|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating - Movie:|
|Original title:||Happy Valley Series 1|
|Genre:||TV series, Thriller, Drama|
|Direction:||Euros Lyn, Sally Wainwright, Matthew Read|
|Production country:||Großbritannien 2014|
|Running time:||Ca. 300 min.|
|Rated:||From 16 years|
|Number of discs:||2|
|Languages:||German, English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Picture format:||16:9 (1.78:1)|
Content: Catherine Canwood (Sarah Lancashire) is confronted with drugs, abuse and juvenile delinquency every day during her daily work as a police officer in a small town in West Yorkshire. She tries to counter misery with a healthy mixture of empathy and sarcasm. She also has to fight her own demons again and again, as she still hasn't coped with her daughter's suicide. Her marriage is as broken as her relationship with her son. Now Catherine lives together with her grandson Ryan with her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) and tries as best as she can to master her life. This succeeds quite well until the day Catherine finds out that Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), whom she blames for her daughter's suicide, has been released from prison. For the policewoman it is clear: the young man is evil from the ground up and he will hurt even more women until someone finally stops him. And she is supposed to be right, as Tommy Lee becomes one of the masterminds behind the kidnapping of young Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy) shortly after his release. For Catherine there is now only one goal left: to find Tommy Lee and his accomplices and save the girl before something worse happens…
The renowned TV writer Sally Wainwright has undoubtedly created one of the best crime series of the recent past with "Happy Valley". Already after the first two episodes it becomes clear that Catherine Canwood loosely plays in a league with "Luther" and other top-class musicians. Carried by a very gloomy atmosphere, infused with oppressive realism, Wainwright does not only build up an enormously exciting criminal story, which runs through six stirring episodes. She also creates very exciting and multi-layered characters, in which the line between good and evil often blurs. Here everyone has his demons, his dark sides. At the same time, characters like Tommy Lee Royce are also drawn in such a way that they are more than a typical villain.
The motifs of Kevin, played by "The League of Gentlemen" comedian Steve Pemberton, are in some way comprehensible, making the little employee a truly tragic figure. Kevin also shows in a dramatic way how a wrong decision can negatively influence or even destroy the lives of several people - even if this was not the intention of the person who caused it. By renouncing the black-and-white painting that is so popular in crime thrillers, the series gets its enormous tension, even though the staging often takes a lot of time for long dialogues and quiet moments.
"Happy Valley" has some very intense moments to offer, which don't necessarily make this series a casual after-work pleasure. There should be a certain penchant for dark fabrics in order to enjoy the story with all its facets - even if a little dry humour or sarcasm sometimes flashes through it. But if you're interested in high-quality thriller dramas, which don't only deal with the case, but also with the people involved in it, you shouldn't miss this excellent first season. Absolutely worth seeing!
Picture + sound: The picture reproduces the sad, rather gloomy atmosphere of the crime thriller well by a harmonious, somewhat reduced and undercooled coloration. The sharpness of the picture is at a good TV level, especially in the brighter scenes, whereas in the darker scenes there are some minor blurriness and minimal picture noise noticeable here and there. The stereo sound makes the dialogues sound clear and easy to understand from the home cinema speakers and the rather reserved soundtrack also creates a very harmonious atmosphere. Good!
Extras: Except for a few program tips, the double DVD unfortunately has no extras to offer.
Fazit: "Happy Valley" is an extremely exciting crime series from Great Britain, which can captivate with a cleverly constructed story, interestingly drawn characters and a consistently gloomy atmosphere. Even though the series is always on the go and it's not a real pleasure in the classic sense to watch the six episodes of the first season, at the end of the day the realisation remains that "Happy Valley" is one of the best genre series the UK has to offer at the moment. If you like it a bit darker and very exciting, you can't miss this double DVD - even if there is no bonus material worth mentioning. absolutely recommended!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp