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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

Murder in Suburbia: Series 1 (review)

It’s best if you don’t think about this cheeky English crime series as falling into the mystery genre — it’s more a comedy, of the gently satiric kind. In the best tradition of recent cop shows with a British accent, the coppers charged with investigating murder are a motley duo: Here, “posh” Kate Ashurst (Caroline Catz) and working-class Emma Scribbins (Lisa Faulkner: MI-5) root out clues and goad suspects to confess to their evil deeds while lamenting their single-girl lifestyles and sighing over their hot boss (Jeremy Sheffield: The Wedding Date) while at the same time half plotting to kill him themselves, he being an infuriating male and all. Oh, and, as the title suggests, they do their job in the secretive realm of suburbia, where tons of illicit sex and the occasional homicide are hidden behind well-trimmed hedges and manicured lawns. It may be an easy target, the burbs, but this amiable series makes the most of poking a bit of scandalous fun at wife-swapping, the competition for upscale preschools, and the intrigue that goes on at golf clubs. There are no extras to speak of in the set, but these six episodes, which aired on BBC America, are a treat.

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MPAA: not rated

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