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Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling (Part 1)

Strike is a British crime series based on the books by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling). The series follows Cormoran Strike, a private detective who is down on his luck. He is joined by Robin Ellacott, a temp who shows a skill for detective work. The Cuckoo's Calling is the first book in the series, and is adapted to the first three episodes of the show. This stars Tom Burke as Strike, with Holliday Grainger playing Robin. I've read the books a year or two ago and really enjoyed the series, so I thought I would give this a go. *spoilers ahead*

The Cuckoo's Calling has a celebrity in the center of its case. Lula Landry was found having jumped off her balcony in the middle of the night. Her brother, John Bristow insists that Lula was murdered and hires Cormoran for the case. The first episode introduces the main players of the book. Strike and Robin meet in an unfortunate incident, when Robin walks into Strike's office, witnessing an end to Strike having an argument with a woman who was his girlfriend. She works at a temp agency and was assigned to Strike's office. He puts her to use by having her dig up on the people involved in Lula Landry's life, and when her search produces helpful results, he takes her along to investigate. 

The episode also puts faces to people who might or might not be detrimental to the Landry case. There are her neighbors, the Bestiguis, the doorman, the driver, the detective in charge of the case, and others. This first part puts focus on Tandy Bestigui, and Rochelle Onifade, a friend of Landry's who most people think are dodgy. In the investigation, it was said that Tandy saw a body falling from the sky, and heard an argument upstairs. She later rescinds her initial statement, making her suspicious. Rochelle is deemed a person of interest because she knows Landry very well, even if people think that Onifade is bad news. The episode ends with Strike visiting Onifade's place of residence, and finding her dead in the bath. 

As I've mentioned, the episode introduces the main characters and their life stories. I found this part a bit of an info dump. Robin just researches everything about Strike, telling the audience that he used to be a soldier, was medically discharged due to his leg, and has an estranged relationship with his rockstar father. The audience also meets Robin's fiance Matt; nothing much has been said about her besides having a knack for detective work, and was working on a temp agency. I think more of Robin's story gets discussed in the latter parts, but there isn't much on the introduction on her. 

The first thing that irked me in the episode is how jarring the opening scene and opening credits are. The opening sequence shows Landry's posh life, ending with her dead on the street in this slick and suspenseful way. Then, the opening credits play, and it's this slow, ethereal tone that cuts the momentum of the opening sequence. The other thing is that Cormoran Strike has an injury. He has a stump leg that has him limping. He wasn't limping in the first few minutes that I initially though that they have done away with the injury. The show didn't, but it takes time for the injury to be evident to the character. Partly why Strike is a grumpy person is because he's in pain and uncomfortable from wearing his leg. His demeanor is a part of his personality. This version of Strike isn't as grumpy and sad, but my expectations might be overplayed by my imagination. 

I don't know what to feel about Tom Burke as Strike; I didn't visualize him or Holliday Grainger for their roles, but I am starting to warm up to Grainger. I think they're both giving decent performances but they don't have that chemistry yet. That would probably change in the next episodes. The start and end of the episode were surprising. This was fast paced; I barely noticed that the hour flew by. 

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