by Madeline Iva
I know, I know, some people worship Jamie Dornan for being Christian Grey in the 50 Shades franchise. I didn’t. I perfectly indifferent until I saw him in a television show called THE FALL. Then I got on board the Christian Grey/Jamie Dornan train. And how.
THE FALL gripped me by the scruff of the neck and won’t let go. Speaking of scruff–Jamie Dornan wears scruff like no other. Purrrrr.
One caveat — the show is slow. It takes it’s time, both in being understatedly sensual, and in terms of deliberate pacing. That’s its one flaw. But other than that, the show just got to me, and how.
It feels so incredibly wrong to be hot for a character who is a serial killer. I was hoping 50 Shades would give me a Jamie injection without all the, well, evil. (But he’s a *good* father!) Rolling my eyes at myself.
So here are some reasons to check out Jamie Dornan in THE FALL and just become a fan in general.
- THE IRISH LILT. Seriously, I could listen to him all day. It was a shock to start watching 50 shades and he had an American accent. WTH????
- HE’S SUCH A GOOD DAD. I remember appreciating how hard it must have been for Jamie Dornan, who just had a wee little innocent baby to turn around and play a very hard-core decadent guy who’s into everything that’s the opposite of happy. Yet in this role, it’s clear that Jamie Dornan found his way into the character through the character’s identity as a father and his emotional engagement with his daughter. It’s touching. I know from doing research on serial killers that in fact, some serial killers actually do sincerely care about others in their lives and take actions to prove it. Of course, if serial killers aren’t really monsters — if they are human, at least some of the time, then this is what makes them so horribly hard to catch. This show shows the serial killer not as monster, but as human. A father and a husband.
- YOU LIKE CHRISTIAN GREY’S INTENSITY? Paul Pector is intensity squared. Those haunted eyes. Shivers.
- HE DOESN’T ALWAYS KILL What I hate about myself watching these serial killer shows is that I keep wanting to not believe in absolute evil. This show does a good job of exploiting that–but reveals how *stupid* it is for women to believe that someone who’s done violence to women won’t do it again. The Fall also exploits how much we women want excuse bad behavior in men. He didn’t kill everyone. He left some water for that one girl. He didn’t physically harm his family. Yet it’s extremely dangerous to look for that kernel of goodness and grow it up into something bigger than it really is. How easy it is for the characters to forget he’s extremely dangerous–even for a second–even when he’s behind bars–and make a mistake.
- HE’S DILIGENT This is another true-to-life aspect of the show, and another trick for audiences. We admire hard work, and as he gets into a tight spot, but keeps working hard and diligently to get out of it–we are almost rooting for him. There’s almost a giddy feeling that he pulled it off–and he is wondering over how he didn’t get caught that time. Jamie Dornan does a wonderful, nuanced job–the scenes where he bathes the corpses–OMG. I have to give a lot of credit to the director–because everyone else in the show is just as good. But they’re not Jamie Dornan.
- HE NOTICES THE SMALL THINGS ABOUT A WOMAN Gillian Anderson wants to pry open his soul by the end and get him to admit what he did. She knows that her sexuality will be effective–and it is. He notices the details that Anderson’s character chooses when she interviews him. He notices and at the same time he knows exactly what she’s doing. Yet the conundrum of humanity is that he still ends up responding to it. Her interview is akin to a seduction. He does open up — and what happens is along the same lines as a romance. The woman who had no power took on the mysterious, silent man, and now she wins everything she wanted– because of her femininity, and the man’s unwilling subconscious response to it. Only in this situation, she doesn’t want a mansion and kids, she wants him behind bars for the rest of his life.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t further twists and challenges ahead. This show does not go easy on women–and in doing so it gets across the gritty reality of the world we live in. I LOVE IT SO MUCH for that reason alone. But the real genius to the show is it uses the compelling form, face, and eyes of Jamie Dornan to turn me into Paul Spector’s willing victim.