Monday, January 15, 2018

shetland [2013 --]

anna introduced me to this excellent BBC police procedural featuring DI jimmy perez, magnificently assayed by douglas henshall,  and his colleagues investigating and solving murders on the beautiful, rain and windswept scottish islands of shetland.  together we watched the first two seasons, and a season in BBC terms usually is a two-hour episode.  then i went on to watch other things while anna finished the series.

but then again i caught up on the wonderful TV series this weekend.  i binged all the available episodes in three-nights.  the series is based upon the novels by ann cleeves.  the first three seasons are taken directly from cleeves' novels while the fourth season takes perez and co. into new waters and the city of glasgow over the course of six episodes as perez takes a deep dive into murder, rape, drug running and organized crime.

sounds bleak, no?  it is but there is very little violence and bloodshed.  rather, perez is a calm, collected intellect who knows how to ask questions with such precision that it often disarms the suspects.  that mind makes this series such a satisfying viewing pleasure.

and yet i would be remiss not to mention that utter, jawdropping, beauty of the shetland islands.  located in the north atlantic these are spits of land with lots of rain, sheer cliffs dropping to the sea, and cold.  this series is a perfect antidote to a summer's day.  it might be well over 100 F outside but watching this show will cool you down for the viewer is replenished with a land that the average summer high hovers in the high 50s F.

that temperature is the average of a northern california winter's day.  to make the cold that much more authentic for my viewing experience i would open the windows to the cold, foggy, air to make it cold, but not freezing, as if i was on shetland during its high summer.

oh, and if you are wondering how a scotsman got the name of perez, well, watch the first season.  he explains the history of his name.  which makes me feel that much more close to him when people ask me how i got the name of lopez.  and when perez explains why he stays in shetland he gives the usual reasons of family and history.  he also says, crucially, that sheltand is just the right size for him.  the same goes for me when people wonder why stay in my beloved city of Sac.  because it is just the right size for me, in addition to family and history etc etc.

is that too much self-identification with a fictional character?  yes it is.  and yet, we watch/read/listen our favorite pieces of art for differences, and for similarities.  i like jimmy perez because i can relate to him.  he is a thinking human being, and a devoted father to his daughter.  indeed, the creator of perez, ann cleeves, was, in the writing of her character, speaking my language.  what more could we ask of art. 


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