Verdict: A+ / 5
British television drama seems to be inundated with series about policemen investigating a murder a week. Millions draw up each week to watch a formula that has changed very little in decades. And despite an alternate setting, Death in Paradise does little to change that formula. Have the British done the impossible? Have they made murder mundane and every-day?
Richard Poole (Miller) a by-the-books, no-fun-allowed detective is sent to the beautiful fictional Caribbean island of Saint-Marie. After fulfilling his case there, a set of circumstances cause him to be trapt there, and to take up the senior investigator role. Joining him as sidekick is Sergeant Camille Bordley (Martins) who if nothing else gives him something to talk to rather than himself.
So, what we have here is a fairly standard fish out of water scenario. Poole hates the island life. He hates beautiful tropical paradises. He dreams of dreary old London. Shame, poor you, Poole. And every week, someone dies in an odd way. He finds a list of suspects. He makes that list smaller. There is a climax with the villain. Rinse and repeat. Death in Paradise certainly knows what it likes, and at least has the decency to run for fewer episodes than most American series, so it doesn’t wear out the premise too thin.
Death in Paradise may do things very simply and cliché-ishly, but to its credit, it does have a rather lighthearted and not too serious tone, that keeps the entertainment fairly enjoyable to watch. It in the end isn’t too offensively bad, but I still advise you to check this out on TV before making a decision for the entire series.