As a huge Anglophile, sometimes I wonder if I like things just because they're British. Take Inspector Lewis, the current series airing on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. On American TV, I've never been the least bit interested in police procedurals (though I did kind of start liking Castle last season, mainly because I love Nathan Fillion) but give me a British one and I'm totally loving it. And I mean, now that I think about, I claim to like reading mystery novels, but honestly I think the only mystery writer I've really gotten into is Agatha Christie, also British! Am I being too...snooty? Do I need to give like CSI and Without a Trace and Criminal Minds a chance?
One of the things I love most about Inspector Lewis is that it's set in Oxford, which makes for just a really beautiful setting that I don't think any of the American shows can beat. All the wonderful old buildings of the university are pretty spectacular; I definitely need to go visit someday. And being a university town, many of the characters involved in the mysteries are students and professors, which makes a lot of the cases pretty intellectual, dealing with history and literature and religion, which I guess appeals to me more than drugs and gangs and stuff like that. Or am I being snooty again?
I do also love the team of Inspector Lewis and Sergeant Hathaway. I never saw any of the series that this one was spun off from, Inspector Morse, where Lewis was the sergeant/sidekick, but I imagine I would probably like that too. I gather Lewis comes from a more working-class background, and he doesn't feel like he really fits in with the intellectuals that populate Oxford and is often frustrated by their entitled and morally questionable behavior. His sergeant, Hathaway, is also a little bit of an outsider, but for different reasons. He is a Cambridge graduate, is very well read and knowledgeable, and was studying to be a priest, but left to join the police. As the series goes on, we learn more of why he gave up that career path. Hathaway comes off as cool, unflappable, and a little acerbic, so it was really interesting to get a little deeper into his character. Also I think Laurence Fox is kind of hot (I know, crushing on a British actor, what else is new?)...
So what do you think? Maybe I'm just as bad as the Oxford intellectuals that Inspector Lewis can't stand!