Just finished the first series. This is the archetype and Platonic form of the female cop police procedural, isn't it? I suspected going in that it would deal with male chauvinism in the workplace (like Top of the Lake), so wasn't looking to pay attention to the mystery-procedural. Big mistake. The series is fast and dense with this, with people rapidly talking while others are rapidly talking, and the action moves at a brisk pace. The British accents don't help with comprehension.

So it's not a McGuffin while Helen Mirren has to prove herself and withstand the old boys network abuse at her. But her young face really gets a workout, and every emotion is expressed in it: including the predominant ones of anger, steel, her eyes getting bigger as she calls someone out for messing with her, and the suspect out for lying. She's a dragon lady, but a vulnerable one, and she makes mistakes and alienates her boyfriend—Tom Wilkinson!—with her job as she ignores her private life. (I told you this was the archetype of this genre. It's the same problem the lead detective in The Killing has: she gets too emotionally and time wise involved with her work.) The ending is a surprise. Look for a young Ralph Fiennes in a very small role.

As I was born in London and immediately left there—when I was a few months old—I want to check out more British TV, so that I can get to know the place and its culture and people. I know Keeping Up Appearances and As Time Goes By, but that's it. Any suggestions by our British friends, in any genre, will be appreciated. As long as its realistic to the place, though I guess Doctor Who can teach you about Britain. Have to get on that too.