All you have to say is Idris Elba and I’ll come running. Like most fans, from the moment I saw his 6’2 frame in HBO’s “The Wire” I was hooked. Since then, the British actor has gone onto play the greatest role of his career as Nelson Mandela in the Oscar nominated film “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.” Although no gold statues have been handed out, Elba’s biggest compliment from the movie came from Mandela himself asking if they super imposed him in the final scene of the film.
But in the event you’re not a fan of “The Wire” (which would be foolish) and you haven’t seen “Long Walk To Freedom” (now I’m just side eyeing you) Elba’s psychological crime drama “Luther” (BBC) is one to watch. The actor’s stellar performance as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, has already earned him a 2011 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special — in addition to a 2012 Best Actor Golden Globe — and he’s up for another honor at this year’s 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards. The show itself is also nominated for a Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special award this season. If you haven’t already checked it out, here are five reason why you’ll become an instant fan of this hit show (Idris included, of course).
1. John Luther Has Brains
Idris’ character, John Luther, heads a Serious and Serial Crimes Unit in London. While Luther’s unconventional in his tactics, he combines Sherlock Holmes left-of-center intellect with Colombo’s rugged detective approach to a crime scene. His addictive, sometimes obsessive love for darkness and solving crimes leads him down a dangerous, oftentimes ugly and tumultuous path, but he always catches the criminal, even when the criminal is a dirty cop who frames Luther for the murder of his wife.
2. Alice Morgan Is The Murderer You Hate To Love
In the first episode of season one, Luther is called to a gruesome scene in which a husband, wife and family dog are brutally murdered. Viewers soon learn Alice (actress Ruth Wilson) was the culprit behind the crime, but instead of Luther putting her away, Alice becomes somewhat of confidant to the troubled detective. The dangerous sexual chemistry is titillating because Alice is capable of murder, which leaves us kind of pulling for the two, but not really.
3. Idris Elba Is A Good Actor
We can all agree Idris is gorgeous, but the jury was out on whether he could be the lead actor in a television drama. Three seasons later and a awards to boot, he’s proven he can. While its hard to ignore the salt-and-pepper beard that accents his chiseled jaw, 10, maybe 20 minutes into the show Elba disappears into his character and suddenly you’re watching a tormented, yet brilliant detective not only fighting to save victims, but himself as well.
4. British Actors Have A Certain X Factor
Maybe it’s their prim and proper disposition, or their accents, or their love for tea, or their stiff upper lip, I don’t know. But on top of their superb acting skills, the Brits bring a certain panache and coolness to their craft and Elba does the same. It’s a quiet confidence, but it resonates with fans.
5. The Twisted Plot Lines Makes It Great
Writer and creator Neil Cross made sure to not shy away from showcasing just how gruesome murderers in the U.K can be. In the first season where a set of twins reek havoc on citizens by randomly attacking people in public, the camera doesn’t look away from showing their devious deeds, which included using a hammer to bludgeon people to death. The horror of the show is also what makes it even sweeter when Luther catches these diabolical criminals. Viewers may have to look away from all the blood shed, but we’re always rooting for Luther, no matter how bloody things get.
Watch the 45th Annual NAACP Awards LIVE, exclusively on TV One, in a in a two hour special Saturday, February 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed). Before the main event, see the nominees and even more stars grace the red carpet in a one-hour pre-show at 8:00 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed).