Keen Eddie

by Suw on January 28, 2005

Whilst we were in Boston, staying at Itamar's, crw and I watched a few episodes of a series called Keen Eddie, a show about an American detective on secondment to the Metropolitan Police. Now, whilst I have to admit that any show that can crowbar in repeated references to Duran Duran has my vote, enjoying Keen Eddie seemed like a guilty pleasure to me.
It wasn't that the acting was particularly bad, or that the script was dreadfully flawed, or that the plots were horrendously jaded, but it just sort of felt odd. It was like an interpretation of British rozzers as seen through the filter of American culture – lots of tiny cultural inaccuracies slowly built up to create the impression that this was a chocolate-box cop show.
For example, the series, which is only a couple of years old at most, sites the Met in a period building called 'Scotland Yard' when in actual fact it has been resident at the unmistakably modern New Scotland Yard on Broadway, Westminster SW1 since 1967. Locations are littered with old-fashioned red telephone boxes, despite the fact that most of these have now been replaced by fugly modern ones. Every London bus was an old Routemaster bus – the sort with the back plate and pole that you can just hop on and off. In reality, these have been decreasing in number over the years and soon will be wiped from the face of the earth despite the fact that they are a quintessential symbol of London transport.
And the guns. There were guns everywhere. That's just really alien to me – the fuzz aren't normally armed here, and I don't remember seeing the characters in The Bill waving pistols about with gay abandon. It's not that no policemen carry firearms, it's just that they don't flash 'em around the way that Keen Eddie would have you believe.
Some of the dialogue was also a bit strange, with British characters talking about 'fixing' dinner. No one fixes dinner here – you might cook dinner or make dinner, but hearing someone with a British accent 'fix' dinner just seemed surreal. The accents themselves were odd too – obviously some of the actors were Brits, but there seemed to be only two sorts of accent on display: posh or mockney (like Cockney but fake). In the scenes where five Duran Duran-masked robbers revealed themselves to be well-dressed posh gits the programme slipped into a strange sort of pseudo-English territory where everything seemed to have been twisted through half a degree so that it was just… not. quite. right.
I can't work out whether this oddness was because the series was written by an American and just shot in London with British actors, or whether the city and its denizens were being deliberately Americanised in order to make them more palatable and familiar to an American audience. Either way, it made for strangely compelling viewing.

Anonymous June 4, 2007 at 4:55 am

Well I see this post was made over 2 years ago, but I just now caught the series. At first I too thought it was well made but felt just slightly odd. However, after I watched a few more episodes this feeling washed off and I came to realize how great of a show this show was! I just finished watching the series and I have to say that its one I will never forget. To anyone who reads this, do yourself a favor and watch Keen Eddie, in all its glory, while you still can…. because its quite good 🙂

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