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Binge-worthy British Crime Dramas {Essentials}

I will admit that not many things are better – at least during these summer months when you’re hiding from the sweltering heat or a rainy day, or when you have a nice long, low-key vaca – than finding a show that is a good binge-watch, and I love sharing these irresistible finds!  I feel like I’m constantly hearing about the same stuff that people are watching , but I feel like I stumbled upon a little-known secret – at least in the US – with these crime dramas from the BBC… and they’re all available on Netflix!  So, get yourself some popcorn and settle in to your couch.  

Hinterland.  This was my intro to this genre – if you will –  and it was a gooooood one.  Randomly looking for a new show to watch {I like to unwind a bit – like we all do – at the end of a workday before bed, to clear my mind of the craziness of the day, and though my love for Olivia Benson is still strong I was sick of watching the same Law and Order: SVU episodes}, and intrigued by mention of the Welsh countryside, I thought, ‘I’ll watch for a few minutes and see what it’s about,’ but I was immediately sucked in!  You have to like listening to different accents, but if the great plot and complex characters don’t get you right away, the scenes of the Welsh countryside, old farms, seaside shots, and the really REALLY cool Welsh language will really suck you in {and make you want to go on vacation to the UK…}.  Another thing I loved was the long episodes – sometimes an hour and a half long –  that are more like mini-movies, satisfying your binge-y cravings and they’re perfect for rainy days or warm summer nights.  

Marcella.  This super-dramatic option has it all – detective drama, ‘crime noir,’ a super-theatrical main character with lots of secrets and intriguing happenings {I found myself googling her to figure her out!}, infidelity, secret lives, digging up old secrets, serial killers, missing persons, and a murder-mystery that’s carried through the season with lots of twists and turns.  The ending of the season is really satisfying, but it leaves you wanting more…which is a good thing – I heard that it’s coming back sometime in 2017!

Dr. Foster.  OMG..this was SO good.  So much so that I think I’ll probably end up watching it again at some point, even though there’s so many other things I want to get to – it’s THAT good.  Dr. Gemma Foster – a family practitioner in a suburb in England – suspects that her husband is having an affair, and the action starts from the very beginning and keeps it going all the way through to the end.  And there’s one part in particular – towards the end…all I’ll say is that it’s the scene at the dinner table…or, really it’s that whole episode- that is so unbelievably satisfying and perfect in a ‘take THAT!!  THAT’S what you GET!’ way, especially for anyone who’s been ‘wronged’ like Dr. Gemma Foster has, that you’ll literally be cheering from your couch and looking for someone to high-five.  Ok, enough gushing – just watch it!  {And I heard this was coming back for a second season, too!}

Broadchurch.  This show already has two seasons {and a third is hopefully soon-to-be-coming to Netflix}, so you can dive right in!  Part of the reason why I loved Broadchurch so much was because of the characters (and the actors that play them), and how crazy good they were.  They’re dealing with some heavy topics in this show – it’s based in a ‘close-knit small town in Dorset’ (along the southern coast, across from France)  in the first episode a child dies, and the rest of the show is figuring out what happened, and then some.  You really start to believe these are real people, especially since they LOOK like real people, in that – unlike American television – everyone doesn’t look like a supermodel who, for instance, also happens to be a CSI detective on the side.  This is not to say that the main characters aren’t attractive (the most certainly are),  but – for example – the female leads are played by two beautiful and talented women (Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker), and they manage to portray these characters going through long work days and difficult family situations and just overall really tough times without also having the perfect winged eyeliner and outfit, which is – I don’t know – refreshing?  The end of the first season is SHOCKING – you won’t see it coming AT ALL, particularly the identity of the killer, which is something that the show’s creators went to extraordinary means to keep secret before the episode aired.  And the following season, which addresses the aftermath of that huge bombshell, is equally as intriguing and satisfying.  So, SO good!!!  

Shetland.  This is the most recent BBC show I’ve watched, and every episode was unbelievably intriguing.  One of the most intriguing elements of Shetland is its location – it takes place on the Scottish archipelago of Shetland (a bunch of islands), and though most of the filming was done on the Scottish mainland, the scenery really is beyond beautiful.  I am all about traveling to Scotland and the Shetland Islands (i.e. my google search history includes ‘traveling to Shetland,’ ‘flights to Shetland,’ ‘how long does it take to get to Shetland,’ ‘Up Helly Aa (an AWESOME ‘fire festival’ that marks the end of the yule season and includes Viking longships, torchlight processions, Norse classic dress, SETTING THE VIKING SHIP ON FIRE, then partying all night…seriously – how amazing does this sound?)  And the last episode of the first season features a lot of this festival – it’s worth watching it just to get to this part!.  There are three seasons, so plenty to watch, and I like how they’re formatted so each segment of the storyline, or ‘situation’  is covered over a few hour-ish long episodes, so it’s long enough to really get into some details, but it’s not dragged out over a whole season, which is a good change of pace.  

Krista Brackin Photography

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