Critical Condition: Midsomer Murders

Midsomer Murders (Prime, 8.30 Sundays)

“Like death and taxes, Midsomer Murders remains one of life’s less palatable certainties. Amid a veritable morgue’s worth of sub-par detective shows on ITV, since the demise of Poirot this is now the oldest and stinkiest of the lot. Mostly, it’s the smell of out-of-date cheese, with only the occasional whiff of self-awareness that threatens to save it from total ignominy. The show’s last moment of genuine interest came when its former producer Brian True-May explained that the predominantly all-white cast reflected its role as ‘a bastion of Englishness.'” — The Telegraph.

“It doesn’t quite have the high profile of a Sherlock special, or the sense of occasion of yet another final ever Lewis. Nevertheless, ITV’s Midsomer Murders must be doing something right to now be embarking on its eighteenth season. Less than a minute in to season opener Habeas Corpus there’s a death – and we feel instantly back on familiar territory before the titles have even kicked in. Maybe it’s the programme’s unshowy, slightly low-profile nature that is its charm. There’s no ingenious ‘mind palace’ analysis or trick camera work but it does have a great sense of comfortable reliability.” — Cultbox.

“Throughout the episodes, you will find yourself building your own case and eliminating suspects alongside our detectives. Furthermore, the cases themselves are often highly unique and mysterious. During the six episodes included in this series, we see cases involving a missing corpse, UFO sightings, a bicycle champion being murdered immediately after a race, an artistic display of a dead body, an archaeologist buried alive, and a horse trampling. The show finds a good balance of tension and comedy (albeit somewhat dry humour), but has a noticeably slower pacing than what you may expect going in.” — The Nerd Mentality.

“Series 18 of the long-running detective drama began with an episode in which no one was actually killed. Many viewers took to Twitter afterwards to complain, including Britain’s Got Talent singer Paul Potts, who suggested that ‘perhaps trading standards should be told’. Following the complaints, actor Gwilyn Lee – who has played DS Charlie Nelson on the show since 2013 – took to Twitter to reassure fans that the show would ‘make up for it in the rest of the series.'” — NME.

“Over its eighteen-year run (and counting), Midsomer Murders has become the TV equivalent of gourmet comfort food, familiarly enjoyable and reliably satisfying. We tune in knowing and expecting that the scenery will be beautiful, the people will be pitiful, eccentric and/or corrupt, and the Causton constabulary will be efficient, stalwart and effective. The show has thrived on its cast changes, taking advantage of each new recurring character to tweak novelty out of the familiar formula. Dr. Kam is a particularly fine addition to the team; even Barnaby is impressed.” —

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