Agatha Raisin Series 1 DVD Review
“Agatha Raisin” is another formulaic murder mystery series.
Based on the M.C. Beaton book series, “Agatha Raisin” is yet another British amateur detective/murder mystery series. This time around, however, the titular character is not a kindhearted detective, but rather a tough, upbeat, determined, wealthy and rude person. Basically, she’s a more modern and slightly edgy detective than someone like say Miss Marple. Anyway, Agatha Raisin herself is a London public relations exec who turns over her company and moves to the quaint village of Carsely. In the pilot/TV movie “The Quiche of Death,” Agatha almost immediately becomes a suspect in a murder case. To clear her name, she does some amateur sleuthing to solve the case.
In the 8 episode series (separate from ‘Quiche’), Agatha continues her amateur investigations regarding a walker, infidelity, a water company, a garden contest, and multiple murders (including a vet, a bride, and a clairvoyant). Agatha’s love life is also a major component of the first series. Of course, there are plenty of supporting/reoccurring characters like Agatha’s friend and co-worker Roy as well as two Detectives.
Murder mysteries and amateur detective series are a dime a dozen in the UK and the often lighthearted “Agatha Raisin” is one of the latest shows of these genres to hit the airwaves. Truth be told, aside from having a brash lead character and flashy direction, it’s all pretty routine. Once you’ve seen one quirky unsafe small town murder mystery show, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Granted, we all have our comfort shows, but I think TV has moved past these frankly outdated detective drama-comedies.
Now, having not read the books, I cannot compare or contrast the novels and the show, but judging by some comments I have seen, there are a number of differences. I can say that actor Ashley Jensen tackles the role of Agatha Raisin head on. Yes, she can be annoying (even though that is purposeful), but she makes all of Agatha’s characteristics come to life exceedingly well.
Presentation: 16:9. How does it look? The series is well shot and the DVD transfer reflects that.
Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The track is not going to wow you, but it’s solid all around.
* Acorn trailers.
* 5 “The Quiche of Death” behind-the-scenes featurettes that cover the characters, cast, setting, the book series and the TV series.
* A photo gallery.
* “Agatha Is Back”- A short featurette that basically sells viewers the show.
* “From PR To PI”- A featurette about the titular character.
Overall Thoughts: “Agatha Raisin” is not my cup of tea, but fans of murder mysteries, detective shows, and M.C. Beaton’s books might want to check it out.
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