The Responder 2022 / Martin Freeman shines in this morally grey, if familiar, small-scale police drama


If The Responder doesn’t use its relatively short length to tell the meatiest story, its shifty character dynamics still make for compelling drama. At the heart of this police drama is its protagonist’s desire to be “a good person”—even if he’s already neck-deep in a web of corruption and deceit that he can’t just escape from. It’s a premise that’s definitely been done before, but the show still gives it a distinct flavor, with a quiet, small-town feel and strong performances across the board. As a by-the-book rookie cop, Adelayo Adedayo displays helplessness and defiance in different ways, while Martin Freeman successfully plays against type, as a world-weary officer whose every outburst stings with both indignation and self-loathing.

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