Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Just finished watching...

...the second season of the acclaimed original BBC/Netflix series "Happy Valley."

Picking up about a year and a half from where Season One left off, we find our heroine Catherine Cawood as incredibly strong, faithful, fair, and damaged as she ever was. Sarah Lancashire manages to portray perfectly a character so noble but also so human and suffering. It is a performance so thorough and so moving that I ended up feeling like I want to have Catherine as my friend.

We have the usual criminal cases swirling around her, but the intense personal family issues intertwined with crime are back as well. Some wonderful guest stars make appearances in this series including Matthew Lewis (who played Neville Longbottom in the "Harry Potter" films and who has grown up into a rather handsome man), Kevin Doyle (who played Mr. Molesley on "Downton Abbey"), and Shirley Henderson (another "Harry Potter" alum who played the ghost Moaning Myrtle). Henderson in particular does a stellar job as a character whose intentions are not quite clear. She exhibits the kind of subtle, underplayed skill that most actors would kill for.

And I quite like the fact that the series goes out on a doubtful note, without an expected happy ending. After all, the name of the show is meant ironically. We know there is very little happiness in this working town filled with drugs and crime.

Will there be a Season Three? Series creator and writer Sally Wainwright says she has too many commitments for now to think about a third go round. But who knows?

Recommend? YES! After you see Season One...


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