You Don’t Know Me is predicated on a novel by Imran Mahmood, and it makes use of a singular system to construct its story: The protagonist tells his story as a closing argument in his personal protection at his homicide trial. It labored within the novel, however does that translate to TV?

Opening Shot: “We could by no means know what motivated the killing, however we’re not required to show motive,” a feminine prosecutor’s voice is heard as we fade in on the again of the defendant’s head.

The Gist: Hero (Samuel Adewunmi), on trial for taking pictures and killing a South London drug supplier named Jamil Issa (Roger Nsengiyumva), hears that closing assertion from the prosecutor. Then the decide informs the jury that Hero, who didn’t testify on his personal behalf, has dismissed his barrister and can make his closing assertion himself. Hero begins that closing assertion by saying that he didn’t do what is probably going going to ship him to jail, and he tells his aspect of the story.

In flashback we see Hero, who sells luxurious automobiles, having the confrontation with Jamil that the prosecutor says led to the taking pictures. Jamil invokes the title of a girl named Kyra (Sophie Wilde), which angers Hero. In order to clarify why, Hero talks to the jury about how they met and the way their relationship progressed… till she disappeared from her flat and stopped taking his calls.

As the weeks go by, he turns into determined to search out her, as are his mom Adebi (Yetunde Oduwole) and sister Bless (Bukky Bakray), who see that that is tearing Hero up. One of his social media pleas comes again with a lead within the Camden neighborhood in North London; he’s devastated to search out Kyra moving into the automotive of a stranger; this lovely, book-reading girl he’s in love with is working as a prostitute. After a interval of melancholy, Bless convinces him that he ought to attempt to save Kyra from no matter state of affairs she’s in. He appeals to Jamil for assist, and Jamil hooks him up with somebody who can get him a gun.

You Don't Know Me
Photo: BBC

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? You Don’t Know Me is a bit within the vein of ABC’s collection For Life. In that collection, the wrongly accused inmate turns into a lawyer and helps others. Here, Hero makes an epic closing assertion that can hopefully sway the jury. But they’re each about wrongly accused males taking issues into their very own fingers.

Our Take: You Don’t Know Me is a reasonably good crime present instructed in a manner that feels fully pointless. Written by Tom Edge based mostly on the novel by Imran Mahmood and directed by Sarmad Masud, the present mainly makes use of Hero’s closing assertion because the framework to construct the story of simply how Hero bought to the purpose the place he’s making his personal closing assertion in hopes it retains him out of jail for all times.

That framework could have labored nicely within the novel, however within the four-part collection, it simply serves to present Hero an viewers, with the decide often admonishing both Hero or the jury that none of what he’s presenting ought to be thought-about new proof. But it’s fairly apparent that none of what he’s presenting, particularly the story about how he met Kyra and the way they constructed their relationship, would ever be allowed in an actual closing argument. Every time we get entangled within the precise story, after which we return to the courtroom setting, that notion pops again into our heads, and it turns into a distraction.

But that doesn’t imply we didn’t suppose Adewunmi’s efficiency in these courtroom scenes wasn’t participating; he does job of displaying Hero’s barely contained anger at being on this spot. And we did actually benefit from the scenes that illustrated the story that Hero was telling the jury; we felt the chemistry between Adewunmi and Wilde as Hero and Kyra constructed their relationship from an opportunity bus encounter to one thing actual and joyous. Nsengiyumva has the correct quantity of menace to play Jamil, and we had been additionally taken by the heat Oduwole and Bakray used to play Hero’s robust however loving mom and sister.

We’re not fairly positive how the story goes to progress by the tip of the primary episode, which is at all times factor to expertise whereas watching reveals like this. We simply want that the storytelling didn’t revolve round a framework that — at the least within the first episode — feels extra like a gimmick than artistic story construction.

Sex and Skin: There are a number of scenes of Hero and Kyra having intercourse, although there are quite a lot of garments concerned.

Parting Shot: Hero stops by the bridge the place he noticed Kyra working; she will get right into a automotive, and he takes the gun out of his glove compartment. “Say no and transfer on,” Hero tells the jury he’s asking himself. “But do you’re keen on her although? Do you’re keen on her?” He will get out of his automotive and places the gun in his pocket.

Sleeper Star: Sophie Wilde is radiant as Kyra, who has piles of books in her small flat however has recollections of every one, together with how previous she was when she first learn them.

Most Pilot-y Line: Hero takes a pause and asks the decide for a minute, and the decide admonishes him to “make your argument from the proof already examined in courtroom.” Hero apologizes… then goes on to proceed his speech.

Our Call: STREAM IT. If the courtroom scenes in You Don’t Know Me gained’t set your tooth on edge, then it is best to benefit from the performances plus the story itself. But generally it’s laborious to get previous the courtroom stuff.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.

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