Taken from NZ Herald, by Calum Henderson.
There can be few more enduring pleasures in TV watching than settling in and spending an evening solving a nice juicy murder. And the good news is we're at absolutely no risk of ever running out of them. Poor saps are forever meeting their untimely ends in Midsomer. Old Miss Marple's always got her beak in a case. And then there's Poirot, Frost, Morse. Murders never cease.
The Brokenwood Mysteries
, which returned to Prime
for its second series last night, has carved out its own niche in the genre. Its first series, which screened last year, drew upon the abundance of essential murder mystery ingredients on offer here in New Zealand - small towns, eccentric locals, strange love triangles, petty infighting - and distilled them all into the fictionalised country town of Brokenwood.
While the show mercifully never strays too far from the conventions of the genre, it has always had a good eye for our local peculiarities. One episode in the first series revealed that Brokenwood has an emergent and highly competitive wine industry, for example, and Peter Elliott's pretentious, wine-obsessed big city radio host was almost certainly a gentle parody of Mike Hosking.
It's playful, often quite funny, but rarely feels quirky or contrived. There are steady hands at the wheel - the credits are full of people who have been around long enough to have a sense for what works and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn't. And despite the uniquely local tone, there is a definite universal appeal. Brokenwood
is weirdly big in France - earlier this year an episode was watched by 3.5 million viewers, the second most watched thing on French TV that night.
Read the full article here