I've been watching a lot of British Mystery TV lately. The writing is pretty fantastic for the most part: great character development, compelling story lines, and interesting settings. Things are just different in Europe and it's a nice change to see the old buildings, seaside landscapes, and of course, to hear the cool accents. 🙂
The biggest noticeable difference from North American crime shows is the lack of arms. The police in England and Scotland do not carry firearms. And many of them aren't exactly fit and skilled fighters. They march into danger with just the authority the Queen has given them!
Here are some of my favorites.
Scott & Bailey
Scott & Bailey is a sisterhood/friendship partnering, but unlike Rizzoli and Isles, it's a pretty rocky one. These women are edgier and have bigger flaws, but you can't help but root for them, which is a testament to the writing. I was sorry to see this one end.
Okay, so we have David Tennant from Dr. Who fame (and more recently Jessica Jones), so you know this one is going to be good. Again the writing and character development are impeccable. The two leads have an acerbic relationship, but are forced to work together to solve the death of a young boy.
Shetland is set in the northern islands of Scotland, so your typical isolated small town setting. I have to watch this one with the close captioning on because the accents can be thick. The first eight episodes follow the storylines of Ann Cleeves' novels pretty closely.
Father Brown is set in the 1950s, so there's that fun aspect, and it also eliminates the use of modern technology to solve the case. Fans of cozy mysteries would love this. It's lighter in mood than the previous shows and the storylines are basic whodunits. It took me a couple of episodes to get into this one, but I'm glad I stuck it out.
How about you? Do you have a favorite, or should I say favoUrite British TV show?