by Kung Fu Zu 1/13/15
As those who have read any of my reviews on British TV may recall, I find the disease of political correctness has pretty much infected the lot. Imagine then, my surprise, when I tuned into a new detective series presently being broadcast by PBS, which was as apolitical as any program I have seen in years.
Vera is about the vicissitudes of detective chief inspector Vera Stanhope and her sidekick detective sergeant Joe Ashworth in trying to solve various murders which take place in the district of the fictional “Northumberland and City Police” force. This is clearly in the area of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in Northeast England.
Vera is a short dumpy spinster, who would appear to be in her middle to late fifties. To call her cantankerous would probably be a compliment. She is rude, brusque and unkempt, but these characteristics do not keep her, in the slightest, from pursuing her brief of criminal catching. They are, perhaps, advantages as she is not waylaid by societal niceties nor the fear of hurting the feelings of others.
Joe is a young man with a wife and several children, one just a few weeks old. He clearly respects Vera and tries to maintain a good relationship with her, but he does have to put up with a lot of guff. This sometimes leads to friction and misunderstandings between the two. In one instance Joe will try to invite Vera into a somewhat more personal relationship, which she will bluntly reject. At another time, Vera will try to open up slightly and Joe will make some sarcastic remark, which will close her down immediately. I think it safe to say that the development of their on-screen relationship will play a important part in the series.
I waited to see the second installment of the series before commenting on it, because I wanted to be somewhat sure as to its quality and content. So far I have not been disappointed. The acting and filming are good and the scripts are well written and believable. There is none of your contemporary political correct sermonizing or silly storylines, which one too often encounters during these days of mediocre entertainment.
I can recommend Vera to anyone who likes a good British detective series which is not highly stylized or romantic. The first two programs were quite enjoyable. • (1922 views)