Since Morse is pretty hard to handle by himself, the viewer was handed the smart but affable Inspector Lewis as his sidekick, who later got a show of his own which I personally prefer to Morse and a young, intellectual, tortured partner all his own. Tony Hill a psychologist who finds himself entangled in some seriously gruesome crimes and even more gruesome people behind them.
There are six seasons and the first episode of season 1 perfectly sets the tone for just how unsavory these crimes are going to be. The fact that Dr. Branagh has a certain kind of water colored torture permanently imprinted on his face that makes him perfect for the recently divorced, very sad, yet emotionally disconnected detective he plays.
The crimes are typically Scandinavian meaning decidedly more creepy than your standard American fare and the villains a little more desperate than usual, but the cinematography is GORGEOUS, Branagh obviously a very intelligent actor and the sum of all parts makes for a good rainy afternoon with a hot toddy viewing. Season 2 deals with the Brothers Kray, and season 3 is less focused on obvious sensationalist cold cases and therefore, to me, the most effective.
A second season is rumored, with a brand new, as-yet-unknown case. It is breezy fare, and the mysteries are not anywhere as challenging as those solved by the Sherlocks of the world but it is done well and harkens back to a simpler time where murders were solved in libraries and green fields, instead of torture chambers and such. If you like the two leads and enjoy your mysteries grittier — we recommend checking out Norton in Happy Valley and Green in the new classic Wire in the Blood.
Bonus: Miss Fisher is played by Essie Davis who is uncannily reminiscent of a young Diana Rigg, a fact that should not be lost of at least some of the men reading this I hope. It sounds hokey, but it is truly dark, wonderfully acted, and heartbreaking from a certain feminist standpoint too. Final season is now finally available. Then, of course, there is Miss Marple.
The likes of Colin Firth, and other British stage and screen mainstays pop-up, sealing in the prestige of the production. The show equivalent of your favorite low fuss dinner-always satisfying, never too demanding. Nothing supernatural happening here necessarily, but it is all the more deeply, profoundly disturbing for it.
Bonus: Agent Cooper is truly the only purely good leading man that is also not boring at all. Just think about it. And her friends are acting all weird. And people keep popping up dead in this tiny beach town in Normandy, decimating the already dwindling population. And he husband and daughter KNOW something is off. What follows is six episodes and possibly 6, twists and turns, all executed pretty stylishly, because well, this is France after all.
The TV adaptation ran for almost 20 years in Sweden, but the US viewership only got to enjoy it as of Not all seasons are available, but what is there is good. A Brussels detective and his daughter move back to the Belgian town where he grew up, though their welcome home is cut short when the body of a football player is pulled from the nearby water source. Really good, dark stuff. Not a mystery in a classic sense, but still a great wintertime watch. Inspired by Andrea Camilleri novels, it is such an institution, that there is a origin story prequel Young Montalbano too.
While the first few episodes do require some patience, it does come with a solid pay-off. Still, worth it for the initial twists and turns. Almodovar favorite Cecilia Roth leads the all star Argentine cast in a brutal cat-and-mouse game. Not for the squeemish. At the center is Detective Laure Berthaud, who knows her way around both a grisly murder case and a perfectly layered t-shirt situation and the prosecutor Pierre Clement as they deal with assorted and often, well, messily kinky crimes, corruption and their increasingly sticky personal lives.
FX is back now but the show is still great. The premise is still the same: a body is found on a bridge connecting the two countries, but the mood is well, more Scandinavian. While all the stories are compelling, Raven Black , based on her most acclaimed book and guest starring the inimitable Brian Cox, is a definite must. The gorgeous setting, which is both vast georgraphically and claustrophobic in terms of community connections, only adds to the tension. Haunted by an irreversible family tragedy and dealing simultaneously with a gruesome kidnapping AND her own revenge issues, she faces all her demons and then some.
The acting is all around amazing, and hints of Fargo only with really thick, working class British accents are more than lightly noticable and that is a good thing. Definitely crude, definitely well made, and definitely hilarious. VEXED — If all these sex crimes and insanity have left you wanting some light relief, may we point you to this British comedy-murder-drama mini-series which has aired 2 seasons with hopefully more to come. The show stars Toby Stephens aka son of Maggie Smith! Fluffy yes, but delicious and still very smart. Or does it? The results are funny, charming, and often aggravating, as youth typically is, but Alia Shawkat and John Early are national treasures and we should all support everything they do.
The series opens with her returning home, and then, over the course of five tightly wound, well acted episodes, we follow the many sides of this story.
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