Suggested by Brad Nelson • They may be a small, isolated community, but various murder cases keep good-natured Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez busy in the breathtakingly beautiful Shetland Islands. Based on the best-selling Shetland novels by author Ann Cleeves.
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2 Responses to Shetland

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    You can also buy single episodes here from Amazon in case you just want to sample it. As of this date, it’s also being streamed on Netflix.

    This series is being graded on the curve. Most will not find this kind of series particularly riveting. If you like Doc Martin, Local Hero, and that sort of fare, you’ll like this. It’s sort of a small-town crime series. In fact, think “Doc Martin” but with detectives, and no comedy.

    What this series has going for it is that it is not stupid. To me that is such a huge threshold. I found the first couple of stories to be just so-so, but it gets a little better after that. Or did I just become accustomed to the characters?

    Jimmy Perez is indeed a good-natured detective. And he has a strange last name for someone living on a remote Scottish island. Perez says the story is that a few stragglers from the Spanish Armada landed there.

    Although I don’t particularly care for DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh, you get used to her (if you can understand her thick garbled accent). DC Sandy Wilson, on the other hand, is a relatively minor character but he plays it well and plays it straight. Perez’s lovely daughter usually has some side plot going on in most of these episodes as well. And that’s pretty much the cast besides infrequent visits from Perez’s boss.

    The cinematography is splendid. The cases themselves are sensible and not too gadgety. The realism of the series lends to it being a tad less charismatic than, say, Starsky & Hutch. And there’s no doubting that watching is TV program about crime is supposed to be interesting and exciting. That’s not a slam on charisma nor S&H.

    Shetland, however, must be appreciated for its rather no-nonsense approach and one (despite being a modern series) with very little political correctness. The show, which I admit is at least slightly dull, won’t insult you. And for me that’s a major thing. Plus, it is quality throughout, including the acting. The scripts could perhaps be better, but this series is meant to be good, not slap-dash, and it shows.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Just FYI, I do recommend this series within the bounds already established. But I remove the “stupid” disclaimer regarding the third season (which consists of just one story arc). The last episode has a couple real idiotic elements. And if you thought Agatha Christie was bad the way she could sometimes pull things out of her ear at the last minute, Season 3 (specifically, the last episode, episode 6) does her one better.

    This story, which involves all six episodes of season six (seasons one and two have two-episode murder stories), really should have been wrapped up in two. I have no idea why the were milking it. Maybe there had been a writer’s strike in England.

    So, by all means, watch seasons one and two. But bypass season three unless you just get absolutely hooked on the characters.

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