Why I stopped watching Marcella — A review

Amrit Hallan
5 min readDec 20, 2021



Marcella is a British crime series Netflix. In every season, as much as I saw it, they solve one crime per season and every season has 8 episodes, or at least the first season has 8 episodes.

Marcella is a police detective. In the first season she’s a housewife and a former detective but suddenly she joins back the police force as her two teenage kids are in the boarding school and her husband has left her.

Sometimes she goes through sudden blackouts. She loses track of reality and suddenly finds herself in strange situations.

The first season involves catching a serial killer. To that extent it’s gripping and both my wife and I watched the complete season. The character Marcella is played by British actress Anna Friel, and she has played it so well that she’s the big reason why we watched the complete season.

To keep you on the proverbial edge of your seat they have multiple people with psychopathic tendencies and anyone of them can be the main serial killer Marcella is trying to catch. In fact, the makers are so much into creating the crescendo of suspense that at one time they almost make you believe that Marcella herself may be the serial killer.

The problem is, almost everyone is an asshole, even the kids. It’s as if, accept for Marcella, no one has ever has an emotional connection with another human being.

In a series where there are so many characters, at least there should be 3–4 characters viewers must like or appreciate. In the serial, it seems everyone is competing with each other on who can be meaner.

Both my wife and I prefer to watch serials of the Heartland, Where the Heart Is, and The Good Doctor variety, but we’ve also extensively watched The Blacklist and other series where lots of murders are involved. There are always likeable characters. ;;;;

When you are writing a story, or any type of narrative, make sure you have a few characters your readers want to pine for. If all the characters are mean then it becomes difficult to remain attached with the plot.

Anyway, the first season is watchable because there is novelty and you feel connected with the central character, Marcella.

In the second season, there are multiple reasons why I, along with my wife, stopped watching the series after the second episode. The first reason is that we couldn’t watch kids being tortured and murdered — in the second season, they’re looking for a psychopath who either sexually abuses children or tortures and kills them. It was too much for our sensibilities because we go to extra lengths to watch programs that either make us laugh or make us reconfirm our belief system, that is, ultimately it is the goodness among people that makes this world a better place. No, I’m not saying that like ostriches we have a tendency to ignore the darkness around us.

We insist on watching feelgood programs to such an extent that we could also endure the cloying smiles of the characters of Where the Heart Is that after the second season began to look like a horrible coming together of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Karan Johar.

As mentioned previously, we have also been avid watchers of The Blacklist, which is full of gruesome murders. Nonetheless, there are adorable characters in the series. Even the main character, Raymond Reddington, despite being a hardened criminal, doesn’t lose his human side. There are many characters in the TV series that you can like.

There are almost none in Marcella. The kids are horrible — the writer has half-heartedly tried to create an excuse for them, but to be frank, they are plain horrible. Marcella’s husband, who leaves her for another woman, is completely detestable. He makes one wonder, how in the first place she fell for him and ended up marrying the asshole? There is not a single trace of humanity in him. The kids and him deserve each other.

One of the colleagues who appears decent in the beginning, turns out to be a blackmailer by the end of the first season. He comes to know of the vulnerability of Marcella (that during one of her blackouts, she may have murdered someone) and seems to force her to get into a relationship with him. Another colleague spies on her using her laptop’s web cam. It’s free for all.

In the second season Marcella’s son commits a horrible act and that was the last straw. We decided to discontinue.

The scriptwriter has painted a dystopian world where almost everyone is bad and there are dark shades in every human being. I agree that there are dark shades in every human being but not all of us want to torture people or are completely impervious to the plight of our family members and, wish bad things for them. I mean, even if now you have parted ways, there was a time that you loved the person. Most of the people in her life treat her as if for all that matters, she could be lying dead by the side of the road and nobody would care.

If I’m not wrong, we watched 14 seasons of Heartland and we felt bad when we couldn’t get more seasons. Characters in Heartland too have dark shades but by the end of the day, they are all human beings and the goodness in them always seems to triumph. There is nothing wrong in that — that the goodness within them triumphs.

I’m not suggesting not to watch the series. As a couple when we watch TV it is mostly for entertainment and to feel good. We binge watch Christmas movies and TV series. Our taste is Hallmark variety. Our all-time favorite is Gilmore Girls. Nonetheless, we watched the first season of Marcella with no intention of abandoning it after the second episode of the second season. It’s just that, it is too dark for us.he

Anna Friel’s acting, yes, I’m going to miss, and I would like to watch her in other movies and TV series. But if you’re looking for some good-hearted entertainment, you should probably avoid Marcella.

A suggestion to the script writer or writer: at least have a couple of characters people can adore. The world may be too dark, but we haven’t yet reached there where there is no salvation.



Amrit Hallan

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?