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Those who have knocked this series have merely proved that they simply
are so unused to being required to look beyond the surface (despite The
Simpsons) in a television programme that they are no longer capable of
seeing the joke.
This is a surreal world with real world concerns, a joke at the expense not only of English stereotypes, but of the very concept of detective drama. It is never intended that you should believe that the four central characters would, in the real world, be ranking police officers. This is an alternative universe where forensic pathologists hang about in a police caravan (which appears, as if by magic, at the scene of the crime) with detectives and comes up with a detailed analysis without ever entering a lab, and the West Midlands contains a street full of old school friends who speak with thick Lancastrian accents! What this 'unreal' setting does, as is the case in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, for example, is to free the writers to use the characters to gently mock those traits which so painfully reflect our own idiosyncrasies (repressed emotion, ebay addiction, our inability to escape those social conventions which we know to be ridiculous, all come in for laser accurate mockery that is nevertheless affectionate and always acknowledges that when a finger is pointed at anyone, there are three more pointing back at us.
The central characters are lovingly crafted by writers and actors, the 'jokes' are subtle and knowing, and the series greatly rewards those prepared to look beyond the focus and read between the lines. It's a work of pure television heaven that sadly may be cast into the outer darkness because it does not appeal to the lazy viewer who, despite its public service credentials, the BBC seems so desperate to attract.
I liked this program. Alistair McGowan is clever, pedantically wordy, dry and a little needy. With a wife that's gone missing, an obsession with shopping on eBay and Lucy Evans as a wise beyond her years daughter. Jessica Oyelowo is funny and gorgeous. Deliciously curvy with a fashion sense rooted in the fifties. If only I knew how to pronounce her name. I've always wonders how Jessica actually sounds. The two side kicks, Loo Brealey is cute and clever as anorak and Huw Rhys as a stereo-typical Welshman is considerably more endearing than his two timing character in Cardydd. OK, so it's Sunday evening, pre-watershed entertainment for the family. There is no violence, swearing, nudity or excessively stylish music. There is wit, an attractive cast, and the potential to build on a successful start. Roll on series two.
Those that have queued up to criticise this detective series have shown they have no idea of what constitutes quality TV (they are probably closet TV producers). Just once in a while a TV executive commissions something worth making, this is one of those occasions. To say that Mayo is quirky, witty and, at times, satirical is to state the obvious. The acting talents of Alistair MacGowan and his cohorts are remarkable, they each have, hopefully, long futures in TV and film. Critics or "people who have no abilities and hate seeing ability in others" have said "inane", "grating" "poorly written", these are the sort of people that praise the latest 'reality' show where shop assistants, cleaners, airport workers, bailiffs or wheel clampers parade their lack of talent, or of hopeful singers (some with talent) are crushed by non-entities. When loudness makes up for lack of humour and mediocrity for lack of imagination, it is unsurprising that one of the best TV series in 10 years is cancelled in favour of non-entities showing their inability to dance.
It appears I'm one of the few who found this TV series - called "The
Gil Mayo Mysteries" in Australia - to be addictive and entertaining.
No, it's not "Dalziel and Pascoe", but perhaps it's more 'The Last
Detective' with a twist. However you define it, it's an acquired taste,
and obviously not everyone's cup of tea. Whatever, I love it, and am
saddened by the news that a second series is not to follow.
On the surface, the combination of wise and droll boss, with pretty, but quirkily-dressed side-kick, accompanied by klutzy young Welsh dude and cyber-nerdy-girl-trouble-shooter seems a trifle familiar, and even clichéd. Heck, I love a good cliché, so long as it's well done, and for me, this series is well done. It's improbable, yes, but I don't watch TV for reality - if I want reality I can step outside my front door.
I enjoy it for that which is expected - like Mayo's fastidious attention to correct grammar and pronunciation, or the next 50's hair style of Alex's (who in their right mind would go to such bother just to go to work?), or Mayo's daughter's next indication that she's more an adult than anyone else in the story? You'll love it or hate it, but one should see it just for the experience alone.
My wife and I loved this show. It certainly deserves a DVD release of
the series. It was smart and witty, not only in dialogue but visually
Even to a male the wardrobe variety of the main female lead was something to amuse and savor. Always she looked really good. Her quirky relationship with Mayo was something quite beyond cliché and held one's fascination by never being adequately explained.
Mayo's grammatical pedantry was brilliant in an age which no longer pays attention to such matters. Indeed, writers seem to go in the opposite direction just to follow the mob.
Shows of this quality are unfortunately very different and very rare. Please let's buy the DVDs.
Other have mentioned some of the merits of this witty, often funny
mystery. It isn't deep, dark and gut wrenching. It IS light, well
written and has a fine cast.
But, there is something seriously familiar about the cast and characters. Here's what I mean.
There is the (relatively) handsome male lead and the gorgeous female lead. They are backed up by a long-haired (shaggy) male who provides a lot of the comic relief and a short, dark- haired, bookish, glasses-wearing, female. The team travel around in a large van solving mysterious deaths in out-of-the-way places.
The only thing missing is the dog.
Freddie, Daphnie, Shaggy and Velma?
No... there aren't ghosts and glowing, algae-covered sea Captains rattling chains, but I would bet a bucket of Scooby snacks that the people who created and cast this fun show are real fans of Scooby Do, Where Are You?
And, if you watch these shows with that in mind, it becomes even more entertaining.
I made these comments to the BBC drama site just in the hope.
Mayo is currently being replayed here (in Australia) on ABC. I missed most of the original showings but made a special effort not to miss the replays.
As it is one of the best shows I have seen on television, I have just investigated the length of the series and any further series.
I was horrified to find that only 8 episodes were made. Is there any possibility of further episodes being made? Is it possible that a DVD will be released?
I am sure many others before me have pointed out what makes this program so good. And I am equally sure that you know what makes most programs available for viewing so appalling.
As far as I can tell from comment sites it seems there are just not enough thinking television viewers left on the planet. Therefore, I guess, we are stuck with all the 'loud', 'confrontational', 'realistic' programs which seem to be the norm these days.
What a pleasure it was to watch today's episode with its clever repartee and subtle humour.
I loved Mayo, and I was saddened it was so short lived. It wasn't the best show ever to grace my screen, but a thousand light years away from being the worst. What I loved about Mayo was that it was funny and addictive, very like New Tricks in some way. One or two of the secondary characters were a little stereotyped and one or two episodes are a little slow to start with, my only problems with Mayo, but what did compensate was some very funny and intelligent writing, interesting plot lines and very good lead performances from Alistair McGowan, Huw Rhys and the gorgeous Jessica Oyelowo. Plus the music and photography were quite excellent. Personally, I think Mayo should have lasted longer, it may have had one or two problems but if given a chance, like I think it should have these problems could have easily been rectified. 9/10 Bethany Cox
This show is awesome such a shame it didn't have more than 8 episodes
Really enjoyable Gil Mayo's fascination with the Correct use of English
is quite amusing.
He always has great quips and one liners
Alex's hairstyle changes through most episodes, she adds great balance to the slightly left of centre character name of the show Alistair McGowan
The character of the junior male DC "kite" is slightly annoying but in a good way.
Anorak the forensics officer has slightly bookish character which rounds out a really clever take on police murder mystery's
The Gil Mayo Mysteries is like a breath of fresh air! Great cast, great
script, great concept. A true pleasure; a witty script with wonderful
characters. I love them all. The reference, by a previous reviewer, to
Scooby Doo, is spot on; I just hadn't realized it before. I find it so
disappointing that television this good, is cancelled, whilst mindless
garbage keeps coming back! Who decides what stays and what goes,
anyway? Whoever they are, they are obviously not asking the right
Is it too late to continue this wonderful series???
P L E A S E ! at least release this fine morsel on DVD so we may savour what little we have been served :)
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