The show stars Nesbitt as a police officer pulled into a kidnapping case that links back to The Troubles. By investigating the crime, he risks jeapordising the hard-won peace of present-day Northern Ireland.
While the series has been well-received by critics, some viewers have expressed disappointment over the way Northern Ireland is depicted in the series due to its emphasis on The Troubles – the sectarian conflict that took place between 1968 to 1998.
“Bit disappointing for me,” wrote one viewer. “From Northern Ireland and having lived through the ‘Troubles’, maybe I’m just too close to it. Overloaded with NI stereotypes and obviously very much written for a GB audience. I thought it was quite contrived and cliched. 5/10 #Bloodlands.”
I swear, programmes about Northern Ireland would make you think it was impossible to go ten minutes without someone mentioning the troubles #bloodlands
— Tessa Craythorne (@tess_craythorne) February 21, 2021
Another said: “I enjoyed Bloodlands. But feel that audiences in the UK might like to see a portrayal of Northern Ireland that doesn’t centre on violent crime, the troubles or police corruption. Our tourism businesses would certainly favour more scenery and baked cake-based drama.”
The Irish Times’s review of the drama stated: “So grim and a seriously bad advertisement for a weekend break in Belfast.”
Many others piled praise on the series, with some Northern Irish viewers happy to see the country feature in a BBC prime-time drama.
#Bloodlands – easily the worst thing I’ve seen this year. A series of Northern Ireland cliches with loads of poor acting and camera work thrown in – shockingly bad!
— Paul McAleer (@Paul_911) February 21, 2021
“Thoroughly enjoyed #Bloodlands great to see a drama filmed at home in Northern Ireland,” wrote one person. “Absolutely hooked from start to finish #jamesnesbitt is incredible.”
A second said: “Enjoyed the first episode of #Bloodlands. Love seeing our wee country on the tv #Belfast #NorthernIreland.”
A third added: “Excellent first episode of Bloodlands! So great to see another drama come out of Northern Ireland.”