Sometimes, things can’t help but strike you as odd, or out of place. An orange in a bowlful of apples, for example. A gecko in a punnet of raspberries. Or Rob Lowe in a British drama series set in the wilds of Lincolnshire.
The former Brat Pack star left the West Wing behind in favour of the cabbage patches of East Anglia, in Wild Bill (ITV, Wednesdays, 9pm), and the transition isn’t altogether successful.
Lowe plays Bill Hixon, a cop from the States who comes to Lincolnshire as chief constable, after the Home Office allowed overseas coppers takes senior positions in the UK.
Of course, he’s fleeing some sort of misdemeanour back home, bringing his daughter and all her teenage angst with him. Once here, there’s a bit of typical fish-out-of-water flim-flam as stats-obsessed Lowe clashes with the yokel coppers, but his go-getting methods soon seem to win them over.
Basically, this is the plot of Simon Pegg’s Hot Fuzz, just without the jokes or the Cornetto references.
The tone seems very uneven, with Lowe acting as though he’s in an American primetime police procedural, while some characters – notably Vicki Pepperdine’s pathologist – play for laughs.
References to divisions in the community around the agricultural town of Boston don’t seem to go anywhere, while the deepest insight into the national psyche is the startling revelation that Brits like being miserable.
However, Lowe is a charismatic copper, and Bronwyn James, as his Lincolnshire farmer’s daughter subordinate is terrific.
It’s not a new concept, and maybe it would not seem so odd if they hadn’t cast such a big name in the lead role, but this fish out of water will need to swim fast if it’s not to fall prey to the scheduling sharks.
Killing Eve (BBC1, Saturdays, 9.15pm) returns for its much bally-hooed second series. It’s very much more of the same, but as the first series was such a corker, more of the same is better than most.
Matt Berry is everywhere these days, adverts, new comedy What We Do In The Shadows and now Year of the Rabbit (Channel 4, Mondays, 10pm), a Ripper Street parody that’s stupid, filthy and funny.