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Monday, 21 May 2012

The Syndicate - Thoughts (Spoilers)

This isn't so much a review as me musing aloud. I enjoyed The Syndicate, the BBC drama about five winners of the lottery who find the money changes their lives in ways they never expected. When I heard it had been renewed I was happy - then I read the fine print. The second series will focus on a new set of characters.

In all honesty, I understand why but I'm still very disappointed. It took me until the second episode and the portrayal of Denise (Lorraine Bruce) in-depth to actually come to like the programme. The first episode really didn't chime with me much at all but I stuck with it, primarily because I'm always complaining that channels don't give shows enough time to prove themselves before axing them. I was rewarded by excellent characterisation in Denise, Leanne (Joanna Page) and, when he grew a backbone, Stuart (Matthew McNulty). The truth is, I spent five hours with these characters and I'm not sure I'm happy leaving them where we did. Okay, Jamie (Matthew Lewis) is dead but will we never learn what happens to Leanne and her daughter and whether Stuart will chase after a relationship with Leanne when/if his legal issues are sorted out? It feels like a terrible place to deliberately leave a set of characters.

For that reason alone, I don't think I'll watch the second series. I don't want to invest time in characters when I know their storylines are likely to be left as unresolved as Stuart and company. It's different when a show is axed or characters are forced to leave for, say, actor commitments (see Lip Service!). That's beyond the control of the programme creators. However, a rejuvenation of a show with fresh characters is very much the choice of the creators. And that irritates me in this instance.

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