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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Netflix has an international feel for crime

Being married to someone who teaches criminal procedure has a number of benefits. One is that I get to ask questions from a professional about what's legal and — more often — what's not.

And recently, what with our being confined at home, a lot of what we've been watching is crime-oriented. From the Oxygen cable channel series "Snapped" to the recent Netflix Original release "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," I've earned several virtual credits toward a law degree.

Right. I'll be here all week, folks.

Over the last week, we've been watching the Netflix series "Criminal." I already wrote about the first episode in the 12-part series, which is split between four different countries. The first three are "Criminal UK," with the others (each of which is rendered in original language with English subtitles) following in order: Spain, Germany and France.

As of last night, we'd finished the rest of the U.K. section, plus all of Spain and Germany. Tonight we start the final three: France.

The series may be of limited interest to some viewers. Each one focuses on a single interrogation, with a team of police investigators facing off against someone they strongly suspect either committed a crime — or at least abetted in one.

The cases involve everything from murder and attempted murder to sexual assault, the selling of illicit drugs and more. As each episode progresses, each of which is only about 45 minutes long, we get familiar with the interrogation teams — some of whom don't get along with each other.

And while the main attraction is the acting, which is universally superb, the stories offer enough surprises to be intriguing even when the specifics feels slightly farfetched. This is, after all, drama and not real life.

At least that's what I keep being told by my personal, in-house attorney.