Happy Valley: Season 1 (2014)



Critic Consensus: Dark, edgy, and surprisingly suspenseful, Happy Valley dispenses some of the more oddly liberating violence on television.


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Tv Season Info

When Kevin Weatherill reports the crime to police sergeant Catherine Cawood, it transpires that the mastermind behind the scheme was Kevin himself. Now in over his head with co-kidnapper and local drug kingpin Ashley Cowgill, Kevin panics and confesses. But is it too late for Catherine to find young Ann Gallagher alive?


Sarah Lancashire
as Catherine Cawood
Steve Pemberton
as Kevin Weatherill
James Norton
as Tommy Lee Royce
Adam Long
as Lewis Whippey
Adam Long
as Lewis Whippey
Joe Armstrong
as Ashley Cowgill
George Costigan
as Nevison Gallagher
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News & Interviews for Happy Valley: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Happy Valley Season 1

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10)

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.

Aug 20, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

In this job, I watch an awful lot of first episodes -- shows I review, deem to be awful and then avoid for the rest of their run. But I can't wait for the second part of Sally Wainwright's Happy Valley.

Sep 24, 2014 | Full Review…

It was with the bad guys that Wainwright really made things interesting, and again this was achieved though the characters' carefully built-up histories.

Sep 24, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

Sep 15, 2014 | Full Review…

You know it's good when you care, and want to know what happens next.

Jul 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Sarah Lancashire is perfect in the lead role and should give masterclasses in the art of understated acting.

Sep 24, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Happy Valley is a quiet, devastating, and ultimately deeply satisfying watch.

May 16, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Happy Valley is so effective at what it sets out to do, and so neat in fitting all its pieces together (up to the way the story's climax evokes a much milder incident from early in the series).

Nov 3, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

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.

Aug 21, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

Aug 21, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Happy Valley: Season 1


The Happy Valley is a suspenseful drama about a stubborn policewoman uncovering an abduction plot. It was incredibly intriguing and I loved all the characters. The acting was superb, Lancashire stole the show.


Super Reviewer


Super Reviewer

A nice surprise coming from the UK, Happy Valley is a bit of a cross between Fargo and Breaking Bad, with dark ambitions and a very compelling lead role from Sarah Lancashire. the story is nothing new but it pulls on the heartstrings more than a couple of times, giving us touchy situations these characters live in that don't really have easy answers in the real world, and the writers treat this aspect with intelligence and elegance.

Francisco G

Super Reviewer

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