British crime dramas have a brilliant track record; case in
point, Foyle’s War, Marple and more recently The Bletchley Circle. It stands to reason the Aussie’s might too produce quality entertainment (which they do). Joining the British ranks is
this all-new series set in Australia and
features one of the sassiest, most opinionated female detectives you’re likely
to ever meet.
(Essie Davis) expects to be eventful. But somehow it is. No sooner has she set
foot on Australian soil – and reunites with family and friends, than she learns
that a dear friend has just lost her husband, and what initially looked like a
natural cause of death is soon reversed to one with suspicions. Called in to
investigate is Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) who soon
discovers that Phryne’s curiosity and clever ability to see clues doesn’t end
with a standard procedure police interview, she becomes a thorn in Jack’s side
– the kind that refuses to leave! When the young maid of the house, Dorothy (Ashleigh
Cummings) is named the prime suspect in her employer’s murder, Phryne makes it
her business to clear the young girl’s name. Over the adamant objections of
(Hugo Johnstone-Burt) who works with DI Robinson, and a victim of a shady
abortion clinic who may have ties to the murder case as well as a suspicious
drug trade. All of this, Phryne uncovers with Jack one step behind – trying to
prove her speculation right (or wrong!) all while keeping the feisty
investigator out of trouble.
been reminded of that and it’s no different as viewers get caught up in the
adventures and glamour of Miss Fisher and her 13 revealing cases. Seeing this
was a long time coming, it was one of those that I danced around for a long
time and finally, two trusted recommendations later, I took the plunge and on a
Saturday afternoon both my mother and I found out what all the buzz was about.
Were I to go with the condensed review, this is nothing short of entertaining
albeit featuring certain cases that aren’t always up to snuff. Since I rarely
go with the short story, let’s talk about the glitz and glamour that is Miss
TV SHOW REVIEW | Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Series Two (2013)
Not since Foyle’s War have
I met a group of crime-fighters that worked so well together while also working
their way into the hearts of fans. This team is far from boring and shares a
fantabulous chemistry; from Miss Fisher to the unlucky cab drivers she recruits
(whose arrival in Miss Fisher’s life came about after they “fell” into one of
her cases), and of course, the lovable Dot, this cast of characters leaves a
lasting impression. For U.S. aficionados, most of the cast are probably
unknowns, just the same that doesn’t keep them from playing each of their
respective roles with class and wit. Davis is quite brilliant as the titular
character being a warm, kind-hearted woman whose household is living proof
of this; further proof of this is found in the adorable Dot (and her crush on Constable
Collins! Can we say cute) to young orphan, Jane, making Phryne easy to like.
The only quibble I do have with her are the lose morals she practices – her
sass isn’t the problem (that’s infectious), it’s her romantic liaisons that are
called into question. Given the time period and the age where being “wild” was
a relative term, I can say that it doesn’t “offend” me, however it doesn’t make
her dalliances “right” either.
Phryne; their relationship is going to continue to solidify, I suspect, but it’s
also morphing into the never-ending stream of fandoms that’s a
will-they-or-won’t-they potential. This makes for some fun conversations or eye
locks while in equal parts frustrates fans who wish for more. Making up for any
minor personality trivialities is the opulence of the era. From the rush of
motor car rides to the exquisite costumes and of course, the spot-on “mood,”
every set affects just the frame of mind audiences should be put into. This is
really the quintessential “flapper” era – everything about the production
sparkles with personality, constantly transporting to the roaring twenties.
Also not bad are the mystery components. Most of the cases build to a spooky climax even if
the writing doesn’t always mirror that.
Miss Fisher’s Murder
Mysteries is a smart, snazzy, not-to-be-missed production. The 13-episode
span is over all too quickly and though it doesn’t insult us by ending on a
cliffhanger, it still beckons our return for its eventual second series. As the
DVD jacket boasts, it’s both “witty and elegant” same as its darling and feisty
heroine – and that’s what makes it so appealing. Never has sleuthing been this fun.
CONTENT: There are
two or three instances of partial nudity, multiple implications of unmarried
lovers spending the night together [the camera usually cuts away, though not
before some clothed foreplay and a post-scene, sheets appropriately placed] as
well as some coarse [periodically] sexual conversations. Episodes deal with
abortions [off-screen] along with a maid being raped [again, off-camera], drugs and abuse [including flashbacks to one of Phryne’s
prior dalliances]. A book on seducing is given to a young man, complete with illustrations
and a nude painting is passed around. There is some British slang and plenty of
“violence.” Victims are threatened, stabbed, shot and/or poisoned. A TV14 rating would best suit this series.