ZEN “Ratking” Review

Zen "Ratking"

ZEN “Ratking” Series 1 Episode 3 – In the Zen series 1 finale, everyone gets screwed (literally), Zen’s life is threatened (twice), and, miraculously, he manages to not get himself kidnapped for the third episode running. He also gets a temporary promotion, declares his love for his girlfriend, and donates €5million to an orphanage-running nun.

All in all, not a bad week’s work.

This was a bloody good finale, though, admittedly, I got tired of keeping up with the crime plot pretty quickly. Does anyone watch Zen for the crime plots? I didn’t give a damn about Miletti the kidnapped businessman, his kids or his killers. If anything I almost felt sorry for the actual kidnappers. But the episode kept me engrossed with Zen’s dry-wit and the threats to his life.

It’s pretty amazing that Zen managed to survive each episode. Add to that he got the girl, solved the cases, and even managed to do good for charity on top of it all. It’s easy to expect Zen to be annoyingly perfect, a sort of Italian James Bond (without laser guns or a license to kill), but he’s surprisingly likable at the start – and he only grew more likable as each episode passed.

Apparently he grew more likable to Tania, too. By the start of episode three, he’s staying over at her place pretty regularly. By the end, they’ve said their ‘I love you’s and he’s promised to wait for her until she’s ready for a full-on relationship. It’s sweet, understated and, dare I say it, pretty romantic. No massive declarations of sharing lifetimes together, no nagging mother trying to meet her son’s new girlfriend. Just two people enjoying being together and everyone else letting it be.

The series ends in a great place for both Zen and any future episodes. He’s gained some respect amongst his fellow police, he has a love interest to reconnect with, he’s experienced life as the chief, and, more importantly, he’s still alive.

I really hope Zen comes back for a second series. It’s a beautifully made, strangely compelling show with a protagonist who, I suspect, will only become more interesting as time goes on.

I just wish this series about an Italian policeman, shot in Italy, would find room to throw a few more actual Italian actors into the mix.

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