Review of the Prime Video series ‘Three Pines’
A detective series that doesn’t require too much thought and character development takes a backseat.
TV series have come a long way. There used to be pearls to be found, but today the production values are so high and the quality so good that they are often not inferior to theatrical movies. three pines it is reminiscent of the earlier days, when the stories and characters were much simpler. Unfortunately, in addition to nostalgia, this mainly causes frustration.
Gamache has been a detective near the town of Three Pines for many years. The man always tries to find the positive in situations and especially in people, in short, a really good guy. three pines follows Gamache in four different cases that he has to solve in the town. Also, there is a general story about a missing girl and her family who don’t want to let her go. The case is quickly solved and it is concluded that the girl ran away, but the case continues to haunt Gamache’s mind.
The design feels a bit dated. The individual cases Gamache works on with his team are almost classic whodunit stories where you can have more fun guessing who’s to blame with someone on the couch. This gives a nostalgic but dated character to the series and sacrifices a lot for it. The two biggest downsides are that the set has to sacrifice believability and that the characters aren’t explored at all. The note that the characters in the series are becoming more and more layered seems from the creators of three pines to be completely missed.
Alfred Molina does a good job as Gamache and his kindness is genuine, he is the heart of the series, but the viewer will have learned almost nothing from this detective after the last episode than after the first. His two associates, Jean-Guy and Isabelle, are almost completely devoid of personality, though they are better than any passing town character.
All the other characters are stiff, capless, and ooze from all sides that they were written specifically for a TV series. There is nothing natural or authentic to be found. This is largely due to the sometimes bizarrely poor acting performances. The level of a normal soap opera on a Sunday afternoon. Also, the dialogues are very bad and few phrases are spoken that are ever heard in real life.
The structure of the story is also a bit messy. Those four separate cases are more or less stand-alone stories, with some attention to the overarching plot in between. The main problem is that it always involves the same characters, in the same small town. It is, of course, completely unlikely that startling murder cases would occur so often in such a situation. Also, very little time is spent on the overall story, making the emotional moments completely inefficient.
This also applies to the heavy topics that pass in the review. These are given very little room to breathe, so they don’t have the desired impact. It also doesn’t help that the typical ‘funny’ character (a clumsy policewoman) consists of only one joke; this is repeated so often that the joke is soon over. Also, it’s a shame that Gamache and his wife don’t get more scenes. They have interesting dynamics that are little explored.
The conclusion of each case is surprising enough, though often the conclusion is reached by a succession of coincidences rather than good detective work. three pines it is especially suitable for watching two episodes at once and then saving them again. When you look too often, the negative aspects are very noticeable.
The times of complicated stories, complex characters, and layers should be forgotten for a while. This can be refreshing and provides a viewing experience that requires little investment. Unfortunately, a setup like this no longer has a place in the quality that can be experienced on the small screen today. three pines it’s an old-time detective series, but the question is whether you should want that.
three pines can be seen in first video.