Taboo’s Premiere is Vague About Everything Except How Great Tom Hardy Is

Taboo Series Premiere Plot Summary:

The death of his father brings the mysterious, and thought-to-be-dead James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) back to London, England.

The hour plus premiere of FX’s new historic drama Taboo proved one thing — Tom Hardy is a crazy good actor.

If the Oscar nominated Brit, who also created the series, had not been at the forefront of the premiere, one could’ve easily dismissed Taboo as an unfocused, vague, and obtuse historic drama that you could easily have passed on.

Luckily, Hardy’s mysterious and charismatic performance washes away all of the premiere’s sin, and will have you hooked for the next episode. As stated before, Hardy is one of the minds behind the series, and it’s extremely obvious that he is all in on the series. Now this isn’t to say Tom Hardy has never not been all in on a show or film prior to this, but you can just tell this is his baby. Hardy exudes a magnetic air of mystery with his every glance, and hoarsely whispered word he speaks. He’s a menacing character who sends chills up your spine, and his character is written and directed in such a way that you just want to find out more about him. We’re given vague hints about his past throughout the episode, but as one character states “these are just rumors.”

But at the end of the day — we have really no clue what this show is, or where the plot is taking us. We know Hardy’s character Delaney has inherited land in the United States that is coveted by the East India Trading Company. We also know is still in love with his step-sister, and that he was involved in the slave business at some point. We can also surmise there was some sort of near death experience. Other than that — we’ve got nothing. It’s a whole bunch of wait and see.

Given that fact, we have to be honest and say that Taboo is an intriguing series for television viewers who have patience. If you’re looking for a “Point A to Point B” series (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that), this is most certainly not the show for you. I believe if you give this show time everything will unveil itself naturally, and Tom Hardy’s performance should only get better with time (we’re calling an early Emmy nod right now). Now, I do have some concerns over the show tipping too much into the supernatural, and that can get kinda wonky (we’re looking at your American Horror Story), but time will most certainly tell.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites