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Sunday, August 18, 2013

British Crime Dramas Outshine their American Cousins

Posted by Cary H.

I am a huge fan of British mystery fiction, and following the paths of my favorite series detectives and police procedurals has led me, not surprisingly, to the very best of crime and mystery dramas on DVD.

For those of you who enjoy American crime drama (Like 24, the various CSIs, Castle, Bones and Dexter) but have never sampled the many choices of this genre from “across the pond,” I suggest you give them a try, and here’s why:
  •         Characterization, characterization, characterization!  Not common in the U.S., many of Britain's top actors cross from the big screen to TV series often, so the caliber of acting is excellent.
  •     Realism: Every character does not look like a magazine model.  They look like your neighbors, your Uncle Joe, your 1st grade teacher.  You don’t get the impression, as you do sometimes on American TV, that every role is being filled by someone who passed a “certain look” test. 
  •          Some of the best parts are cast for adults over 45.  From protagonists, love interests, master criminals, etc., we are confronted (refreshingly) with the notion that life, indeed, does go on after a certain age, sometimes with great excitement!
  •          Overall, the quality of setting, lighting, camera work, and plot are above average.  Even the series I have not enjoyed as much, get stars for production value.

Have I piqued your interest yet?  If so, here are some of my favorites, many available at the library:

PBS’s Sherlock
Masterpiece Mystery’s Endeavor (based on Inspector Morse at a younger age)

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