Sunday, November 1, 2020

Netflix Picks: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

Is it just me or is there nothing good to watch on TV these days? It seems like every time I watch TV it is the same shows over and over again. I know that I cannot put the blame on the TV stations/channels about this since COVID 19 has affected every industry, entertainment included, and that it is so difficult (and no doubt more expensive) to make movies and TV shows these days. Because of the lack of new things to watch, I have found myself looking for shows or movies I have not seen yet on streaming sites. That was how I discovered the three-season series called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Based on historical mystery novels that feature the same lead character, the series is about a 1920s female detective from Melbourne, Australia. Phryne Fisher is driven to solve mysteries and help people because of the sudden death of her younger sister, who was kidnapped when they went to see the circus.

In the series, Phryne is presented as an independent woman with her own money and, as such, her own way of doing things. She had her share of lovers, never got married, and chose a unique set of people around her: during the course of the show, she meets and gathers people that become her sort of family, including a “friend” in the police force. I say friend because while she and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson often get into romantic moments and flirt with each other constantly, they never end up together.

I have always enjoyed watching detective shows so this series was an enjoyable experience for me. The fact that the setting is in the twenties makes it even more interesting since that means that they are solving things the old-fashioned way.

There are several familiar faces in the series: Essie Davis, who plays Phryne Fisher, was on Game of Thrones as Lady Crane. I also remember her from The White Princess where she played Elizabeth Woodville. Hugo Johnston-Burt, who played Constable Hugh Collins, was in San Andreas with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It was also this movie that was the reason that Hugh Collins was depicted as being “away” during a large part of the third season of the show. Another familiar face that I saw was Miriam Margoyles, who played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter movies. Miriam played Phryne’s Aunt Prudence. 

Phryne is smart, adventurous, never afraid of a challenge, and does not take no for an answer. She is always determined to find out the truth and to help people who need it. It is hard not to like her. That made it easy to watch the show because Essie Davis plays her so well. I cannot fail to mention that despite all the detective work, she always manages to look so fashionable!

There were some things about the show that was a little questionable, but I opted to ignore them since it did not affect how I enjoyed the entire series. For one they never mention how Phryne became so rich considering that the flashbacks always showed that her family was not rich. Even during her adult life, it was shown that it was Phryne who had money and not her parents. She had a rich aunt, but it still did not explain how she became the rich one in her family. Plus, she was titled. I remember she was called Lady Fisher at some point. It was a weirdly unexplained part of her. It was not a big deal though, so I did not bother trying to figure it out. It might have been explained in passing at some point, but I did not catch it. 

Another thing that was weird for me was Phryne’s age. I was curious about how old she was and from what I have read, she is only twenty-eight. No offense to Essie Davis, but she did not look the age at the time (and she was not). Plus, all the life experience that Phryne had just does not make sense considering that age.

For all three seasons, I enjoyed watching Phryne solve mysteries one after another. I got to watch her build her little close-knit family, have numerous lovers (I was particularly interested in Lin Chung, too bad he was not in the show that long), and do things that women were not supposed to do at the time (yay for feminism!). It was too bad that the show only lasted three seasons, which I read was because Essie Davis moved to London and could no longer do the show (which was based in Australia). They did make a movie that was just recently released that continues Phryne’s story from the end of the third season. I have not seen it yet, but I am looking forward to it. 

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is a crime-solving show that is not too heavy to watch and a good viewing experience. If mysteries are your thing, this is worth the binge!


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