Happy Valley, Wow

By Ann Shayne

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48 Comments
  • And for an amazing do-your-head-in contrast, watch “Grantchester” in which the actor playing Happy Valley’s psycho villain surfaces as a conflicted, crime-fighting, man of the cloth.

    • I was a huge Grantchester fan before I saw Happy Valley so imagine what a nightmare that was for me!

      • SAME HERE

  • Do feel free to read this comment in that accent, I sound enough like that for you not to be able to hear the difference.

    • My husband and I watched the second season of Happy Valley and then went right to Grantchester. It really messed with my head. But you have to admit, James Norton has an amazing smile.

  • Such a fantastic programme. I love the relationship between her and her sister

  • Sarah Lancashire is an amazing actress and Happy Valley was a brilliant show. Any more British TV show recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

    • River, Marcella, Hinterland, The Fall, Dr. Foster – all great.

      • Agreed, those are all great, especially River. And Sarah Lancashire is wonderful in Last Tango in Halifax.

      • You are obviously of my tribe. All of those were amazing!

      • Yes! LOVED Hinterland and River – going to go look up Dr. Foster! Thanks!

    • Thanks for the suggestions. We’ve watched some but not all of them. Shetland was a good series, as was Broadchurch, season 1 and 2

    • Foyle’s War, MI-5, Ripper Street, Rosemary & Thyme, Black Books, Call the Midwife, Doc Martin, any British comedy series from the mid-70s to late 80s, Luther, Monarch of the Glen, Broadchurch…

      That’s just off the top of my head. There are so many excellent British television shows!

    • “Vera” has another strong, middle aged, realistic, woman as lead homicide detective on the Northumberland police force. Played by Brenda Blethyn, Vera Stanhope is tough and tender, didn’t give a damn about her appearance, and absolutely glorious. There are six seasons to revel in.

    • I love Vera as well. Great female lead in a whodunit.

    • Sarah Lancashire was also brilliant in Last Tango in Halifax.

  • This has been on my “to watch” list. But thanks for the warning. I had to stop watching Whitechapel for a bit because the violence was getting to me. I’ve been known to watch tv with my hand in front of my eyes.

  • Also watched based on a recommendation and loved it! Cawood is a total badass with great intuition. Hinterland is also a great series.

  • One of the best series! Notice the lead in Grantchester plays a bad guy in Happy Valley?

  • OK for more middle-aged women bad ass cops, have you tried Scott and Bailey? Manchester accents this time.

    • I was just about to recommend Scott and Bailey! So good! Suranne jones has another show on Netflix called dr. Foster that is excellent.

    • Sally Wainwright is the script writer and producer of SCOTT AND BAILEY, LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX and HAPPY VALLEY.

      GRANTCHESTER and HAPPY VALLEY were filmed at the same time… there was some concern since HV was aired before G that the reaction to G would be affected because of HV but it only increased the viewership

      There is another brilliant season of HV not aired in US yet. LTIH is supposedly having one more final season (fourth) the other three are brilliant.

      Sally wrote Cawood for S Lancashire; the actor who plays her sister Siobhan Finneran was the hated OBrien on DOWNTON ABBEY. S Lancashire and Anne Reid from LTIH were on Coronation Street as mother and daughter.

      other shows to catch

      mysteries
      VERA, DCI BANKS, UNFORGOTTEN (Nicola Walker stars), LINE OF DUTY (Violent but v good), mini series APPLE TREE YARD, THE BRIDGE (Danish), THE TUNNEL (French), CLOSE TO THE ENEMY, ENDEAVOR (prequel to MORSE and LEWIS with the excellent Allam ) INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY,
      THE KILLING (Danish NOT the horrid american version), FORTITUDE, WALLANDER (original Swedish not BRIT)

      dramas
      A FRENCH VILLAGE , THE HONORABLE WOMAN, THE LEGACY, THE HALYCON,

      comedy
      MUM, MOONE BOY, MOTHERLAND(to come), OUTNUMBERED,

      Satire
      POWER MONKEYS, REV

      Most of these are not available on US or streaming. Use VPN to watch on original country networks.

      and yes i do not watch much American tv currently only MADAM SECRETARY and DESIGNATED SURVIVOR with NCIS and NCIS NEW ORLEANS (and old classics like FRASIER, CHEERS, NORTHERN EXPOSURE)

      • What, no love for DCI Banks? Talk about dark! I was up nearly all night last night just feeling TERRIBLE (and riveted). Also, the fact that Stephen Tompkinson, who plays DCI Banks, played the priest in Ballykissangel (that precursor to Doc Martin lol, where the quirky town is the leading character)–blows my mind almost as much as the James Norton duality in Grantchester versus Happy Valley.

        • I listed dci banks. As for ballykissangel i Hanover it practically memorized. Its not been on tv for years though.

  • That poor lonely heartbroken vicar from Grantchester is the creepiest bad guy I can remember since I don’t know when. I was peeking between my fingers at times.

    • Yes, he’s a good actor to be so believable in both.

  • More power to you! Loved the character and performance, couldn’t make it through the grit and violence. For everyday female bad-asses, we went thru a spate of Scandinavian shows: Dicte, Rita, and Annika Bengtzon. (Terrible for most knitting though, because of the dependence on subtitles.) And of course the ultimate palate cleanser, Miss Fisher’s Murdef Mysteries – but there it’s the magnificent period costumes and cars that visually distract!

  • I loved Ms. Fisher! I have trouble with too much violence. But I love BBC

  • There must be a vibe in the air – came upon this series this week and love it in particular because of Sarah Lancashire. Her acting is stellar and I admire the British for their deep well of talented people. Forgot to turn on the closed captioning on the 3rd episode, and found my ear had properly adjusted to the accents. I should be able to relocate to this beautiful area with few translation issues.

  • Got me to LOL with “nutcase.”
    I meant to say this in another post, I suspect it’s my inability to fully comprehend basic technology (that it baffles me also baffles me, so I’ll blame it on my autoimmune illness. Why not?). I couldn’t figur out how to buy 1 or even 2 sks of the gorgeous bulky yarn. I only saw the 5sk $155 option. TIA!!
    Also, You & Kay really make my life better. Thanks!

    • Hi Marilyn! So sorry not to be easy peasy about this Brunswick business. We definitely have single skeins available for people in search of an appetizer, not a five-course meal:

      https://www.masondixonknitting.com/shop/brunswick/

      As for making life better, backatcha. Friends on MDK are what will get me through! xoxo

  • Thanks for review. Next up after The Collection, on Amazon. Knitting, rainy Sunday, and binge watching. ☔️

  • We watched all of the episodes and were sad when we got to the end and heard there wouldn’t be any more. You’re so right–it was definitely not HAPPY!

  • Sally Wainwright is the script writer and producer of SCOTT AND BAILEY, LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX and HAPPY VALLEY.

    GRANTCHESTER and HAPPY VALLEY were filmed at the same time… there was some concern since HV was aired before G that the reaction to G would be affected because of HV but it only increased the viewership

    There is another brilliant season of HV not aired in US yet. LTIH is supposedly having one more final season (fourth) the other three are brilliant.

    Sally wrote Cawood for S Lancashire; the actor who plays her sister Siobhan Finneran was the hated OBrien on DOWNTON ABBEY. S Lancashire and Anne Reid from LTIH were on Coronation Street as mother and daughter.

    other shows to catch

    mysteries
    VERA, DCI BANKS, UNFORGOTTEN (Nicola Walker stars), LINE OF DUTY (Violent but v good), mini series APPLE TREE YARD, THE BRIDGE (Danish), THE TUNNEL (French), CLOSE TO THE ENEMY, ENDEAVOR (prequel to MORSE and LEWIS with the excellent Allam ) INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY,
    THE KILLING (Danish NOT the horrid american version), FORTITUDE, WALLANDER (original Swedish not BRIT)

    dramas
    A FRENCH VILLAGE , THE HONORABLE WOMAN, THE LEGACY, THE HALYCON,

    comedy
    MUM, MOONE BOY, MOTHERLAND(to come), OUTNUMBERED,

    Satire
    POWER MONKEYS, REV

    Most of these are not available on US or streaming. Use VPN to watch on original country networks.

    and yes i do not watch much American tv currently only MADAM SECRETARY and DESIGNATED SURVIVOR with NCIS and NCIS NEW ORLEANS (and old classics like FRASIER, CHEERS, NORTHERN EXPOSURE)

    • Where can I watch the Danish version of The Killing?

  • Absolutely love Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood! This was a great series. We enjoy a lot of the British ones, some of the best things on tv.

  • Try Shetland- 3 seasons of crime fighting and great hand knots!!!

  • Just binge-watched Happy Valley; what a great 2 series. Also watched Apple Tree Yard through a VPN. Sarah Lancashire is also in “The Paradise”. I’m currently knitting with yarn from The Isle of Skye. Shilasdair. It’s beautiful, hand dyed and spun. Check it out. They are very helpful on the phone. +44 1470 592200. [email protected].

  • I also had watched Grantchester and then found Happy Valley. What a kick-ass character! Never thought about closed captioning. I probably missed a lot.

  • Ann, I love that you like to watch BBC shows as you knit. I enjoy binge watching British and other foreign shows on Netflix, Acorn TV and sometimes MHzChoice as I knit. If I am watching a foreign language show with subtitles I have to be knitting something fairly simple. I haven’t watched Happy Valley yet, but I will check it out.

  • Is anybody watching Victoria?

    • I am. The costumes are AMAZING. Maybe we’ll see a revival of big sleeves soon.

  • I loved Happy Valley. Violence in movies usually makes me cringe, but it’s the shoot ’em up thing, where violence is everywhere and people take the carnage lightly, that bothers me. In Happy Valley each incident has an impact that actually shows. Catherine is such an amazing, complicated character (and so are the people around her). For a demonstration of humanity you can’t beat the final scene of Season 2….

  • Sarah Lancashire is amazing – whichever role she plays, she’s so human and sympathetic. I’ve just re-watched her in Heart and Soul (also called All the Small Things). Absolutely brilliant.

  • I binge-watched this show when John was away on a business trip. I have since recommended it to everyone who will listen. I can’t wait for the next season. And if you like Sarah Lancashire, have you watched “Last Tango in Halifax?” Amazing stuff.

  • My husband and I watched Happy Valley last year. He has been recommending to everyone we know ever since. She is one badass policewoman.

    • Forgot to say, thanks to al the commenters for the many excellent suggestions! Some I have already watched (currently on epi 2 of Luther), but I think I just added about ten series to my Netflix list.

  • I hear there is a season three in the works!