MIDSOMER MURDERS Series #17 (2015)
Producer: Jo Wright
Director(s): Alex Pillai, Charles Palmer, Renny Rye, and Nick Laughland
Writer(s): Chris Murray, Paul Logue, Rachel Cuperman & Sally Griffiths, and Michael Aitkens
(Based on the characters of Caroline Graham)
Regular Cast: Neil Dudgeon, Gwilym Lee, Fiona Dolman, Tamzin Malleson...
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Not rated.
Runtime: approx. 90 minutes per episode.
Genres: Crime drama/Mystery
List Price: $49.99 (Substantial savings may be found at various online sources.)
Reviewed by Cherie Jung
For those keeping track, “series” #17 would be “set” #26 for those fans that have been purchasing the episodes from the beginning. As explained in previous reviews, “series” originally indicated the numbering system used in the UK while “sets,” usually released as only ½ of a series, were the U.S. numbering system. Now, the U.S. has switched and begun issuing the most recent episodes with the same numbering system as the UK version. Just saying, be careful what you order or you may end up with exactly the same episodes, only a different number on the packaging.
I’ve been complaining in several reviews over the past couple of years that the series is running mostly on its reputation and the long-suffering patience of its loyal and dedicated viewers. The old spark is missing. I’ve discussed my view that ever since firing Brian True-May, the show has abandoned its small English village charm in exchange for a more modern, all inclusive, almost “big city” feel. The addition of token Asian actors and Black actors has merely served to turn Midsomer Murders into a mediocre modern crime TV show. And frankly, there are other programs doing that already and doing it better.
“The Dagger Club” – A newly discovered manuscript by a deceased Midsomer crime writer is stolen and the body count begins. The ensuing “mystery” is quite predictable. (I’d like to know how a guy with a “print shop” in his garage was going to print and bind the novel for sale in just a day or two before the manuscript went missing, when he hadn’t even read the thing, let alone typeset it.)
“Murder By Magic” – A magic show stunt goes awry resulting in a very dead body.
“The Ballad of Midsomer County” – Can you say “predictable?” A famous ballad seems to be the source of inspiration for the murder of a folk festival organizer. (I did like the ballad!)
“A Vintage Murder” – Guests at a wine tasting are dropping like flies… An interesting premise, to be sure, but the resolution has so many plot holes as to be completely unsatisfying as an episode.
Throughout these episodes most of the characters seem tired and bored. I can’t recall any that I was truly concerned about or interested in. I just sat there, watching, waiting for someone to die…and eventually they did.
As long as viewers tune in to watch and/or purchase the DVDs when released, I see no reason that Midsomer episodes will not continue to be churned out. Quality no longer seems to matter.
Copyright © 2015 Cherie Jung. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!