CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: The Beeb’s got a new police hit – and it’s as arresting as Killing Eve

Giri/Haji

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Charlotte Church: My Family And Me

Rating:

Crime is paying richly for fans of foreign drama right now. 

There’s a couple of dozen box sets on C4’s website — I’m hooked on a stylish Italian serial set in the Seventies, all chain-smoking cops with sunglasses and perms, called Maltese: The Mafia Detective.

For subscribers to Netflix, the online streaming giant is getting in on the game, too. 

New titles include The Frozen Dead, a French production set in the Pyrenees, the time-travelling German murder mystery Dark, and the flamboyantly cheesy Spanish detective thriller High Seas, set aboard a luxury Forties liner.

From the opening scene, which sees a City broker skewered in his own apartment with an ancient Samurai sword, Giri/Haji (the title means ‘duty/shame’) blends traditional noir city crime with cartoon extravagance

From the opening scene, which sees a City broker skewered in his own apartment with an ancient Samurai sword, Giri/Haji (the title means ‘duty/shame’) blends traditional noir city crime with cartoon extravagance

From the opening scene, which sees a City broker skewered in his own apartment with an ancient Samurai sword, Giri/Haji (the title means ‘duty/shame’) blends traditional noir city crime with cartoon extravagance

Here’s a tip, though: make sure you fiddle with the audio/subtitles menu, and reset it to the original language. Don’t put up with Netflix’s atrocious dubbing. 

They go to a lot of trouble to supply actors droning lifeless English dialogue out of sync over the original scenes. Every show ends up sounding like a bad spaghetti Western.

Unless you’re fluent in Japanese, reputedly the world’s most difficult language, you’ll need the subtitles for Giri/Haji (BBC2). 

Foreign crime drama, however good, usually ends up on BBC4, but this fast-paced thriller deserves its more prominent billing.

They go to a lot of trouble to supply actors droning lifeless English dialogue out of sync over the original scenes. Every show ends up sounding like a bad spaghetti Western

They go to a lot of trouble to supply actors droning lifeless English dialogue out of sync over the original scenes. Every show ends up sounding like a bad spaghetti Western

They go to a lot of trouble to supply actors droning lifeless English dialogue out of sync over the original scenes. Every show ends up sounding like a bad spaghetti Western

From the opening scene, which sees a City broker skewered in his own apartment with an ancient Samurai sword, Giri/Haji (the title means ‘duty/shame’) blends traditional noir city crime with cartoon extravagance. 

The Japanese love comic books, and director Julian Farino captures that style with flair.

When a Yakuza crime boss is machine-gunned over a bowl of noodles, his body jerks slightly as if it’s being poked with needles. 

Unless you’re fluent in Japanese, reputedly the world’s most difficult language, you’ll need the subtitles for Giri/Haji (BBC2). Foreign crime drama, however good, usually ends up on BBC4, but this fast-paced thriller deserves its more prominent billing

Unless you’re fluent in Japanese, reputedly the world’s most difficult language, you’ll need the subtitles for Giri/Haji (BBC2). Foreign crime drama, however good, usually ends up on BBC4, but this fast-paced thriller deserves its more prominent billing

Unless you’re fluent in Japanese, reputedly the world’s most difficult language, you’ll need the subtitles for Giri/Haji (BBC2). Foreign crime drama, however good, usually ends up on BBC4, but this fast-paced thriller deserves its more prominent billing

There is very little gore — he doesn’t even drop his chopsticks. As the camera pulls out, we realise all the diners in the restaurant have been killed in their seats, posing for one last cartoon frame.

Takehiro Hira is the embittered detective Kenzo, sent to London from Tokyo to solve the broker’s murder and convinced the killer must be his own brother — ‘the most feared assassin in Japan’.

Kenzo meets Scottish police lecturer Sarah (Kelly Macdonald), whose career has hit a dead end though she’s more resourceful than the average CID plodder — when she discovers someone has posted a poisonous snake through her letterbox, she chases it away with a cigarette lighter.

Mind you, the yobbos round her way must be pretty ambitious if they’re sticking black mambas through people’s doors instead of the usual fireworks.

Will Sharpe, best known for dark sitcoms Defending The Guilty and Flowers, stands out as a rent boy with a vicious tongue and a blond quiff, who knows all the shadiest Japanese haunts in London. 

It’s all highly stylised, demanding to be taken seriously as a dark crime thriller, yet teetering on high camp. If you enjoyed Killing Eve, you’ll love Giri/Haji.

That leaves little room to talk about Charlotte Church: My Family And Me (C4), which is fine because there’s little to be said. 

The former child star went camping on Dartmoor with her parents, James and Maria, and let us eavesdrop on some staged conversations about their past fall-outs.

James, 55, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, a piece of rotten luck that he bears bravely: he’s been blessed with a wonderful life, he says, and wishes there could be more of it.

Mother and daughter are a couple of drama llamas, hogging every conversation with their histrionics. 

James was caught between two hormonal tornados and couldn’t get halfway through a sentence without one of them cutting him off. But he obviously loved it that way.

Canine crime of the night: 

PCs Alan and Andy, in a patrol car on The Met: Policing London (BBC1), had their eye on a likely villain — a bloke walking his dog. They reckoned the mutt was just a prop, an excuse to chat up women. Suspicious minds . . .

The former child star went camping on Dartmoor with her parents, James and Maria, and let us eavesdrop on some staged conversations about their past fall-outs

The former child star went camping on Dartmoor with her parents, James and Maria, and let us eavesdrop on some staged conversations about their past fall-outs

The former child star went camping on Dartmoor with her parents, James and Maria, and let us eavesdrop on some staged conversations about their past fall-outs

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