When it comes to my taste in television, I think my reviews give away my liking for Nordic Noir and European shows that look to the darker side of society. One that I’ve always managed to miss has been Braquo, but now I’ve managed to change this. Is Braquo: The Complete Season Four release a good place to start? The answer is yes.
While Braquo starts off season 4 at the end of what looks to have been a war against Turkish gang lords, don’t expect things to quieten down. With Eddy Caplan (Jean-Hugues Anglade) under suspicion by Internal Affairs, his violent and ‘unorthodox’ methods of getting things done are now under scrutiny. The first episode starts off at such a frenetic pace that it can be hard for a new audience to keep up. Thankfully though the main group of cops the show now focuses on are easy to like, and to relate to, even though they are somewhat anti-heroes.
The fact is, Braquo isn’t about cops fighting the good fight to keep society safe. In this season, at least, they are paving a path of destruction and vengeance on the people who have wronged them. This includes the Turkish Mafia, as well as the more French variety who they take on full force.
Part of what will attract viewers is the character of Eddy, and his many encounters with the criminals, who he shows no fear against. No matter how high they are in the food chain he belittles them and makes them feel small. This often leads to bloodshed and loss on both sides, but there are many scenes when you’ll have a smile on your face and think “wow, this guy has balls”.
When it comes to truly great shows based on the subjects shown in Braquo: The Complete Season Four I do find myself comparing this show to Gomorrah. What I’ve found is Braquo may not be as great as Gomorrah, but it comes close enough to make it a truly must-see show. The only problem is it comes with some caveats.
If Braquo has a problem for the more sensitive viewer it is that it never holds back on the blows. There is a high level of violence on show, and some scenes what people may question the need for. I won’t spoil what happens, but there is a scene that I’m sure some people will question as being a little too exploitative in style. I understand why it is featured though, and quite simply it is because of the response it gains from the audience. There is a need to make us feel uncomfortable to truly show us what evil is.
With an excellent cast and its hard-hitting style, Braquo is a show that may be described as an acquired taste because of its level of violence. The fact is though if you can handle the violence and see the show for the great television it truly is, then you’ll recognise just how good Braquo is.
Braquo: The Complete Season Four is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.