I have a thing for good old fashioned British mysteries. Why might this be? Far be it from me to speculate on or understand the “why,” but of course, one thing that never harms the process is a good-looking and swoon-worthy hero.
Grantchester, Series Two (2016) ITV Review
Life for Sydney Chambers (James Norton) is good. He has good friends, pastors a parish filled with people he genuinely cares about, and he’s finally emerging from the guilt that held him captive for so many years. The burden of his past is slowly lifting until an ugly accusation is laid on his doorstep. A teenage girl dies in his small community and the finger points at Sydney. Not only is her death suspicious, but prior to her death whispers were budding that Sydney assaulted her and was the father of her unborn child.
With the help of his good friend, Detective Geordie Keating (Robson Green), Sydney sets about discovering the secrets of Abigail Redmond’s life. As he looks closely at her life, Abigail’s parents (Claudie Blakely, Neal Morrissey) accuse him, and he finds himself ministering to Abigail’s friend, Gary (Sam Frenchum). All of this coincides with the arrival of Sydney’s old friend, Sam (Andrew Knott); and the continuing complicated tension between Sydney and his best friend, Amanda (Morven Christie).
There is a kind of standard viewers have come to rely on from ITV, PBS or BBC dramas. One of the commonalities among them is that they are all perfectly British. When Grantchester first came to my attention during its first season promotion, I was skeptical about it suiting my TV watching preferences. Why this was, I haven’t a clue since I am an enthusiastic fan of shows like ITV’s Marple, and it then took nary an entire episode before I was invested in these character’s lives.
TV REVIEW | ‘Grantchester’ (2015), Series One: A Smart 50s Period Drama with Complex Character Writing‘Grantchester,’ Series Two (2016) – Cozy British Mystery (and Romance!) at its Best #FWarchives #PeriodDrama Click To Tweet
The second season of this masterpiece series is no different. The stories continue to be cutting edge with a sharp wit. The characters undergo further change, and hiding beneath this all is an unrequited love story that you’ll either love or love to hate. Some fans will also not see this romantic entanglement as one-sided. I do. While I respect that Amanda, Sydney’s childhood friend, deeply cares about him, I don’t believe that she loves him as he does her. The divided chasm in the fanbase is likely going to stem from the back-and-forth teasing of their relationship. I fall into the camp of being over this romance.
Much as I like Amanda in series one, her character hits a stalemate in series two. (Plus I had little sympathy for her since she had every opportunity to leave a life she detests). Beyond this, I lost respect for her and felt as a character, she’s a worthless distraction to further the plot. All this to say, as things end by the second series end, I’ve already “written” in my mind how the third season will play out.‘Grantchester,’ Series Two (2016) – Cozy British Mystery (and Romance!) at its Best. #British #GrantchesterPBS #PerioDrama #GoodTV #FWArchives Click To Tweet
Irrespective of these grievances, I adored series two as a whole. New faces enter Sydney’s life, some for the good, and others are detrimental. The sets are beautiful (especially the light and sunny natural outdoor scenes); and of course, the costuming is second to none. Fans will relish the familiarity of the “bromance” between its leading sleuths and shed a tear when their relationship hits a snag. But one thing is for certain, the writers have again crafted brilliance in these installments. Few though the series installments are, in such a case as PBS drama, I’ll take quality over quantity any day.
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