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Playhouse Presents: The Pavement Psychologist

Thu May 9, 9-9.30pm, Sky Arts 1

Series two, episode four
Idris Elba can play a drug lord – he can pull off the ‘troubled detective’ and he’s not half bad at singing – but can he write and direct? Well, sort of. In his writing and directing debut, ‘The Pavement Psychologist’, the shots are big, tensions are awkward and there’s the odd good line. But overall it’s flat and lacks suspense. There are no twists because you can see them coming a mile off.

Are we surprised that leading lady Jenny (Anna Friel) is recently single when the opening shot is of a double bed with one pillow? No. She wears incredibly fitted suits and keeps her heels tucked away in boxes – she must be uptight. Is she going to snap? Of course! Figuring out the extent to which she does however is where a modicum of excitement can be found. As far as first times go, Elba has done fine. But fine isn’t the stuff of great directors.