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Midsomer Murders

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Joyce Barnaby always seemed miscast or miswritten. I could never picture Tom Barnaby with such an ineffectual, Stepford like wife. It was jarring that his character would find her character attractive. She always came off like "the little woman."

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There was something very charming about Scott so it seemed off when Barnaby would get irritated with him and give him a hard time.

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I just watched "A Christmas Haunting". I met the new DS Charlie Nelson. I like him. I do miss Ben but he is gone and we have to move on. Sarah is pregnant. That surprised me.

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I just started watching this (Netflix suggested it as something I might like, and Netflix was right) and I'm already devastated that Tom Barnaby won't be around for all 15 series (I was wondering how he would be, though). The Barnaby women are no great shakes so that doesn't bother me. I never even heard of this show! 

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I just started watching on Netflix about a week ago. I pick out the more prominent people right away, but some of the others just suddenly strike me. Like I was watching what I thought was some ordinary English actress and she suddenly said "I want to know the truth" and that "truth" was Scottish and I thought, "That's Mrs. Hughes!" (from Downton Abbey). 

 

It seems like every time I look someone up on IMDB for this show, they've played multiple characters. 

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I have a question about the episode "Four Funerals and a Wedding " . I don't really get the stuff with the fire 50 years ago and the babies involved . Which kid died ? 

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Hi Lianau, the real heir baby died in the fire.  The lady arrested had her own baby which she pretended was the real heir so that he would have a better life.

 

We have finally gotten some Ben episodes in the Washington DC area. I like him a lot!

Edited by Biosynth
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I have no idea what is being shown on US television (or where) I do my viewing streaming on Acorn TV and Netflix. What seasons are everyone watching? I've just finished 17 on Acorn. Must say, the new duo just don't feel like Midsommer. Preferred the Tom Barnaby years.

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I'm doing a rewatch and just started season 6. I only watch via Netflix. I have to say, I am really taken aback by Cully and Joyce's reactions to Tom's work. Really, what did they expect?

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Finished Season 6. I guess I can understand Cully and Joyce sometimes being frustrated that you can never plan anything because the never ending murder train that is midsomer will pull Tom away to work. But even with that the family relationship is the heart of the Tom B years. You would need to be really secure in the depth of the bonds to put up with the never present Tom. And they are that secure which is lovely.

And now on to Season 7. The Green Man which is one of my favorites as well as being Troy's last case. And then DS Scott who, I must admit, is my favorite assistant. Wish he had lasted longer than 2 series. Wonder what the story is behind his sudden departure.

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I understand their frustration to a point. At some points, their pissiness was really aggravating. They've lived this way for how long? I do agree that they were really secure with their love for Tom, and his for them.

 

I'm into season 7, also. I liked Dan Scott, too. Do you wonder about the actor's departure or the character? I chalked up his character's departure to fear. London is safer!

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I wonder about the actor's disappearance - no media announcement, no real in story explanation.

In terms of the character, you may be right about safety - more murders per square inch in midsomer than anywhere in the world :-) Also, I figure he's tired of working for a type A personality who doesn't even give you Sunday off. And, anyway, London's more fun!

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Just finished watching season 17 episode 4 "A Vintage Murder". It sure had a lot of twists and turns!

Apparently they've started filming season 18, but Dr. Kate isn't part of it; she's been replaced. I haven't found any info as to why.

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limecoke, I just finished the last Tom Barnaby episode (it surprised me a little; I knew he would be gone at the end of season 13 but I never knew how many episodes there'd be in a season) and I'm so sad! I'd been thinking all along that I'd stop watching when he left, but your post made me think I should at least give the later seasons a try. So thanks! 

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I was sorry when Tom Barnaby left, but I'm getting used to his replacement.  Different type, but he's growing on me.  Plus there's Sykes ;)

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Okay, I watched through the end of season 15 (all I have on Netflix). I had thought that that was all there was, which gave me the idea that the new Barnaby hadn't been popular. I liked the way they brought him in as his own man, not Tom Barnaby Lite. I like the new Barnaby family better than Joyce and Cully. I'll really miss Ben though! I'd thought they might finally have a woman sergeant-like the female who made detective- but no go.

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There are no words for how much I enjoy Midsomer Murders. I may now have to get Netflix if they have all the seasons.... (Thanks for this column by the way - it's one of my favorite things on this site.)

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I've loved Midsomer Murders for ages. I recently tried to go back to the books but they're much darker and Troy is an asshole.

I think I've seen most of the episodes twice but it may be time for a third viewing.

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I've been stressy lately and I honestly just the other day was contemplating a Midsomer binge to take my blood pressure down. It's just so...soothing. For a show with gruesome deaths occurring at an alarming rate, that is. And you can leave the room to fold a basket of laundry, come back, and not have missed much, because the mysteries tend towards the non-sensical anyway. I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure there have been at least a couple episodes where they just never explained some of the deaths (as has happened on Inspector Lewis, I believe).

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Oh man, the fact that this is all on Netflix now is very exciting news and I thank you for bringing it to me! I've only ever seen one episode, when I was studying abroad in London and we watched an episode in our British Culture class (we watched Hot Fuzz the next week and that movie is so much funnier once you've watched Midsomer Murders since it's almost a direct parody). I eagerly look forward to exploring more episodes!

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My Mom and I subscribed to Acorn specifically for Midsomer Murders (we've stayed for Time Team and The Last Detective). Midsomer is perfect summer fare, light & refreshing.

I sort of actually prefer Neil Dudgeon's brainier approach, even though I have nothing bad to say about John Nettles.

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I love love love Midsomer Murders. I did a rewatch earlier in the summer. I don't think all 18 seasons are on Netflix, though. At least not in the U.S. I'm only seeing 15 seasons. Hopefully, they'll get the other three soon.

Edited by TeslaNewton

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My Mom and I subscribed to Acorn specifically for Midsomer Murders (we've stayed for Time Team and The Last Detective). Midsomer is perfect summer fare, light & refreshing.

I sort of actually prefer Neil Dudgeon's brainier approach, even though I have nothing bad to say about John Nettles.

 

I agree about preferring Neal Dudgeon's Barnaby. I will miss DSI Jones. I'm on Netflix and we only have through season 15. I'll look forward to them getting  the rest of the seasons.

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Since we cut the cable two years ago and now rely on a local HD antenna and a ROKU (FUCKING LOVE MY ROKU!!  SHOUT OUT TO IT!!)  

 

Ahem, since we use the Roku almost exclusively, I have found myself watching more and more European murder shows.  Al Lowe's reviews this summer have been invaluable.  Seriously, I've seen all of the recommendations except Falcon because I will cry if I get involved with a handsome Spanish man only to discover I have 2 hours and that's all.  I can't, I just can't make that sort of brief commitment.  (LOL)

 

I'm delighted to find Midsomer Murders.  I avoided it forever because it looked too much like Miss Marple, or heaven forfend, Murder, She Wrote.  (Love you Angela, but NO.)

 

We're through the first series and are loving this.  It's vaguely horrifying and funny at the same time.  The willingness to take the viewer to the brink of the character's death is quite alarming.  (I said, aloud to Mr. C the other night, "My God, I think I hit the ground with the Vicar when he fell."  That was unnerving.)

 

These are just wonderful shows.  (Thanks, also, to Al Lowe for turning us on to Humboldt Fog.  We are forever in your debt.)

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Midsomer Murders, yay! I discovered it after moving from New York to Connecticut, where it's in more or less constant circulation on PBS. It's pretty easy to stumble upon an episode if I'm up past 1 a.m.--and, unfortunately, impossible to switch off once the theremin strains have started. My favorite thing about MM is that it's a veritable who's who of before-they-were famous British actors. The episode with Emily Mortimer is in my top ten, just fantastically twisted.

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I recently got the season 17 DVD.  I just watched The Dagger Club.  Barnaby and his wife have just had their baby.  I do like Nelson more and more as I see him.

I enjoyed this episode.  It had the right amount of Midsomer characters to keep me amused.  But all I have to do is hear the music and I start to smile.  So I am easy to please with this show.

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At first I was disconcerted, but now I think it's a good move that the show makes so little fanfare about cast changes (other than Barnaby's, because, natch.) Dan Scott was "out sick" one day and we never heard from him again; Jones has been promoted to DI and moved to Brighton, all offscreen. The pathologist has changed a couple times...although I admit I finally got used to the latest one and I guess she's being replaced for the 2016 season, but whatev it's just the pathologist.

 

I like Nelson so far but they've done absolutely nothing to flesh out his character other than being a good copper who doesn't wear a tie. Jason Hughes as Ben Jones put a stamp on the character from the jump, and I kept wanting to have an episode with his Gran.

 

It's funny how the show has managed to be the same, and still different with the new Barnaby. I like Dudgeon's approach to the role, but I wish Sarah was a little less of a sitcom pretty, out-of-his-league type. But she's smart and they seem solid. They do need to be a little more judicious with the dog stuff, and now the baby stuff.

 

Most memorable death: the catapulted wine bottles onto the guy pinned to his lawn with croquet ties, with his wheelchair-bound wife wheeled to the window to watch, and cackle "5 degrees more to the left, I think".

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Okay, so I'm going to ask it.

 

I want to get into this show badly.  But, after watching the first two, I'm a little uninspired.  SO...

 

What would be your recommended viewing guide for all episodes?  What episodes are the worst and can be skipped?

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Newer series:  I like Dugeon -- but the show changed a lot in recent series.  The filming has gotten to be better quality and more artistic.  The plotlines are less like "Murder She Wrote" (over the top murders, beautiful cottages, and cutesy little old white people) and is now more like the CSI franchise.  They haven't totally lost the "Midsomer" and "Causton" feel but something is more serious about it.

 

Azgard12, the show has been running for so long that without more to go on about what interests you, I have no idea what to recommend.  Regarding what I said above, the tenor does change when the Barnaby characters swap out (original flavour for his cousin from Brighton.)  Perhaps you might want to go right to series 13 or whenever Dugeon takes over the role?

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Azgard12, the show has been running for so long that without more to go on about what interests you, I have no idea what to recommend.  Regarding what I said above, the tenor does change when the Barnaby characters swap out (original flavour for his cousin from Brighton.)  Perhaps you might want to go right to series 13 or whenever Dugeon takes over the role?

 

Thank you for taking an interest in my question.  I realize now I gave very little to go on.  My concern is that if I skip ahead, will plots or stories between episodes be ruined?  Or are there any just amazing episodes to skip to?  Let me start by saying what I like so far...

 

EP 1.01 = An old woman's murder brings new attention to an old crime.  Slow but interesting with many suspects and fake-outs.  While I had the solution pegged, I enjoyed the ride but didn't care for the lead's family and at-home storyline.  I would, however, watch episodes like this all the time.

EP 1.02 = A murder within a book club leads... somewhere.  This episode I felt was mired by dropped plotlines and very little intrigue.  The solution felt a little out-of-left-field to me, but at the same time there were few suspects.  I would skip this episode.

 

So now I'm going to watch episode 3.  I don't quite want to skip ahead; I want to learn to appreciate this.  Perhaps I'll keep this updated for anyone else with the same thoughts (of wanting to know what to skip...)

Edited by Azgard12

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I think the beauty of this show is that you can get up in the middle of it and not feel like you've really missed anything.  The continuity of the Barnabys (all of them) and the sidekicks hold tight while the various burgs of Midsomer go by like colours on a spectrum.  

 

My habit is to come home at night, settle in, and then turn it on.  I let it run while I'm eating dinner and getting ready for bed.  If I get up in the middle for a drink, I don't necessarily stop it -- I just let it go on.  I never felt like I missed a thing.

 

It's kind of metaphysical that way -- you get a small British cottage-y comfortable feel from the show just by its very nature -- it literally is what it is.  

 

I've done this from episode 1.01 through 16.03 thus far and haven't missed a beat.

 

Btw -- my tastes are grown-up and sophisticated, frankly.  I don't suffer fools lightly.  So, with that said, this show has passed muster for weeks now.  (I like blood and gore; the more the better; as long as it's smart and entertaining.  Dumb something down and I'm the first with the "off" switch.  And I will turn shit right off.  I don't have patience or time for it.  I work full time, volunteer, and am 2 years into my PhD at a good school -- so there isn't a lot of time in the day for me to waste on Kardashians and cooking shows.)  

 

Other shows I'm watching -- recently, all of Sons of Anarchy, Hannibal, The Last Kingdom, The Bastard Executioner, and American Horror Story:  Hotel.  I just finished all of Justified and re-watched Deadwood.  So, that's my taste in general.

 

OH -- I meant to add -- I think you can go ahead and skip episodes and still keep up.  The only thing I think you'll miss are the occasional inside joke.  There are very few but they are funny if you catch them.  Otherwise, each episode appears to stand alone well.  (There are season-themed ones, as well, so you may end up watching a Christmas episode in July depending on your pace.  Lastly, you won't see much diversity until series 16.)

 

ETA:  Vikings.  I forgot to add Vikings.  LOVE it.

Edited by Captanne
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It's kind of metaphysical that way -- you get a small British cottage-y comfortable feel from the show just by its very nature -- it literally is what it is.  

That's my feeling about it. It's not something I have to stay intently focused upon. It's not a show in which I feel brilliant for figuring out the murderer in advance. It's a cozy! And there's a time and place when I want that - winter, snuggled with a dog and my knitting or sewing.

 

My tastes are a lot like yours. Probably very eclectic. 

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THIS series is SO relaxing, yet SO much fun!

HOWEVER,

I enjoyed the intricacies and complexities of the earlier seasons. Not that I don't like the more recent seasons, but they don't have the numerous 'extras'(actors) along with their quirkiness, hilarity, and excellent acting skills. Also, the recent set of 'series' do not incorporate the earlier types of layered plot concept and enactment.

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The earliest shows are taken from the original books. While they are not as dark as the books, they have more interesting people, imo. I highly recommend the books.

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I've been re-watching the older seasons on Netflix and it makes me sad because the newer ones are not up to snuff - particularly in the writing department - the cases just aren't that interesting, the episodes' characters aren't as charming or eccentric, and the odd ethnic person thrown in (after what feels like hundreds of episodes of no ethnic characters whatsoever) feels very pasted on. The older episodes have a very distinct feel about them that is old-fashioned and "English" in that very television/film way that charming British villages full of murder are supposed to feel. The newer ones are going for some grittier stuff that doesn't really fit with the Midsomer way.

With that said, I miss Tom Barnaby/John Nettles the most. And Troy. I do not miss Jane Wymark or Cully. The Barnaby women were always the weakest link on the older episodes - Mrs. Barnaby was like a zombie housewife and Cully was the most stunted late-20-something I've ever seen portrayed on TV outside of "Girls". I like Mrs. John Barnaby because at least she has a real job and a brain. And their dog is more interesting than Cully ever was.

I agree--Right on the $$ with each of your observations and comments.

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