There are series that exist outside the usual purview of critical reviews. And they spring up on both sides of the Atlantic. Just as we have Angela Lansbury's Jessica Fletcher in 'Murder She Wrote', and Peter Falk as 'Columbo' in the States, we have Tom Barnaby serving and protecting in the villages of Midsomer. And these villages are rife with adultery, greed, psychosis and blackmail ultimately concluding in that most photogenic of crimes - murder.
But one murder is a rarity in these villages. They often arrive in 2's or 3's. Their manner occurring in endlessly creative settings with diverse and colorful weaponry. The episode titles may be lurid, 'Written in Blood', or pulp fiction-ish, 'Death's Shadow'. But now that we've spent 10 years walking the greens and woods, drinking in the pubs, delving into family haunts and shames, we're quite unable to give them up. The sergeants may come and go, but we, the faithful fans, remain.
All too little is dependable in television. Many series seem caught up in the vagaries of fads, or all too eager to introduce cutting edge issues. Not so with 'Murders'. At least, not to the extent that we no longer are willing to tune in. And for this, let's give our lads and lasses 7 stars out of 10.