RogerBW's Blog

Blood & Treasure season 1 31 January 2020

2019 thriller, 12 episodes. An antiquities expert and an art thief work together to catch a terrorist who funds his activities through the sale of ancient artefacts.

He's a cop (well, ex-FBI, but definitely a straight arrow), she's a thief. They hunt terrorists!

I didn't expect much from this series, and I didn't get any surprises, but I watched it because it was trying to do something more interesting than generic adventure. Clearly someone involved in production has seen the Thin Man films and they're trying to do snappy dialogue between the leads, but there isn't anyone on the team competent to carry it off. They attempt conspiracy thriller of the who-can-you-trust school, but it's always fairly clear who's untrustworthy. At times the show is trying to be a modern Indiana Jones, but it does it with explicit references (like losing a hat, or saying "they're digging in the wrong place") and making it clear to the least aware viewer that this is a reference rather than trying to do something more than mere imitation.

All right, this is going out on American network TV, so cultural imperialism comes with the territory: it's fine to dismiss locals with "that belongs in a museum" while never pointing out that the museum will be in America where the locals won't get to see it.

But this is also a show in which we discover that a hidden Nazi sanctuary in the basement of a castle, untouched since 1945, still has working light bulbs and a mains power connection. So, you know.

(Also, when you're having a gunfight in a container yard, the 2mm mild steel walls will absolutely protect you from rifle bullets.)

But that's the rubbish. There is some good here, which is why I watched to the end of the season, and I have to say it's mostly embodied in the leads, who make a good fist of the stupid things they're required to say as conspiracies pile on conspiracies, with multiple flashbacks (with a handy world map and calendar) per episode to let you know what happened in the past to make the present come out like this.

It's absolutely disposable TV, but it has some surprisingly enjoyable moments. It's been renewed for a second season.

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