Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sympathy Butters No Parsnips

I was going to put a post about Downton Abbey here but my cable box punked out on me again and I can't really access anything that is on it, including four or so episodes of Downton, several episodes of Million Dollar American Princesses, and the U.S. National Championships of Figure Skating, featuring a VERY SPARKLY Johnny Weir. Clearly the universe hates me something fierce.

So I decided to turn my attentions to Netflix instead of calling Time Warner to come fix it/replace it because the latter would require motivation and the former only requires my bathrobe and me new slippers.And upon the Netflixes there did appear to me some MUHDUH mysteries! Yay!! And the people did rejoice! There was singing and dancing and a sacrificial goat.

Okay. Maybe not a goat.

Maybe it was a llama.

Hinterland/Y Gwyll

Do you like beautiful and unforgiving landscapes that are also bleak and terrifying?

Then you should visit scenic and desolate Wales.

Visit lovely Wales! Come for the scenery. Stay for the sheep.

Do you guys remember that Friday I spent watching the entire series of Broadchurch on Netflix? I found myself completely lost after I finished Broadchurch, and I went searching the Netflixosphere for something in a similar vein. I eventually lighted upon Hinterland/Y Gwyll. Why does it have two names, you ask? Because the BAMFs who created this show filmed it TWO TIMES: Once in Welsh, and another in English. I am all over this like that Welsh chick in the Henriad was all over that one guy. 

Hinterland (as I shall henceforth refer to it here since I watched the English version, because you  know, 'Muricka and whatnot), follows the exploits of the popo department in Aberystwyth (say that five times fast), Wales. Detective Chief Inspector Tom Mathias is the main protagonist, and DCI Tom Mathias' life sucks. How much does DCI Tom Mathias' life suck? DCI Tom Mathias lives in a trailer in Wales.

I live in a trailer in Wales.

Chickens, this show is DARK. If you are not a fan of grisly murders and people wandering around in overcast landscapes looking for seriously unhinged killers, this show is not for you. But if you like all that crap, and people being moody, and having their romantic aspirations thwarted in the worst of ways, then get on the train to Cardiff. 

Mathias is estranged from his wife and children for some unknown reason, thus the trailer living. He has a female partner, DI Mared Rhys, and I wouldn't say there is a whole lot of interest between the two of them, although Detective Sargent Sรขin Owens has taken a fancy to him. Mathias doesn't really notice her and more or less treats everyone like crap while he obsesses over his latest murder. So, you're looking for a romantic side to go with your MUHDUH like on Castle, you won't find it here. 

Although, if I do say so myself, I am hot in a depressed way.

Also, the Chief Super is SHADY and has it in for Mathias, and I expect that to be addressed further in the planned series that has been scheduled to air this year. There are four episodes in the first series, and each are about an hour and a half to two hours in length, so it should keep you occupied for an afternoon or so. 

Pardon me while I brood in this field.

Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries

Okay, I have to admit that I have dropped the ball here. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to watch Miss Fisher.  It kept coming up in my Netflix suggestions and I kept ignoring it because it's Australian and they talk funny. Also from my anthropological research through watching teevee through the internet, I've discovered that they appear to be stuck in the 1920s. Poor dears. We really ought to drop some freedom bombs on them so they figure out how to 2015 and talk American.  

Although I applaud their use of proper headbanding.

This show is awesome. It makes me happy in my murder place. Miss Fisher takes place in Melbourne in the late 1920s. We don't get a lot of Australian series (read: none) stateside, so this show is a bit different than the usual fare that is to be had. 

This ain't your mama's Downton Abbey.

I spent about two weeks watching all of the episodes that are available on Netflix, and I finished them the other day and now I feel a deep and existential void. I am really not sure what to do with myself now that I am out of Miss Fisher. Fortunately, the good people in Australia are planning a third series.

Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries is based on the book series by Kerry Greenwood. The Hon. Phryne Fisher (pronounced fry-nee) is the daughter of a lesser English nobleman, who inherited an estate in the UK after the intended heirs were all killed off in the Great War. Phryne is a FLAPPER who carries a PISTOL and DRIVES A CAR and KEEPS COMPANY WITH MEN AT ALL HOURS. Fortunately, Phryne's Aunt Prudence is around to disapprove of all of Phryne's scandalous activities. 

Oh, deary me. Oh, deary, deary me.

In addition to Phryne's escandelo lifestyle, she often finds herself present when there has been a MUHDUH in need of some serious solving. Phryne's day job is as a private Lady Detective, and she has insinuated herself into the Melbourne Police Department and caught the attentions of the very married DI Jack Robinson, who is hawt. Jack finds himself interested in Phryne in spite of his initial disapproval of her interference in police work, and he finds himself conflicted over the fact that Phryne flaunts the gentleman callers to her boudoir under Jack's nose. Anyway, they are adorable and make me squee. 

It's complicated. 

In other squee news, Phryne has a housekeeper/cook/sleuthing companion that she rescued during her first case: Dot, who is a Nice Catholic Girl. 

"Miss Fisher is corrupting me. And I'm afraid of telephones."

As a result of their Cagney & Laceying it up, Dot meets Lt. Hugh Collins, and they fall in the lovez. But alas! He is a Protestant! 

"Darling, let's go to hell together!"

Phryne's entourage also includes Cec and Bert, general handymen and communist sympathizers, and her butler, Mr. Butler, who is ex British intelligence and who keeps a handy collection of machine guns in the upstairs broom closet. Phryne also adopts an orphan.  Miss Fisher actually kind of reminds of Castle before Castle before they got together and it got all jumped-the-sharky. My only suggestion is this show needs moar koalas. MOAR KOALAS. MOAR. 

Koalas: Nature's original tree-hugging stoner.

If Hinterland is noir and meditative, Miss Fisher is zany and fun. If you find the untimely deaths of random people to be zany and fun. Which I obviously do. 

Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries and Hinterland/Y Gwyll are available on Netflix streaming. Both are slated for new episodes this year. 

Love me, Jack Robinson. Love all the wacky and life-threatening situations I will get you into.

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