Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jason reviews Bedlam: Season One

You read that right, bitches. We promised with a name change came the potential to expand beyond the film-review motif. And here is a prime example of that.

That's right, I'm reviewing a TV series! Boo-yah! How you like me now!?!

Now that that's out of the way: Bedlam is a British supernatural drama that aired on the BBC between Feb. 7 and March 15 of last year.

Seems the Brits love to keep their TV seasons short. This was six easy to digest episodes that I chowed down in as many nights. I dig. And it left me wanting more.

Best described as Kingdom Hospital meets 90210, Bedlam focuses on an upscale apartment block called Bedlam Heights -- which is renovated from the structure of an abandoned mental asylum -- and the strange hauntings that occur there. Theo James plays Jed Harper, a new arrival to the block who possesses the ability to see the ghosts and receives visions of their deaths. 

Given that this a TV series, each episode features a different malevolent haunting with Jed determined to discover the spirits' motives and thwart their sinister plans. When he's not busting ghosts, Jed makes nice with his flatmates: his cousin, Kate (the yummy Charlotte Salt), who manages the complex; Ryan (Will Young), who is troubled by the recent violent death of his brother; and Molly (Ashley Madekwe), a childhood friend of Kate and Jed.

Like any good TV series, Bedlam has a solid mythology behind it. Kate's family owned Bedlam Heights when it was an asylum and there's an interesting back story there that ties into the disappearances of local women. And Jed has spent time in the looney bin because of his supernatural powers.

Fortunately, Bedlam plays out better than I think I just made it sound. For one, it has some genuinely shorts shitting moments. The pilot episode is especially creepy, subsequent episodes not so much. But each episode presented an interesting new ghost and, given the short run, I didn't have time to get tired of the episodic nature of the series.

Creators David Allison, Neil Jones and Chris Parker wisely keep the soap-opera elements to a minimum, and play up the sexy Kate. This is good. We even get to see some boobies. Thank you, BBC!

I had a really good time with Bedlam. In fact, the season ended with such a perfect cliffhanger, and season two hasn't even started filming yet, so I'll likely watch the entire run again in order to get a fix. You know what that means: Bedlam gets a Good in this Basement Dweller's book.


  1. I totally agree with you. Roll on the 6th June. 10pm Sky Living. New season. Hope for more semi-naked Kate.

  2. Awesome! So glad we're getting a second season. Will look for it Stateside! Thanks for the information.