Is Catherine Cawood The Best Copper On TV?
March 17, 2016

If you're like me and love a good cop show, then immedialtely check out brilliant series Happy Valley on Netflix. I wrote a review for C&L of season 1 in 2014, when I made it my Netflix, pick of the day.

Hold on to your hats because Netflix has just made available the best BBC series of the year so far, named "Happy Valley." It's a terrific six part mini-series about a forty-something year old Yorkshire police sergeant named Catherine Cawood, (played by the incredible Sarah Lancashire) who not only has to deal with a personal tragedy and a recovering drug addict sister, but also has to contend with a brutal band of thugs who are conspiring to commit a high-profile kidnapping.

We had to wait two years to get the next instalment of the dynamic Sergeant Cawood, but it was worth the wait. Season 2 just became available and I forgot how much I missed Lancashire's magnetic performance in the part she was destined to play.

Helen Mirren's DCI Jane Tennison of Prime Suspect (streaming on Hulu) has been the gold standard of all female copper shows since 1991, so it's great to see Sarah Wainwright's creation in the hands of such a capable star. She's an intense, but emotionally broken protagonist that has suffered more than most, but wins you over in the first five minutes of meeting her. Her fellow officers call her Broom-hilda behind her back, but there's nobody they would want more on their team at a crucial juncture than Cawood.

There are some great ladies working in TV as crime solvers right now in America, but overseas are well represented too. There's Gillian Anderson's Stella Gibson, in The Fall, (Netflix) Caroline Proust as Laure Berthaud in France's Spiral, (Netflix and Hulu) and Sofia Helin's "Saga" in The Bridge (Hulu) come to mind, but Catherine Cawood takes a back seat to no one.

(P.S. If you have trouble understanding some of the accents at times, Netflix's subtitles are really well done.)

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