Sometimes you just discover a TV show by flipping the channels or on a friends’ recommendation that exceeds your high viewing standards and further cements your low opinion of the ‘drek’ that is ‘The Block’ and ‘My Kitchen Rules’. TV has come a long way since the days of MASH and Cheers, the writing and acting has improved out of sight.
In recent years ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ are must see TV. In many ways they’ve left a night at the cinema for dead. In 1999 with the backing of HBO ‘The Sopranos’ was the show that changed everything. Here was a show willing to push the limits, albeit into some dark territory, on the surface Tony Soprano was a homicidal maniac, tortured by his past whilst trying to word dance with his therapist, and yet as you dug deeper you cheered for him, especially in the mob wars and his battles with the FBI, it was the writing and James Gandolfini’s acting that drew you in.
It was ‘The Sopranos’ that layed the foundation for shows such as ‘Quarry’. Mac ‘Quarry’ Conway is seen by some as that same homicidal maniac, he returns to Memphis in 1972 after years fighting the Viet Con in the jungles of Vietnam not exactly to a hero’s welcome. America is at war with itself and Quarry finds himself right in the middle, protests, unemployment and southern racism makes Memphis a tinderbox waiting to ignite.
Quarry’s girlfriend Joni is his only friend. A friend he needs after his Vietnam War buddy gets caught up with local gangster called ‘The Broker’. A debt needs to be paid and Quarry gets stuck with the bill, a bill that involves more killing. ‘The Broker’ has his own merry men, which includes ‘Buddy’ a gay hit man who lives with his mother who cooks his meals and gives him fashion advice.
The bodies pile up; the local Police are a step behind but are quickly closing in. ‘The Broker’ likes what he sees in Quarry and a murky past for both reveals itself. As the show is set in 1972 it has some great old muscle cars and southern music add real value to the scenes. This show in some ways reminds me of ‘True Detective’ with its foreboding atmosphere and dark undercurrent as if mayhem or death is lurking just around the corner.
These days there are a lot of wonderful shows out there competing for your viewing pleasure, ‘Vikings’, ‘Ray Donovan’, ‘The Americans’ or ‘Westworld’, but if you are on the lookout for a new show, at only 8 episodes give ‘Quarry’ a try, it’s the best new show you’ve never heard of.