Happy Valley: Season 1 Reviews

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March 24, 2020
Happy Valley is a delicious concoction; it balances its dry humour with some heartfelt moments and there's a strong lead in flinty Catherine.
March 24, 2020
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.
March 24, 2020
Every minor character bursts with complicated, convincing life.
March 24, 2020
There are Happy Valleys all up and down Britain's countryside, few of which ever get their stories told in this way.
July 23, 2018
You know it's good when you care, and want to know what happens next.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
May 16, 2017
Happy Valley is a quiet, devastating, and ultimately deeply satisfying watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 3, 2014
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).
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 24, 2014
Wainwright clearly relishes writing female characters more than any other, and her biggest achievement so far is Catherine Cawood.
September 24, 2014
Sally Wainwright is television's great north-country storyteller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 24, 2014
I found his descent into the criminal underworld more believable than Martin Freeman's in Fargo.
September 24, 2014
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.
September 24, 2014
It was with the bad guys that Wainwright really made things interesting, and again this was achieved though the characters' carefully built-up histories.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 24, 2014
This engrossing, six-part British crime drama is about a kidnapping that spirals out of control in a rural town protected by a no-nonsense police sergeant who's a delight to root for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 24, 2014
Sarah Lancashire is perfect in the lead role and should give masterclasses in the art of understated acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 24, 2014
I really didn't expect to be writing this, but I think I actually prefer Happy Valley to Fargo. At least it's first-hand.
September 22, 2014
There's something refreshing about how Happy Valley treats violence not as power but as chaos, an inevitable psychological decay that causes even the worst criminals to turn on one another as the cops close in.
September 15, 2014
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.
September 12, 2014
Suspense is a beautiful thing, but when it's married to terrific character development and finely etched moral dilemmas, it makes this kind of police story even more powerful.
August 22, 2014
In addition to its great track record in original programming, Netflix is starting to amass a number of worthy series unavailable elsewhere. The latest is Happy Valley.
August 21, 2014
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.
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