Television Review: Endeavour (2014)/Fortitude (2014)

Ready to binge watch some TV shows now that the weather is (finally) turning cooler?  Here are two great series you might have missed (I had before I received some excellent suggestions)!

If you love traditional mysteries of the British variety, consider Endeavour. A prequel series to the classic Inspector Morse show, Endeavour is easy to enjoy even if you aren’t familiar with the original series, though there are a lot of little Easter eggs for those who are. This show follows Inspector Morse before he was an inspector–when he was an unorthodox but up-and-coming detective constable in Oxford, England in the mid-1960s. Carol Ann knows I love a good mystery, and she recently recommended the series to me, though I’ve had other friends also tell me about it. (Thanks for the great suggestion, Carol Ann!)

I’ve already watched the first season and couldn’t wait to start season 2. (There are 3 seasons total, with a 4th slated to air sometime next year.) For me the real highlight of this series is the great acting and the great characters, particularly in relation to Shaun Evans’s young Morse and Roger Allam’s Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, who sees Morse’s potential as a detective, despite his quirks. Evans and Allam make a great team, and that crime-fighting duo is my favorite part of the series, though it also features a lot of other great British actors in supporting roles. Occasionally, the mysteries themselves in Endeavour seem a bit overly convoluted, but I think that’s also part of the charm of this very enjoyable series.

Not a big fan of traditional mysteries? Instead consider trying Fortitude. My good friend Whitney suggested this show to me, and I’m so glad she did because it’s been one of the best things I’ve watched all year. (Thanks again, Whitney!) The show is set in the fictional Arctic town of Fortitude, which is itself modeled on the real-life northernmost city in the world Longyearbyen.  Filmed in Iceland, the stunning, unusual setting is just one of this show’s many draws. The close-knit, crime-free community of Fortitude is devastated by a murder, but that soon proves to be the least of their problems.

Though the catalyst of the plot is a murder investigation, the show isn’t really a traditional mystery. It’s much more accurate to describe it as an atmospheric thriller/horror. I don’t really want to give away too many details, except to say that I really enjoyed the unpredictable plot–it constantly kept me on edge and guessing–and the cast, which includes Richard Dormer, Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci, and Sophie Gråbøl, is amazing. The show is populated with a range of intriguing characters, but my favorite part was the uneasy working relationship of the town’s sheriff (Dormer) with the Scotland Yard detective (Tucci) who is sent in to aid with the investigation. I could watch Dormer and Tucci be gloriously passive aggressive with each other at crime scenes and morgues all day long.

Fortitude is definitely not for the faint of heart–it features some pretty graphic scenes–but if you like offbeat series, it’s definitely worth a try. Likewise, if you enjoy more traditional murder mysteries, you shouldn’t miss Endeavour.

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about either of these shows, please just visit our online library catalog.

What have you been watching lately? Have you watched either Fortitude or Endeavour? Tell us in the comments!

 

 

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Author: berryvillelibrary

"Growing a bigger, better library"

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