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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  • James Dekker

    Jim is a semi-retired Christian Reformed pastor and missionary who now works for Resonate Global Mission ten hours a week as "Member Care Coordinator," which means "Pastor to Missionaries," because where lots of our missionaries work it's inadvisable to use pastor or missionary publicly. That cool job puts a framework to his week, keeps him in contact with hundreds of even cooler servants of Jesus all over the world, compels him to travel to visit them once in a while, though he connects with them via email and Zoom most of the time. The rest of the time Jim reads books--lots of free ones that he "pays for" with reviews. He was acclaimed President of Christian Courier Board of Directors while on his way to that meeting from a long ophthalmologist appointment. As long as God gives his wife Rose and him health, they ride a tandem bike around Niagara and other places in the bikeable months, paddle canoes and kayaks, visit children and grandchildren in the distant places they live because their parents provided them poor role models for stability of residence.

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