Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Friends, allow me to share my new obsession favourite pastime with you:

I am officially in love with this series! Poor Wilson will attest that I have no interest in watching anything else these days, and have basically absconded with the entire set between the library and my parents' private collection. Pretty much every night that we don't have other plans, I curl up on the couch, bat my eyelashes and sweetly suggest, "Honey, want to watch an episode of Lewis?"

There are a plethora of reasons I am smitten with this show. First of all, the Masterpiece Mystery! production itself is a throwback to happy childhood memories of movie nights with my parents, when we would gather 'round the screen and watch the ever so elegant Diana Rigg introduce that night's feature presentation (usually a Hercule Poirot mystery with David Suchet masterfully portraying Christie's brilliant detective). I still remember quite clearly the Masterpiece opening title sequence which I completely adored: a Gorey-esque animation in sombre hues with the occasional splash of colour and a "fainting woman" who had swooned on the edge of a crumbling parapet. Oh, BBC, even your opening credits are noteworthy.

Which brings me to point #2: the BBC seem to have rather a unique talent for consistently producing high calibre TV series. (In our family, other favourites include Foyle's War and Midsomer Murders). Maybe it's merely my British roots showing through, but I often find the quality of their programming to be head and shoulders above what we're producing in North America. I just can't resist British comedies, British mysteries, and even the occasional British romance/drama. Now if only the dialogue of these shows wasn't drowned out by the noise of gravel crunching underfoot, or what have you! But aside from that strangely British idosyncrasy, the production quality of this particular series is superb. Wonderful camera angles, story-telling, dialogue, and a talented cast that bring to life characters you can’t help but fall in love with.
Thirdly, Lewis (or Inspector Lewis, as we say on this side of the pond) is set in Oxford, which is pretty much the most ideal place to shoot a TV series, ever. I mean, it's Oxford! Steeped in tradition, birthplace of brilliant thinkers and some of the most beloved authors of all time, full of quaint shops, old churches, stunning spires, and home to two on-screen detectives who get to flip open their badges and say "Oxfordshire police" in charming British accents.

Excuse me while I swoon.

Lewis features tight plots that still twist deliciously and keep you guessing ‘til the end, a sublime cast, sumptuous visuals of Oxford and surrounding countryside, and a palpable chemistry between Detective Inspector Robert Lewis (Kevin Whately) and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) that makes the whole series sing. Throw in enough Shakespeare quotations to satisfy even the fussiest English teacher, plus a dash of Latin and Ancient Greek (it is Oxford, after all!) and what more could a girl ask for?

Aside from providing a delightful distraction from the drudgery of daily duties, Lewis has sparked in me a passion for a trip to Oxford. Just to wander around Oxford’s many colleges, have a picnic in the Botanic Garden, stop in at the local pub for a pint glass of orange juice... Sigh. Well, maybe one day... A girl can dream, can’t she?

In the meantime, I’m getting my fill of Oxford via any season of Lewis I can get my hands on, and picking up British slang while I’m at it (to wit: “dishy,” “get it sorted,” and my personal favourite, “rumpy-pumpy”). I might secretly be cherishing the aspiration to introduce some of these phrases into mainstream Canadian conversation, but you won’t get me to admit that at one point I started reading a passage of Jane Eyre aloud in a British accent. What?! You can’t prove a thing!

1 comment:

  1. Ok. Must breathe. Diana Rigg = yes! Masterpiece Mystery opening = YES! Oxford = oh dear, yes indeed! And British slang and Jane Eyre and Shakespeare quotations = swooning right along with you. ^_^

    So glad to hear you are enjoying Lewis! Sounds like an exciting programme. =D