Cuff me, but Line of Duty just isn’t *that* good

And while we’re here: Steve Arnott isn’t that fit either

Look, I sit down and watch Line of Duty every single Sunday with all the other 15 million idiots on this silly little island as if my life depends on it. But I think it’s time we all stopped pretending it’s the best show on earth and realised it’s not normal to be this clingy and pathetic over a BBC police drama that non-ironically uses the word “coppers”.

Pumped full of cliches, catchphrases, stupid acronyms and details designed to disorientate, Line of Duty is a tired, melodramatic police drama that’s well and truly had its day.

Here are just seven things wrong with the show.

Police corruption is obvs not this glamorous


Shooting a sniper from range with a pistol? I don’t think so

It’s fair to say the Met Police are no one’s favourites in real life right now. The UK police really do deserve the Kate and Steve treatment. But Line of Duty would have you believe police corruption is way more glamorous and exciting than it is in reality.

After series five of the show Commissioner of the Met Police Cressida Dick said: “I was absolutely outraged by the level of casual and extreme corruption that was being portrayed as the way the police is in 2018–19. It’s so far from that.”

Helen King, formerly assistant commissioner at the Met Police adds: “Casual corruption and casual disregard of police procedures and the law is not a part of modern day UK policing, let alone part of police corruption investigations.”

Then again, that’s exactly what a bent copper would say…

I’m sorry but the acting is flat


Steve Arnott (left) with Ted Hastings (right)

Most of the actors are just not that good. Yes, Adrian Dunbar (Hastings) has immense gravitas, but Martin Compston (Steve Arnott) and Vicky McClure (Kate Fleming) don’t really have anything about them, mate.

The only character that’s genuinely interesting is the smarmy and malicious Patricia Carmicheal, played by Anna Maxwell Martin.


Evil personified

I hate the feeling the writer is toying with us

Jed Mercurio is the creator of Bodyguard, Line of Duty and Bodies. Clearly he’s doing a decent job, or he wouldn’t have achieved so much success. But do you ever get the feeling you’re being pushed by the writer down an alley to try and make you think something? I certainly do.

When I feel I’m being made to think something by the writer, it takes me out of the action of the story and I swiftly lose interest.

I’m so bored of all the acronyms

When Hastings says he follows the letter of the law that’s because apparently all there is to policing is letters.

It’s the same every week. AC-12 gets an AM from a UCO, then the DI sends an ARU you in an ARV to infiltrate the OCG and all I’m thinking is FFS just speak English.

It’s mad that people can be duped into feeling that the story world is authentic by a few silly acronyms, but will overlook the ridiculous, over-dramatisation of corruption within the police force.

…and the catchphrases

Every episode you can tick off when Hastings says “to the letter of the law” or “catching bent coppers.” In the same 60 minutes Kate and Steve will undoubtedly refer to each other as “mate,” and if you’re really lucky the show will end with a, “mother of God.”

The whole catchphrase things just really cheapens the drama.

The whole sore back plot line is just annoying

Steve, I’m sorry you got thrown down the stairs and hurt your back leading to a spiralling addiction to painkillers. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But to be honest, the whole back thing is just another tedious plot line.

Presumably Steve’s going to fail a drugs test, get kicked out the force, go rogue and somehow save the day by shooting a sniper with a pistol from long range.


Steve Arnott isn’t that fit. There I said it.


Poor man’s Gareth Southgate

There’s a massive thirst for Martin Compston’s character but the truth is, he’s got the vibe of a 5’7” hobbit who dresses like England manager Gareth Southgate.

Be realistic, you’re swiping left.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Inside the real life love lives of all the cast of Line of Duty

• If you’ve managed to recover, here are the 37 best memes about Line of Duty last night

• Which Line of Duty guy officer would you end up with? Take this quiz to find out