Yorkshire based crime drama centering on the personal and professional life of Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood.Yorkshire based crime drama centering on the personal and professional life of Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood.Yorkshire based crime drama centering on the personal and professional life of Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood.
Happy Valley is the name the police use to describe this neck of the woods, around Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. Drugs, unemployment, and the resultant crime are part of everyday life. Within this mix, we meet Catherine Cawood, a policewoman (formerly a detective) played by Sarah Lancashire. At the risk of throwing too many superlatives into this review, I believe Ms Lancashire should win a BAFTA in 2015 for her portrayal of a dedicated, often jaded, but loyal and determined copper. I *believed* her character, through her heroics, as well as her anti-heroism. Her ambivalence towards her young grandson is uncomfortable to watch, but completely understandable. It would be too easy to say that Sarah Lancashire *is* the show, but that would be unfair to some of the other fine performers, such as James Norton, George Costigan, Siobhan Finneran, and a stellar performance from Steve Pemberton, whose character, Kevin, sets off the whole mess of events which kept me breathless for the 6 episodes.
The environment - around Hebden Bridge and Halifax, in West Yorkshire - is beautiful, and the buildings appear to have grown directly out of the landscape, and while this may be an ancient environment, the problems which occupy the police all belong in the modern world. I am really hoping there will be a Series 2.
- Jun 4, 2014