Producing a follow-up season of a detective drama is no easy feat for television execs, as they often run the risk of repeating storylines. What's more, with crime being such a common topic for British drama, it's becoming much harder to distinguish one crime series from the next. There's no danger of that with Marcella, however, which is as much a psychological drama as it is crime.
Marcella borrows heavily from the Scandinavian noir genre, and is less grounded in reality and more in melodrama. Think Scott & Bailey on drugs. It was dark the first time round, and it's just as bleak the second but, having said that, the second outing was much more realistic than its predecessor - albeit until the very end, where it becomes even more batsh*t than before. Series 2 focused on the disturbed protagonist, who's tasked with investigating a series of child murders - which brings several new suspects to viewers' attention.
Damaged detectives are something of a television trope, but Marcella Backland is so off-the-wall that she feels completely original. Anna Friel delivered a stunning performance in this second outing, especially during the final episode. The closing moments, as crazy as they were, left a lot of room for the third series, which is due sometime next year.