TV Review: Danny Boyle Takes Us To A Satirical Babylon

SundanceTV takes us to Babylon, the latest British television series import, making its US debut this Thursday.

Babylon boasts Academy Award winner Danny Boyle as its creator and executive producer. Billed as a “biting workplace satire,” Babylon examines the relationship between a modernized police force and a PR firm tasked with improving the the force’s image in the press.

If that all sounds a touch boring, you shouldn’t worry. The premiere episode moves at a such a brisk pace that attention never lags. From the riot at a youth prison facility to the more soapy aspects of the character relationships, Babylon gives us much to invest in.

It’s the performances that are the real draw here anyway. James Nesbitt (The Missing) scowls his way through scathing sarcasm at how his job is becoming so politicized. Brit Marling (Another Earth) does an excellent job as the American PR guru on hand to move the police force into a modern culture.

Although Babylon seems a bit uneven, straddling the line between comedy and drama, I thoroughly enjoyed this as a first episode. If the series can keep moving forward, better defining itself as it goes, Babylon is poised to be another breakout program. Coming fresh on the heels of the Netflix release of the excellent Black Mirror, not too mention the success of shoes such as Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Doctor Who, to name a few, the time is definitely right for Babylon.

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