TV on DVD Review: Trinity - The Complete First Season (2009)

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Despite a frightfully clever concept that explores the dangerous science fiction style shenanigans going on in a secret society that exists at one of England’s most elite colleges, series creators Robin French and Kieron Quirke can’t seem to figure out exactly what tone they’re aiming for in the eight episodes of this British campy mess that (at least I’m told) has become an unexpected cult hit.

Part Buffy, Torchwood and Doctor Who part Greek and Gossip Girl with a hefty serving of Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde and Harold and Kumar, Trinity is all over the place right from the start.

The epitome of guilty pleasure trashy TV most would be too embarrassed to say they watched unless under courtroom questioning, although it begins with a compelling murder mystery, Trinity soon loses focus to devolve into an epic disaster as one character after another defies all logic, reason or sense by changing their personalities from one moment to the next.

A science fiction send-up of Animal House collegiate debauchery, Trinity boasts its raunchiness proudly in the pilot, which grows increasingly ridiculous from one scene to the next.

It’s too bad too, given the initially intriguing mystery centering on the sudden, suspicious death of a former student turned professor that inspires the deceased man’s Christian-minded daughter to attend the renowned “playground for the rich” in order to play Nancy Drew.

For by the end of the pilot, the formerly brainy girl loses any credibility she had by sleeping with the cad who nailed his cousin in one of the opening scenes... which again makes you question whether the series creators know the difference between sexy and smart or unsexy and just plain shocking.

Needless to say, when the show doesn’t even have that much respect for its main characters, it’s hard to ask the viewers to take up the torch. And even though there are some ingenious twists involving the power of the mysterious secret society known as the Dandelion Club that may hold the key to unlocking any number of Trinity College mysteries, the show is just so disappointingly, mind-numbingly stupid and maddening that viewers can’t be expected to tune in for long.

Awkwardly moving from thriller to high camp while spending way too much time with a stoner buddy duo that – like many other characters and plot points – have been ripped off of numerous pop culture offerings of the past thirty years, Trinity is like a sixth rate send-up of the work it’s trying to pass itself off as in the first season.

While needless to say it’s no wonder why the show wasn’t granted a second season order, Trinity is proof that not every television series on the air in the UK is worthy of a remake, let alone a rental. Despite a strong cast and a few good ideas that may have worked much better in a much more focused series that knew precisely what storyline and tone it was aiming for, Trinity is one college that’s not worth the price of tuition or the time-investment of a single episode’s visit.

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