"Death in Paradise" - A Breath of Fresh Tropical Air
I'm a big fan of British crime dramas, and have been for years. Inspector Morse, and its spin-off Inspector Lewis, Foyle's War, Poirot, and Sherlock are among my favorites. Now, I have a new show to add to my list.
Death in Paradise is a light hearted crime drama created by Robert Thorogood, his first foray into television, and he's hit a home run with it. Death in Paradise, which is now in its fourth series, is about a stiff upper-lip British police detective who gets stuck running the small police force on the island of Sainte Marie in the Caribbean. In each episode, DI Richard Poole, played by Ben Miller, leads his three subordinates (the entire police force of the island) in search of a murderer, often times with comedic results.
One thing that makes Death in Paradise enjoyable is that it is a kind of "fish out of water" story. Richard Poole is the quintessential straight-laced detective, which often puts him at odds with the more relaxed lifestyle of the island's residents, as well as the other members of the police force, all of whom are native to the island. And, to add insult to injury, Poole frequently declares that he can't find a decent cup of tea on the entire island.
Death in Paradise is a crime drama that doesn't take itself too seriously. The characters are enjoyable, as well as believable. After watching a few episodes, I found myself with a vested interest in the characters, and what happens to them. Even more, it is a British program that doesn't take the fact that it is British too seriously either. The stuffy "British" airs and graces are often the butt of the jokes in each show, creating just enough humor to keep it light.
I found Death in Paradise by accident one night last year on my local PBS station. I'm not sure what other station air it, but it is available through Netflix, as well as on iTunes.