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Happy Valley... suggests just how much story can still be found in the life of a middle-aged, female law enforcement official, a less played-out counterpart to the grizzled, seen-it-all-detective.
Happy Valley is an impressive reminder of the myriad ways good writing, better acting, and, above all, a unique sense of place can make even the shaggiest story feel surprising and vital.
There are Happy Valleys all up and down Britain's countryside, few of which ever get their stories told in this way.
It seems like we're constantly taught by the Brits how we could be making better television shows and this has all those lessons rolled up into one neat little package.
There's enough depth and complication in the performances alone to buoy the six-episode run, and given the intensity of the criminal specifics, the slow burn feels more like a feature than a bug.
Happy Valley is a delicious concoction; it balances its dry humour with some heartfelt moments and there's a strong lead in flinty Catherine.
Happy Valley may be an ironic title, but there is solace in the bleakness, the drama tells us, and it's to be found in building bridges with family, as Catherine and Daniel did in that penultimate scene.
I regret that so much writing and acting talent is being channelled into crude and overblown melodrama dubiously justified as "real life."
You know it's good when you care, and want to know what happens next.
Sarah Lancashire is perfect in the lead role and should give masterclasses in the art of understated acting.
Audience Reviews for Happy Valley: Season 1
Feb 13, 2020Started off slow the first few times I viewed it. Then it caught on. Hooked. Bingeing .... bingeing.......
Feb 02, 2020I absolutely love Catherine. The story and the lives of the characters are so detailed. You get to know their personalities. I love both seasons and I am waiting for season 3 please.
Dec 05, 2019I love this so much there were parts of the show I stood up out of excitement! The acting is "clever" and the plot suspenseful.
Jul 29, 2019i love this it is amazing smartly written everything connects the intensity increases it is hard to watch in all the right ways
Feb 14, 2019Sarah Lancashire's performance was just crazy good. Never took a false step in the fast, fluid and intense twists and turns. Great series.
Oct 23, 2018one of the best shows I've seen. draws you immediately; truly captivating.
Oct 08, 2018Happy Valley is anything but cheerful. This fantastic crime drama, TV series stars Sarah Lancashire is now available on Netflix Streaming. The Brits may have once terrorized us Americans with their monarchy, but, hands down excel in gripping, crime drama television. After the initial giggle over Cawood's sergeant hat (played by Lancashire), one will quickly realize that Lancashire is a tough as nails law enforcer who is mourning after her daughter's suicide. Nonetheless, there is a kidnapper on the loose! For those of you who wonder if a series can be gruesome enough with its lead headed up by a British female, this series may convince you. Having said that, so much of the action happens off screen but it's the follow up scenes that stay with you and add to this suspenseful show. Deep into the series Lancashire is brutalized and much of it isn't seen; however, the scenes after that show Cawood's eye clearly bloodied up. I can still see it. Yes, it's worth the couch time.
Sep 18, 2018Sarah Lancashire is the bomb. So wonderful to see a strong women detective as the star of a suspenseful, edgy series.
Jul 13, 2018SPOILER SPOILER: what ruined a compelling and fairly complex story for me is the lazily written final episode in which Sgt, Cawood gives permission to her grandson to come home alone from school. Is this likely, given what she knows about the brutal Tommy, and in particular given that he has met the child and knows himself to be the father. Surely this could have been written better. Frankly, it infuriated me.
Jun 23, 2018Great writing and grat cast.