Is Happy Valley The Best TV Crime Drama Since The Wire? Maybe.
August 4, 2017 5:57 PM   Subscribe

If you work in criminal law, you're likely disappointed by most TV crime dramas. They just don't get it right. So when a comparatively realistic series like The Wire comes along, you're overjoyed. But these are rare. So I was thrilled to discover a worthy successor on Netflix: Happy Valley, which is slated for a third season in 2018. The critics love it too.

The cornerstone of the series is the standout acting of Sarah Lancashire, who plays the lead role of intrepid Sergeant Catherine Cawood. Lancashire brings enormous emotional depth and complexity to the role, playing grandmother to the orphaned offspring from her daughter's rape, sister to a recovering heroin addict, and a streetwise, tough, but compassionate cop. She's better known and respected in the UK, but from an American perspective, she's probably the most underrated actor in the business today.

BTW, you may know her husband as the writer of another great crime drama, The Wrong Trousers.
posted by mikeand1 (10 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is way too editorial to fit here, sorry. -- restless_nomad

Is Happy Valley The Best TV Crime Drama Since The Wire?

i don't know about that. It is bloody good though. Sarah Lancashire is fucking amazing, I'd absolutely watch a season where she just wandered about busting regular perps.
posted by Artw at 6:00 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]

I found myself more engaged with Broadchurch and The Fall. Happy Valley just didn't pull me in. I may have to go back and give it another shot.
posted by Fizz at 6:17 PM on August 4

Needs more cheese.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:23 PM on August 4

It was fantastic, especially after slogging through Luther and The Fall. It was so refreshing to see a cop show where not every episode is about torturing and murdering women. And even the serial killer subplot was used to highlight violence against women instead of increasingly elaborate and unlikely Grand Guignol woman-hating bullshit. I'm not going to say that it's what happens when you let women create a cop show, because I'm sure that women have created shitty misogynist cop shows, but it's something special.
posted by goatdog at 6:24 PM on August 4

We loved it, probably more than any of the other dozen British TV crime dramas we've watched in the past 4-5 years. There's a weight to Lancashire's performance that I think a lot of "grim cop" shows think they're doing but they're not. (And Siobhan Finneran, especially in the second series, jesus.)

I'm thrilled to see there's going to be a third series.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:28 PM on August 4

Yeah, this is a really, really good show. That is all.
posted by zeek321 at 6:30 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

So it's not about drunken undergraduates at Penn State?
posted by octothorpe at 6:48 PM on August 4

I liked the Fall, and then I didn't... and by the time it was done I was very very done with it.
posted by Artw at 6:50 PM on August 4

I was thinking it was about the Sandusky thing
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:54 PM on August 4

I should have included a clip in the top post, so here's one.
posted by mikeand1 at 6:57 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

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