Review of Midsomer Murders (Amazon Prime)
The things that are getting us through.
Rose and I never watched much television except for The National and Hockey Night in Canada. During Covid, Adrienne and Andrew dropped to second place; we can almost lip sync their nightly reports of Covid’s horror. Hockey Night vanished entirely. Who can watch hockey without roaring crowds?
Amazon Prime Video’s Midsomer Murders supplanted all else, offering more provocative spiritual-ish cheek than news and silent hockey. Over twelve seasons Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and a succession of young sidekicks solve some 200 murders in the fictional rural Midsomer’s villages located within commuting distance of London.
Formulaic to a fault – yet always compelling – each episode piles up alarming body counts. Any sane person would stay far from Midsomer. Given the region’s relatively small population, I estimate the odds of being murdered there are about one in ten. Each episode’s numerous red herrings hook us until Tom chews through them, deducing the guilty and – without anger or intimidation – presenting murderers with proof of their darkest sin. We call this series quasi-Calvinist. No one, save Tom’s family trinity with wife Joyce and daughter Cully are innocent. Virtually all characters are suspects, lying, hiding evidence of collusion in lesser crimes or adulterous dalliances. We still haven’t figured out where grace comes in, but…
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