In all honesty, I thought a show like this would be more my nana’s speed. I wasn’t expecting much and I certainly wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. Save Me is a gripping and imperfect story that shows a flawed man searching for a kidnapped daughter he never knew, and it does so without constant action scenes or over dramatic acting. It was a slow build but, with only six episodes, it had me well and truly hooked before half way.
Usually shows like this, ones that want to lure their audience into a web of mystery and suspense, drag out their episodes with a few, carefully selected moments to keep audiences entertained. This wasn’t the case for Save Me and, because of their limited episodes, they had to have a show that was constantly progressing and didn’t falter. Sure, it had a slow start, barely showing us the protagonist; Nelly (Lennie James), a man who pours whiskey into his morning cuppa and entertains several women other than his girlfriend. But it showed promise, and I didn’t write it off after the first episode and completely binged the rest of it. Another great thing about only having six episodes is getting through the story faster and easier.
After he is accused of kidnapping his daughter, as she had left a video to her mother saying she was going to meet her dad, Nelly becomes obsessed with finding a daughter he “never gave a second thought” to. Regardless of their previous non-existent relationship, he is willing to do whatever it takes to get Jody back. He acts out, calls in too many favours, and makes some dumbass decisions but all those things helped Lennie James to portray a desperate man. It was all the more believable because of the subtle cues, the panic and determination instead of hysteria that Nelly and Claire (Jody’s mother) showed. Those dumbass decisions made them human and made the story more realistic.
As is the case with kidnapping, or murder, stories is the big question of whodunnit? There are, of course, the main suspects (which are way too obvious) and a smattering of smaller roles that are tightly interwoven to the plot to the point where I had actually no idea who had kidnapped Nelly’s daughter and why. Lennie James was also a writer for Save Me and I cannot give him enough props for actually managing to maintain a mystery, while constantly revealing layers of the story.
I feel a slight warning is needed because Save Me doesn’t pull any punches, there are many things that just shouldn’t exist in this world and this show has a number of them present. Because of the more realistic story-telling, the faint of heart, or easily triggered should probably steer clear of this show. While there isn’t anything extremely graphic, no mistakes can be made in what is happening and being shown to viewers. Without giving anything away, there are some severely twisted ideas and real-life issues being shown.
The ending is something I won’t spoil (because you should really watch it) but I will say that a second season can’t come soon enough, I need to know more about this story because, while there was so much unpacked in six episodes, I still feel like there are things that have been kept from me. I can’t really say much that is bad about this show because even things I found frustrating helped the overall experience. I only hope that they continue this momentum in any following episodes.