive element of Cuffs is the storytelling. It’s quite beautiful really, the way seemingly unconnected cases weave together in surprising ways and I’ve never seen it done quite so well in a crime drama before. The characters are also absolutely brilliant. Each of them came to grow on me, but I had soft spots for Lino (Alex Carter) and Jake (Jacob Ifan). I enjoyed the depth of their storylines (although everyone had surprising histories). I loved the way this depth was slowly revealed over the course of the series until the characters became one of the most compelling aspects of the show.
Another fabulous thing about Cuffs is diversity and this is perhaps why I’m so disappointed there won’t be a second series. The cast of main officers was the most diverse I’ve seen including muslim officers, those who are gay and people of colour. On top of this, the cases themselves are diverse and deal with confronting issues like hate crime and different types of domestic abuse. It’s such a shame the BBC didn’t see fit to continue the series and to keep these diverse characters and stories on mainstream television.
Despite not being renewed for a second series, Cuffs is a television show I highly recommend. A brilliant, diverse cast with real character depth and gritty, compelling cases, all set against the colourful backdrop of Brighton. What more could you want?