MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD., September 7, 2014 – If you are having withdrawals from the show Fargo, here is your temporary cure. Netflix is offering the first six episodes of the great BBC series “Happy Valley” for binge streaming.
The plot of Happy Valley is eerily similar to the movie Fargo and the series of the same name. It takes place in a small town in England where there are nefarious undercurrents that make you cringe. The town, similar to the town in Fargo, is somewhat dilapidated and populated mostly by working class families.
Similar to Fargo, the main character is a female police officer with good analytical capabilities and armed with common sense and knowledge of the street. She has a troubled past that is revealed as the series progress. She lives with her sister, a recovered drug addict and her grandson. She is hunted by the death of her daughter and the emotional and physical absence of her son. She is flawed and at a critical point in the investigation she chooses to ignore the obvious and the advice of her sister. She patronizingly tells her that things are not as simple as she thinks.
We have some problem getting used to the accent of the characters, but soon enough we get into the day to day happenings of Happy Valley.
While there is plenty of implied sex, there is no nudity. As for violence, there is plenty of it both real and implied.
For those who don’t know the plot of Fargo and its obvious similarities with Happy Valley, it is like this:
A wimpy accountant (in Happy Valley) is unhappy with his state in life and his bitterness increases when his boss denies him a raise that he thinks he deserves. This is aggravated by the fact that he feels entitled due to his father’s past history with the company.
Due to his bitterness he starts a sequence of events that spiral out of control. The catalyst is a man that has just been released from prison and that elevates the level of violence with the ease of a homicidal maniac. We find out very soon the common past history of the main protagonist and this man, and it is not pretty.
There is race for the rescue of the abducted girl, the errors committed by the kidnappers and her tortured (apparent) destiny.
Like Fargo, one of the bumbling kidnappers is not as violent as the other ex con. His actions only serve to make the death of the kidnapped girl and his own almost assured.
Once you start watching this show, you may want to stay up all night and watch to the end.
Warning, this show is addictive.
The good news is that the show has been renewed for another season, the bad is that we will probably have to wait a good part of a year to see it.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is an avid television viewer. He is fortunate that he is retired so that he can watch shows like this and still do all the other things he does. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+ and Facebook (Mario Salazar).