So head on over to Netflix. Brew a cup of tea, grab a scone, and settle in for mystery. Gosh, I hope I don’t have to wait too much longer for Seasons 16 and 17 to show up. It better not be years, or I’ll be be bludgeoning my television and spiking my tea with whiskey.
All right, Netflix! About time you loaded more Midsommer Murders, because I was fresh out of peacocks screaming at night, bushes moving in the dark, thunderstorms, electricity going out, and all sorts of murder weapons (since not many of you Brits get to carry guns). Instead of shooting the people who get knocked off, the killers poison, strangle, drown, stab, and bludgeon their victims to death. However, once in a while a shotgun does make its way into the scene (that’s because those country folks are always hunting something).
Also, a new DCI is on the block – John Barnaby, the cousin of Tom Barnaby. Our Mr. John Nettles has moved on to other things (stage, I think), and Neil Dudgeon (interesting name) has taken up his place. He is a fresh replacement to a show that seems to never end (now on Season 17). Since I’ve watched Seasons 1-13, I was elated to see the latest. I’m quite addicted to Midsommer, wishing I could retire among the cottages and quiet, murderous English countryside filled with Druids, aristocrats, and village folk.
We also have our old standby, DS Ben Jones, played by Jason Hughes. Since Tom’s wife disappeared, we have a new lady on the block, Cully Barnaby, played by Laura Howard. There is also a very welcome addition, since no children are in the home, and that is their smart dog, Sykes. He’s a well-trained laughable critter that brings a bit of humor.
So what’s different? Characters. Tom Barnaby and John Barnaby are related, but their personalities and methods are noticeably different. The new DCI has a dry and unpretentious sense of humor, as well as a quiet and calculating mind. His interaction with Ben is on a different level, as the young DS continues to learn the ropes of what it takes to be a topnotch DCI in Midsommer. The poor lad had a bit of an adjustment to his new boss, especially when he learns John has a degree in psychology. Actually, Ben is my favorite DS of them all.
Of course, after 17 seasons, you begin to wonder about this murderous location in the United Kingdom. It’s a wonder any residents are left. The murders are many, and some of the kills in these new seasons are outright insane. I mean how many people can one person knock off in an episode? I think I counted four in one story.
Having just finished watching Hinterland, Midsommer is in a category all its own. It is more lighthearted than other brooding and emotional crime shows. Frankly, I think we need it now and then just to loosen us up a bit.