Cuffs (TV Mini-Series 2015) Poster


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Does the BBC's new cop show fit 'The Bill?' not quite, but watchable enough.
Sleepin_Dragon30 October 2015
I know it's the obvious kind of comparison that everyone is going to make, I've done so myself. The Bill was watched by millions, and when it ended it left a gap. The eight o'clock slot is a difficult one, it needs to be grittier then the afternoon offerings like WPC 56, and it can't be as dark or graphic as say Silent Witness or Luther.

The series aims to show what life is like on the front line for the Police, the lack of respect they face in their day to day jobs and the many obstacles in front of them.

Full of multiple story lines, a lot going on, possibly too much. The format jumps from one story to another. A distinct lack of reality in some parts, but then so did The Bill.

Nice to see Brighton used as a location, when it comes to mainstream TV you'd assume crime occurs in London, Manchester, Midsomer and Scandinavia.

It's not a show you'd cry if you missed, but it's watchable enough, it's good to have a cop show on at 8, one you can catch before you settle down at nine with a glass of Red wine. 7/10
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Cuffs..a wonderful series
pperkins-1555216 January 2016
I don't usually write reviews but I became so cross when I heard that 'Cuffs' was axed. I just could not understand this decision and wrote straight away to Ben Stevenson who chooses drama at the BBC. Cuffs is a brilliant programme, wonderful acting, clever story lines ... a programme which entertains as well as educating. I am 72 so you can imagine the load of rubbish I have seen throughout the years and suddenly this gem of a series crops up. I nearly missed it as I don't usually start watching anything until 9 pm. I have two grandchildren of 16 and 18 and this is the kind of programme they enjoy...much better than the rubbish and unbelievable story lines of programmes like Eastenders which I never watch. What is the BBC doing about this mistake? Please use some sense and bring this series back. Polly Perkins
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Gripping, Intense and Funny
mhush17 December 2015
Cuffs had a hard job. It set out low in people's expectations as they compared it to The Bill. I'm not old enough to have watched The Bill, so I can judge Cuffs on its own.

The show itself is gripping, intense and surprisingly funny. Cuffs weaves together a whole cast of unique actors and actresses in a variety of different roles whilst showing that the police aren't always successful.

In its first season, Cuffs tackled a lot of issues that are relevant in today's society such as mental illness, homophobia, domestic abuse and so much more.

Cuffs is such a great show to watch, it never feels slow and it never feels rushed. Each character gets their time in the frame and there is great depth to all of them. There wasn't a single episode which didn't make me laugh and I feel it is the best BBC drama produced in a long time.

If the (only exciting in the last episode) 'Doctor Foster' is supposedly worthy of a second series, then Cuffs should have ten more series already in production. The stories tie together nicely and there aren't any dull moments in this show.

Would recommend to anyone who's bored of the usual BBC dramas that don't have the pace and guts that this one has even before the watershed.

Cuffs is great. Don't let it end so soon.
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Nice, enjoyable police drama with good ensemble work
cwaters8022 December 2015
Cuffs is a bit unusual for a police drama, it mixes a fairly light tone with some quite serious story lines. It's realistic and fast-paced but it generally isn't gritty. There's a lightness that reflects its summer-in-Brighton setting.

Once you watch several episodes back-to-back, you start to notice how the focus isn't on the crimes themselves but the people who deal with them. The characters' backgrounds and personal situations develop over the series, and by the end we can see changes in how they relate to each other. It's not a soap, but it has the same idea of presenting characters we can relate to in various ways and finding ourselves attached to them, and that's what keeps you wanting more. The episodes also make connections between the disparate characters and crimes in a way that you wouldn't expect, overlapping one theme with another. Some of these connections are a bit "blink and you'll miss it", but when you re-watch this comes across quite well.

The cast work very well together, it's a good and balanced ensemble. The interplay between Moffat and Hawkins for example really makes us feel they have been working together for ages, it feels very natural when they have to help each other with problems outside work as well. Prager and Moretti's police constables are another good "double act", thoroughly enjoying their job despite having very different personalities.

Paul Ready deserves a special mention for his portrayal of DI Kane, a very strange man indeed who is simultaneously harsh and vulnerable. His is perhaps the most intriguing character of all despite having relatively few scenes, because Ready seems to be able to give all of his lines a depth beyond what they are on paper, as if there is far more unspoken than spoken. At first he seems not to care, but the indifference turns out to be an obsession with doing his job as well as he can despite his difficulty with socialising. He makes us want to know what makes him tick, and hopefully there will be a second series where we find out more.
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Most original and magnetic program in years.
gilesb-3073813 November 2015
First 5 minutes I thought "I'm not watching this" and the next 5 minutes caught me. Absolutely. Clever-smart.

This is a wonderful cross-over of (perhaps only) British black humor and the serious world of police work and its diversity, violence and opposition to violence, social and mental problems, politics of policing, and the personal. You need societal knowledge and empathy to understand all the links.

The USA police, maybe the whole nation, should watch this series because the underlying message is so positive. and so negative to US policing methods today.

Please. Laugh and cry, enjoy.

This is extreme, but I think the best since Monty Python.

As an aside, of course, I think we have a peak of British TV scripting, directing, cinematography, acting going on, and this comes out near the top.
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Great show!
louisemarie-108-1657713 March 2017
I really like this show, and I can't believe there's only 8 episodes of it!

I quite liked the dynamics between the officers and between the detectives. I felt like each person had a distinct personality, that would have been so great to see unfold. I honestly ended up liking the people I didn't really care for in the beginning - and even the people I didn't like in the end, I couldn't really bring myself to hate.

I love how some of the main characters are homosexual police officers, and I would honestly have liked a bit more focus on their relationships (especially between Jake and Simon), as that seemed slightly rushed for my taste.

All in all a really good show, that I can only recommend - it's definitely worth watching those 8 episodes.
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A tick box series
nastyoldbod20 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Others have mentioned the show seems like an attempt at finding a show to replace The Bill. Sadly this is not it, The Bill was essential viewing for many of us, a memorable tune, memorable characters, interesting real life stories. Cuffs is trying so hard to be politically correct that its managing to be irritating, as opposed to providing entertainment. There are more clichés then you could shake a stick at. Its aim was clearly to show the daily life of a Police team, and what they've produced is a soap opera which happen to contain Police Officers. Doctors would make more suitable evening viewing. Having lived in Brighton I applaud it for using it to film.
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Not the Bill
rodders811 November 2015
I was looking forward to this series; yet only the BBC would focus more time and energy on diversity than a good drama.

I am still not sure if this is a comedy or a drama?

The characters are fluffy stereotypes with no depth as if plucked from the TRUEMAN show. There is an old adage that says "it's the imperfections that makes something perfect". Here so much effort had been made in preening the actors, hair and make up perfect that you just can't imagine them completing a 14 hour shift or relating to actual people on the streets.

To many rushed plots forced into a short space of time. (Less can be more, devil is in the detail) Conversation between characters are one liners, wooden and forced. The new probationer is too cocky, weak and annoying.

If only there was more edgy banter, something that relates to real life and not from a teenage novel.

However the settings in Brighton are awesome and great to see.
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Preachy political correctness meets ersatz transparency....
s327616913 November 2015
Like most Police services in the West today the UK Police has had more than its share of controversy. The result is a not unreasonable loss of faith and support, on the part of the public.

Cuffs comes across as a clumsy attempt to restore the public's jaded opinion of its policing services. So far, this series looks a lot like a cheesy exercise in preachy political correctness, mixed with a blatantly insincere pitch at transparency. The stories are hackneyed too, with the predictable line up of stereotypical villains politicians like to lambaste, mostly to help conceal their own incompetence, greed and criminality.

The standard of acting like most UK series is good but really, this fails to make up for this series conspicuous flaws. Three out of ten from me.
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Got through Two
suereed-8676211 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
If that is policing in England God help us all! Old woman charged with murder and sorrow for the one who broke in! Also pushes politically correct agendas.
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Great Show
leamjem4 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I really loved this and can't wait for another season, people have likened it to the Bill. It is much better and more modern but I do hope we get as many episodes and it lasts many years to come.

I enjoyed the characters as they developed, their relationships with each other and their family and personal lives.

It was hard hitting and had it's lighter moments making you fall in love with many of the characters....You also dislike a few too but that makes for a good all round show.

I also like that the show has gay characters helping reflect the diversity of the area as many shows don't or later just throw in the one trying to make it believable...It already is believable.
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Good show but not 'Hill Street Blues'
slydon1326 November 2015
The best 'cop' drama of all time for my money is 'Hill Street Blues' and while others attempt to reach that zen area of real, crazy and funny, none succeeds. I never got into 'The Bill' but 'Prime Suspect' was perhaps the best UK cop drama but 'Scott & Bailey' is well written.

This show has a great cast, alright script and makes Brighton appealing (which is difficult in itself) but it is mostly a star vehicle for the very cute, Jacob Ifan. Episode 1 is his first day on the job.

The other characters have perhaps more interesting stories and more talent and experience but get far less camera time. Each episode is centred on four beat cops who have different lives. 3 men, 1 woman.

Based on the poster, Amanda Abbington, who holds her own on Sherlock, should be the main star but it hasn't worked out that way. They dress her in colours that don't suit her to make her look as though she is on chimo. Her story is a cliché, unworthy of the BBC. She is in a no- win sexual relationship with her boss but nobody knows. The writers fail her and us. Changing the cat to a dog is the only creative move made here.

Why can so few writers write middle aged women? We are tough, experienced, own our own homes, survived having lived with men, in a world ruled by men and taken responsibility for all the difficult things in day-to-day life, take care of elderly parents, avoid siblings, change careers, survived over 1000 periods and I could go on. The writers failure here is to rely on a man's stereotypical view of women as needy when most people know that by the time a woman reaches 40 we don't care what you're thinking anymore.

Having said all that - it was very watchable and I immediately tweeted my LGBT friends to alert them to the show. It makes a good nights viewing with 'London Spy'.
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avacuppa25 August 2019
A fantastic show!! Casting did a terrific job, the actors are so good, perfect! The story lines are good very real to life, I can imagine that is just what it is like out there on the front lines for the police. I like that it is in Brighton. I am so disappointed there is only one series. Why were more not made? Whoever made the stupid decision to end this excellent series should be fired!!
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Updated version of "The Bill"; yes, indeed!
opsbooks8 April 2016
It took me a couple of episodes to get into this series. It was the great characters and corresponding acting performances which won me over. By the time the final episode arrived it had become a "must watch" series, just as "The Bill" had in the 1990s. I was both amazed and shocked to read that the BBC had axed it! One has to ask "why?" and the answer has to be adverse reactions from those above in a time when the Powers that run the BBC are living in fear of being seen to support minority groups within the upper echelons of Society. Although they like to display political correctness on the surface, in reality, they are no different to the great majority of viewers.
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Possibly the best Brtish Police series
stuartbates-1340026 March 2016
I came across this show by accident, having not having even heard of it prior to my first encounter, and it took only a short time for it to be one of those "not to be missed" among the dearth of good television that blights us currently.

The cast is "magic" and work so well together. The interplay between characters is excellent and never overdone. The characters are well developed and believable and don't go around blasting all and sundry.

I especially appreciate the continuing back stories of the characters.

I now hear that the show has been axed - what a insult! Is CSI, Bones etc. the pap that people really want?
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Axing Cuffs!!!!!!
bynggo26 March 2016
Very sad to hear the decision to axe Cuffs. Thoroughly enjoy the show and the characters. The story line is just starting to unfold and we the audience warming to the various people in Cuffs. Bad decision, sad for us. A change of heart would be great for fans. The events and the action is interesting and the fact that I have to write 10 lines about the show and my grievances at the loss of the show before it will be published is a bit of nuisance. All I can keep on saying is if the BBC changed their minds about cancelling Cuffs I think there would be some happy people around the world. The show is interesting and the people in the show Cuffs are varied and popular in my circle of viewing friends. It is also very difficult to ramble on to get ten lines up when all I prefer to do is be succinct and say, what a shame cuffs has been cancelled because I enjoyed the show and please change your collective minds, BBC. there I think I have ten lines, please publish this because I am going to look like some sort of nut case if I have to continue with this ramble. Now please rethink the ten line rule.
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Absolute Bilge
surgen-2656122 December 2015
A tedious attempt at re-launching a parochial branch of The Bill, without the well-written script, long-established characters and solid story-line.

The characters are unrealistic, and unlike-able as is the script, with politically correct nonsense taking the place of believable comments from minute one.

Generally, the acting is abysmal, even though there are several tried and tested professionals involved, but otherwise the cast do not really deserve to hold their equity cards.

The script leaves a great deal to be desired too, maybe the writers felt shackled by extreme PC or perhaps they are simply the new breed of BBC writer, who lack the ability to impart the charm, empathy and intelligence into their scripts that we have come to expect from the BBC.

All in all, this is a very poor effort, not worth watching and needs to be killed off before it gets going. If it never showed another episode, I doubt that 'Points-of-view' would not have a single complaint, as no- one would notice it's deserved demise.

Come on BBC - we expect far more from you than this bilge-water!
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British Police.... hahaha
ramblingvagabond12 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
For Americans watching this show, we are immediately struck by how weak and ineffectual the British police are. They don't carry guns, most don't carry tasers, they aren't allowed to speed even when chasing criminals... "you do not have the authority to break the speed limit"... is a direct quote from the third episode of season 1, while chasing an escaped prisoner!!!

Imagine a little old lady living all alone out in the country. Her house is once again being robbed, some thugs are coming in late at night to steal from her, she grabs a shotgun and kills one of them. Here in America we laugh, we rejoice, we say "good for her", and every high-fives each other. Life goes on, just with one less piece of trash thug in the world. But in Britain, it's a tragic event. They mourn the thug, they arrest the little old lady and send her to prison where she will die.

There is a reason that country is crumbling while America is flourishing. This show highlights that in so many ways. British cops are so incredibly useless. The thugs carry on their crimes right in front of them and the cops are pretty much powerless to do anything except watch and say "Hey, come on guys, stop that..."

I predict Britain will fall in my lifetime. In fact, the only...and I mean ONLY thing that will keep Britain from falling is their contrite submission to all the evils of the world including the UN which will - within a decade or so - invade and conquer them. Brits never learn. Americans do.
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No guns!!
Sunrise04229 September 2019
Ok, so I am an American. But I really was amazed of how no guns where used and still people were arrested. The one thing that bothered me the most is that the permission's the cops had to have to take care of some of the issue's, exp. lady on the train, chasing a bank robber. I hope that this still isn't an issue in the UK. Otherwise, loved the series, sorry to see there are no more seasons.
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Fantastic Best Show of 2015
bareth-5186130 December 2015
For me this was the best show of 2015 with all the story lines that was going on and some great acting.

Deeply impressed with Jacob Ifan, Peter Sullivan, Eleanor and Alex just to mention some of the talent on display in this short series I honestly believe that the BBC has made a grave error of judgement in cancelling the show.

The police shows have gone out of fashion in the last decade if it is not about constant murders the varied stories for me made the show stand out against the other shows in the genre. Tiger Aspect created a great universe with great character arks.
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