DVD Review: Murder in Suburbia – Series 2

Murder in Suburbia – Series 2
Acorn Media

Call me unsophisticated, but I don’t really like police procedural shows. While I acknowledge that forensic science has revolutionized police work, I don’t find watching detectives discover brain tissue in the sofa cushions all that entertaining; just fascinating in a kinda ooky way. (I also happen to be a charter member of the “David Caruso Can’t Act” club but don’t get me started on that.) It saddens me to think that the American television audiences may have become too jaded by CSI to enjoy a cheeky little whodunit like Murder in Suburbia.

Caroline Catz and Lisa Faulkner play police detectives Kate “Ash” Ashurst and Emma “Scribbs” Scribbins in the British suburb of Middleford. The two are opposite in personality and in apparel. Ash’s clothes and hair are sleek and businesslike. Her interview style is intense, confrontational. Scribbs is more free spirited in her dress and more instinctive in her dealings with people. Friends on and off the job, both are single and looking for the right guy. When they aren’t interviewing suspects, they are engaging in commiserative confabs about the woeful lack of good men.

The show is full of subtle humor. In Episode 1, titled “Witches”, Ash and Scribbs investigate the occult murder of a schoolgirl. In one scene, we listen to them chatting as they wait to interview a suspect while, in the background, the school chorus gravely sings a SATB arrangement of the Pet Shop Boys cynical “Suburbia”. Not your standard glee club fare.

Much of the appeal of the show is found in the odd denizens of Middleford, like the finicky dog owner with a barking Big Ben doorbell, who is suspected of killing the owner of a kennel for accidentally allowing a stray mutt to “shag” her pedigreed poodle.
She describes the lasting damage the encounter caused: “She still has nightmares. Whenever she sees a whippet, she bolts.”

The closest thing to police procedure we ever see is when they recreate a crime scene on Scribb’s desk using Star Wars action figures. So, if you’re into autopsies and doing your David Caruso impression in front of the bathroom mirror, go watch CSI. But if you like quirky characters and wily humor, give Murder in Suburbia a chance.

Naomi J Krueger

Click here to order Murder in Suburbia series 2 from Amazon.