Happy Valley: Season 1 Reviews

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.
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
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
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.
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.
August 21, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
August 20, 2014
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.
August 20, 2014
Happy Valley, in addition to being a smart and absorbing thriller, is a morality play, one in which the mystery is secondary (we know who did what all along).
August 19, 2014
Not to say the Brits are immune to rolling out clunkers. But the chance to take additional detours also paves the way to an off-the-beaten-track gem like Happy Valley.
August 15, 2014
For all its emotional agony and slow pacing at times, Happy Valley is always moving forward and the fifth episode explodes off the screen.