Found-Again Friday: Death In Paradise, Seasons 1 & 2

Why Found-Again? Many things can make me unsure about continuing with a TV show:

  • The characters are mishandled (most every character on Heroes, and I am still a little bitter about it);
  • A character I like leaves;
  • A character I dislike arrives (Burn Notice had at least two of these);
  • The villain gets too awful (see both shows mentioned above);
  • And then there’s The Flash, which is teetering on the edge thanks to a combination of “Barry keeps acting like an idiot” and “Central City breeds speedsters like ‘Salem’s Lot breeds vampires.”

I tried to stick to older examples above, but my current-season TV viewing took a big hit this year (damn you, The Flash!). I now have time to pick up some of my abandoned Netflix shows, like Death in Paradise, but should I bother?

The Premise: Death in Paradise brings a British detective, the uptight DI Richard Poole, to the tiny island nation of Sainte-Marie when the island’s own head detective is murdered. To his horror, what Richard thought was a one-shot assignment may be a permanent posting in a tropical land with no big cities, cloudy days or proper cups of tea.

Richard Poole, like Rumpole of the Bailey or Inspector Morse or even S. Holmes himself, is a classic detective type from British mystery, whose brilliance is fun to watch, but whose personality, if he were your coworker, might drive you to madness and murder. Fortunately, the rest of Sainte-Marie’s police are more forgiving: young go-getter Fidel; older, laid-back Dwayne; and Poole’s partner Camille, who tries to help Poole assimilate even as they solve some truly intricate murder cases.

The Verdict: I can’t say why I stopped watching Death in Paradise without dropping a giant spoiler, but I now realize I’ve missed the show while I’ve been away from it— much so that I even bought the first book by the show’s creator and may get the next one. The setting is gorgeous, the characters are fun (even Richard), and darn it, I even miss the CGI lizard.

Might go well with: Plantains; rum;  your other favorite British crime shows.

J. A.

It reads. It writes. It watches. It researches. It overdoes many of those things!

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