Flicking Through Netflix: Ripper Street (Episode 1) (I Need Light)

Jack the Ripper is one of the most well known serial killers of all time.  There have been countless stories, books, movies, video games, you name it, that have tried to tell and retell his story again and again.  He is definitely one of the most interesting and horrifying mysteries in history.  If you’re going to invoke the name of the Ripper in the title of your TV series, you better deliver something special.  And Ripper Street… Well, it definitely delivers something.


Ripper Street takes place in April 1889, smack dab in the middle of Ripper’s spree.  However, for the characters of the show, it’s been six months since the last brutal murder.  Now another murder has taken place in another alley and Detective Inspector Edmund Reid is investigating.  Is this just another murder made to look like that infamous monster or is the Ripper back?

I usually enjoy cop and mystery shows.  I suppose it has something to do with my love of puzzles.  I like trying to put the pieces together before the characters on screen do.  However, the first episode of this show left me feeling a bit “meh.”  That’s not to say the show is bad, but I can’t find myself saying it’s all that good either.  I think part of it has to do with the characters.

Edmund Reid is a no-nonsense cop that doesn’t like to jump to conclusions, does whatever it takes to get answers, and always seems like he’s in control of the situation.  Sound familiar?  That’s because he’s exactly like every other cop in the history of cop shows.  He even has burn scars that let’s you know he has a “murky past” that he’s trying to distance himself from.  He felt generic.  He’s well acted, but the character himself just felt so boring because he wasn’t anything new.

As for the story, it doesn’t really do anything new either.  Spoiler warning, the death in this episode has nothing to do with the Ripper.  In fact, the Ripper doesn’t show up at all in this episode aside from lingering worries from the folks around town.  The mystery itself just felt bland.  I found myself not caring whether or not the cops found the killer.

Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood for a show like this right now.  It’s by no means a bad show.  It’s decent enough.  The set and costume design is done with perfect care.  It LOOKS like England in the 1880s (at least, from what I can tell).  The story is at least competently written even if it’s nothing new.  Still, I can’t say that I’ll be continuing to watch it.  There are definitely better cop shows out there.  Of course, there’s worse you can do with your time than giving this a shot if you’re really in the mood for a British cop show.


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