Stephen King's Dark Detective Show 'Nobody Saw' Sits on Rare 91% Score

Stephen King's Dark Detective Show 'Nobody Saw' Sits on Rare 91% Score
Image credit: Apple TV, Audience

The first time King tried his hand at the detective genre turned out to be a huge success.

It is a big misconception to think that Stephen King writes only within the horror genre; he has written novels that can easily be classified as historical prose, journalism, dramatic works, and science fiction.

The King of Horror has covered a lot of genres and looked into the darkest corners of literature, until recently avoiding only one vast creative ground – detective stories.

He published his first detective novel in 2014, Mr. Mercedes, which received such optimistic reviews from critics and readers that King immediately published two sequels, united by the main character, retired detective Bill Hodges.

In 2017, the first book of the trilogy was made into a TV show, which also did not go unnoticed by fans of the genre – ten episodes of Mr. Mercedes turned out to be a fascinating spectacle and a worthy adaptation of the brilliant literary source.

What is Mr. Mercedes About?

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Detective Bill Hodges has retired, but one unsolved case does not allow him to relax – two years ago, an unknown person in a stolen car crashed into a crowd, killing almost two dozen innocent people.

The investigation has not moved a single step since then, the criminal carefully covered his tracks and hid, but it is difficult for the psychopath Brady Hartsfield to hide for a long time; he wants fame and public assessment of his crime.

Believing that Hodges, who has left the service, will be an easy target, Hartsfield begins a game with the old man, but Bill turns out to be a tough nut to crack and an experienced cop – having grabbed the thread, the retired detective is in a hurry to unravel the case of Mr. Mercedes in order to prevent another mass murder.

Mr. Mercedes Is a Twisted, Masterfully Delivered Detective Story

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Viewers unfamiliar with the book should be prepared for the fact that Hodges is not Poirot, Holmes or Miss Marple; in the series, viewers are not looking for a villain along with a detective.

From the first minutes we know on whose hands the blood of the people is on. Then we see what an old retired cop will be able to do against the young and reckless Brady, and therefore the series keeps us in suspense from the first minutes until the very end.

There is not a single unnecessary scene in Mr. Mercedes – every dialog, every episode is focused on the case and does not stretch the time. Brilliant actors (led by the incomparable Brendan Gleeson, known to most viewers for his role as Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter franchise) instantly endear or repel you, depending on which side of the conflict you are on.

Add to this the show's suspenseful soundtrack and top-notch cinematography, and Mr. Mercedes is a real pleasure to watch, as confirmed by the series' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is an impressive 91%.

Mr. Mercedes Can Safely Be Called One of the Best King Adaptations

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King’s The Dark Tower had to wait 30 years to be adapted, Mr. Mercedes a little more than three years. But at the same time, as much as The Dark Tower is a failure, Mr. Mercedes is just as good. Moreover, it will appeal to both King fans and ordinary viewers who have not read his books.

King's text is transferred to the screen almost line by line. And it turns out that the pages of a book can be transformed into an exciting experience on the screen (someone tell the creators of The Dark Tower about this). If you like detective genre, you will definitely enjoy a story about a bad guy playing strange games with a good cop.

Where to Stream Mr. Mercedes?

Despite positive reviews, Mr. Mercedes went almost unnoticed, as King himself says:

“I liked it a lot, but nobody saw it.”

So go see it. Two seasons of Mr. Mercedes are available on Apple TV.

Source: The New York Times