“Hard Sun” worth a watch

Model/actress Agyness Deyn, left, and actor Jim Sturgess attend the Hulu original series premiere of "Hard Sun" at Regal Union Square on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)

Made for Hulu and BBC, crime drama/dystopia series “Hard Sun” was released on Hulu on Wednesday. The series follows two London detectives who discover that an apocalypse will eliminate all of mankind in just five years.

There are many twists and turns, different storylines and many mysteries to be solved. The first episode left me wanting to know more about each detective’s background and what this apocalypse is.

The two seemingly incompatible detectives first meet in the series premiere. DCI Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess) is a respected career police officer who loves and provides for his young daughter and pregnant wife. However, he has a dark side, and the audience finds out he is romantically involved with his late fellow DCI’s wife and that Hicks has robbed another man. I thought that this was an odd characterization of Hicks, as in the scenes with his wife, he acts very tenderly towards her and seems truly excited for the new baby. I didn’t understand why he felt unsatisfied in his marriage or why he was committing crimes.

DI Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn) is new to this police force and has a mysterious background. The first episode starts with Renko being stabbed by a young man. She knows how to defend herself and fights for her life before being thrown into a glass table. As she lies helpless on the floor, she begs the man, Daniel, whom she knows, not to douse her apartment with flammable gas. Before leaving, Daniel sets fire to the apartment and Renko must limp outside to save herself.

This scene brought up many questions. Who is Daniel? Why is he doing this? When Renko goes to a psychiatric unit to visit Daniel, the audience learns that Daniel is actually Renko’s son. This only raised more questions for me, as Daniel is at least in his later teens, probably in his early twenties, and his mother is only in her early thirties. What were the circumstances of Daniel’s birth? Who is Daniel’s father? Why would a son do this to his mother? Perhaps the series will explore some of these questions in later episodes to paint a fuller picture of Renko and Daniel’s background.

Aside from the nuanced characterizations, “Hard Sun” also features some intense action and dubious mysteries. The event that leads the two detectives to the discovery of the impending apocalypse is the questionable death of a man named Lloyd. This man has either committed suicide by jumping from his balcony or was pushed from his balcony to his death by an unknown perpetrator.

After the detectives figure out who the perpetrator is, they apprehend him (in the midst of more criminal activity, nonetheless) and seize his flash drive with the information about the apocalypse. Although the first episode doesn’t give specifics about how the world will supposedly end, the name of the simulation of the apocalypse on the flash drive is “Hard Sun.” One thing that I couldn’t tell about the supposed apocalypse was if it was supposed to be a natural disaster or if it was supposed to be engineered by a certain group; a sort of human-caused mass destruction. The ambiguity of the doomsday scenario will intrigue viewers and keep them interested in the show.

While I found the show to be pretty good, I have to say that I am not a fan of the common unrealistic fight scenes and unlikely scenarios that pervade the crime-drama and dystopian genres. There were, unsurprisingly, a few of these such scenes, but the questions that the episode raised kept me interested.

Overall, the show wasn’t a bad watch. I found it mildly entertaining, but bigger crime drama and dystopia fans might enjoy it more.

Rating:  3/5

Stephanie Santillo is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.