DVD Review: BLUE MURDER: set 3

Acorn Media

Release Date: August 12, 2008
MSRP: $39.99

Stars: Caroline Quentin, Nicholas Murchie, Rhea Bailey

In the third DVD collection of this British crime drama, Caroline Quentin is wonderful as ever as DCI Janine Lewis, a smart, down-to-earth detective and single mother of four children. This set contains only three episodes and while it is a compliment to the producers that I am left wanting more, I must confess myself a bit disappointed. The charm of this series has always been in watching Janine balance her chaotic work life with her equally frantic family life. These epiodes contain just two, brief glimpses into Janine’s home: We find out that Janine‘s philandering ex-husband is finding life with his girlfriend and their new baby a bit harder than he anticipated. Meanwhile, Janine wonders where her daughter is getting the money for some new additions to her wardrobe.

The criminal investigation aspects of the plots are involving as ever. The supporting characters are great to watch, especially DS Shap (Nicholas Murchie), a street-wise detective who doesn’t always play by the rules. A new character to watch for is DC Lisa Goodall (Rhea Bailey), a newly minted detective who has proven herself invaluable in-house but is having problem establishing her credibility on the street.

After thoroughly enjoying the first two collections of this series, I thought I’d gotten used to the northern England accents used by all the characters. In this set, however, I found myself having to rewind at times to try to decipher the dialog and sometimes rewinding didn’t help. I thought I was losing my ear but then I watched a few episodes from the first season and I found I could understand the accents perfectly. Apparently the producers have made the decision to make the series more gritty and realistic, thus the heavier brogue and the healthy dose of Manchester slang.

One of the scenes I kept rewinding was one in which DI Mayne (Ian Kelsey) said, “The man’s wife is with a colleague”. I knew it must mean that his wife was cheating on him but I wanted to know what the was. I became obsessed but I couldn’t catch the phrase no matter how many times I listened to it. Thank goodness for the behind-the-scenes documentary! In it, I found out that Ian Kelsey, a bona fide British guy, also had problems with the line. He had never heard of the phrase “gone over the side” meaning cheating or having an affair and he kept saying that the man’s wife was “on the other side”. So, “gone over the side” joins “I was right mithered” and “what are you skenning at” in my personal dictionary of slang from around the world.

Order Blue Murder from Amazon.

Naomi J. Krueger

For more reviews from Naomi, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.