Happy Valley

Tuesday 9:00 PM on BBC Premiered Apr 29, 2014 In Season


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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/3/2014

Season 1 : Episode 6

Show Summary

From the creator of "Last Tango in Halifax" comes this police drama starring Sarah Lancashire ("Coronation Street") as Yorkshire police Sergeant Catherine Cawood, a strong-willed officer coping with the suicide of her daughter and struggling to raise the young son she left behind. When the man she blames for her daughter's death is paroled, Cawood embarks on a mission to bring him down, unaware that her target is plotting another heinous crime.

Second season starts 18 months later when Catherine discovers the corpse of Tommy Lee Royce's mother, shortly after Catherine left her threatening messages warning her to keep away from her grandson. Investigators target Catherine as a suspect while Royce's girlfriend, who hides herself behind a false identity, becomes a teacher at Ryan's school.


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    • Tense and Gritty Intersection of Humanity and Crime

      If Happy Valley, the BBC TV series, had a kind of American counterpart it could easily be Fargo. The drama plays off the strangeness how a person, a very mature solid upright person, can be suddenly thrust into quite a seriously dark place by a bit of chance and their own volition. It's an interesting premise even if not extremely original in and of itself.

      The BBC does dramas such as Happy Valley in a style that is more driven by plot than character. This isn't to say the actors/actresses don't have leeway with their roles, but the story is central. That said I like the way the Brit TV folks steer away from glamour in building a cast to tell a story. There's no "Hollywood" feel, rather gritty and real roles played by thespians not "stars".

      Happy Valley explores how easy is can be for a that dark-side a person has kept at bay so well can surface. It is sometimes involving an intersection of two sides of the law that, for the most part, exist separately. There is a lot of mental anguish and ample blowback that can go any number of ways. Plenty of twists and turns which are quite realistic.

      While Fargo created stronger characters with more violence to titillate, Happy Valley creates a much more "vanilla" version of crime feeling more immediate and gaining a big measure of gritty humanity in the difference. In the end the two shows are actually more different than alike, but both do what they strive for quite well. I think it might resonate with many to say watching Fargo is more entertaining and watching Happy Valley is more engaging. This is a very solid series worth a look. Don't be surprised if you find yourself quickly catching up on this relatively unknown on "this side of the pond" show.moreless
    • Like "The Fall"? You'll Love Happy Valley

      This is great drama and suspense. You know the killer. You know the victim. Watching it all play out is intense and a bit nerve racking. Well done.

      I expected something slow paced, in the vein of The Killing. Not at all, but it's absorbing and tense from the start, very mainstream-accessible, and always intriguing. The acting from all involved is pretty excellent, especially Sarah Lancashire. An amazing performance, one that I hope gets serious awards recognition next year. I ultimately liked this more than I expected to, it's easy to get caught up in its plot and I also think that it does a great job moving it along at a surprisingly fast pace while also having some fantastic character moments. At times it gets a bit too over-the-top in its melodrama, but it never actually fails to emotionally hit home. I'm super ecstatic that it's coming back for a second season.moreless

    More Info About This Show


    Drama, Suspense