Or rather Stan Lee’s Predictable Man, who at episode’s end last week was facing certain death yet somehow, remarkably (spoilers!) survives into the next episode. The continuing adventures of Harry Clayton and his Magic Bracelet lead us through ever shinier London streets, the reciting of bad stripper poetry and more clichés than you could shake a stick – or lucky bangle – at.
Saved from certain drowning by the lucky intervention of a burning stockpot being thrown overboard from a passing pleasure cruiser (yes, really), Harry Clayton (James Nesbitt) is beginning to think there might just be something in this here bracelet of his. Still hot on the heels of Kevin Gray, suspected killer of both gambling den owner Freddy Lau and stripper Kayleigh, Harry and partner DS Chohan (Amara Karan) are hot on the tail of a fake passport peddler who they suspect of helping Gray to leave the country. Meanwhile, back at the hipster spa police headquarters, utter bastard of a boss Winter (Steven Mackintosh) is vowing to bring him down. And as Winter is a rabid, bible passage quoting religious nutter who says things like, “I was sent here to clean this rotten organisation”, we know he’s trouble.
Straight after attending a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, Harry heads to the dog track to test just how much luck his new jewellery will give him and is shocked to discover it’s quite a lot. It’s here that Eve, the four-times-as-good-looking-and-half-his-age woman who bestowed him the bangle last week (and slept with him) pops up out of nowhere to utter the corny line “I gave it you to shine a light in the shadows” before vanishing again. Really, who talks like this?
As Harry and DS Chohan close in on Gray, the bad guys seeking the bangle harass his soon to be ex-wife, Chinese hit men deal with the fake passport dealer, strippers recite bad poetry at a funeral – and take selfies with the coffin, because all strippers are crass in this sort of show – and it’s revealed that Harry has, shockingly, an anguished upbringing, having witnessed the death of his mother and twin brother aged five in a car fire. Because London may look all bright and new and happy, but you simply can’t have your coppers reflecting that in a tv series now can you?
Hackneyed characters deliver stale, cobwebby dialogue. Boss Winter actually remarks at one stage “You’re a lucky man Harry Clayton“, seemingly to remind those who’d forgotten exactly what they’re watching. When a post-coital Chohan turns to her sweaty lover and says matter of factly “Do you mind if we get the iPad out and watch Modern Family?“, you can’t help but wonder if this is actually secretly a comedy. But it’s all delivered with such a straight face and at such a click that it’s impossible to hate. Especially when confronted with the horrifically funny sight of Harry running, who makes present-day Harrison Ford look like Usain Bolt. James Nesbitt isn’t an old man but he really should get his knees and/or hips looked at. No viewer should have to witness that.
Fair play to Nesbitt, he’s the glue that binds the whole show together and the perfect embodiment of charm, confusion and everyman to let us in to the story. If only the rest of the show didn’t take itself so seriously; any attempt to try to force it down the Jessica Jones or Daredevil route is bound to fail. It’s a magic bangle story set in bright, steely London after all and really, it couldn’t be more quintessentially British.