Happy Valley

Back in September, my husband and I got into the  habit of watching the iPad in bed right before I fell asleep. I know it’s supposed to be terrible to watch a screen right before sleep, but since it’s a struggle to keep me up past 9:30, I wasn’t going to worry about it (getting back to sleep when I wake up at 2:00 is another issue altogether).

We went from Barry holding an iPad, to propping it on a pillow, to upgrading to a small laptop propped on the pillow for a bigger screen. Eventually we moved to a huge, old laptop we had in the computer graveyard (ie, basement), but we found out that was too slow, so now we set the most functional medium-sized laptop on top of a pillow that’s topped by the huge laptop. I have a feeling this is what the Woz’s bedroom looks like. Needless to say, it’s been a productive eight months.

One of the best shows we’ve watched so far is Happy Valley. (Other ones we’ve loved include The Fall and Broadchurch. My husband is an Anglophile, a word I had to look up to spell.) From the first episode you know exactly what the situation is; there are no crazy twists or turns like there are in The Killing, another great show, but one that gave me whiplash.

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In Happy Valley, this guy does a really bad, dumb thing and this cop is trying to figure out who did the bad thing and is driven by some other things from her past. That’s it. From the get go, all cards on the table, but what makes this so great is that it’s the people themselves that keep the drama going and going and going. The guy who made a bad decision? Yep, he makes another one based on who he is. The cop driven by things in her past? Yep, those things continue to drive her. Without tricks or slights of hands, this show taps the vein of each character and rides the wave, and as a result, it’s fast-paced, exciting, and yes, surprising. Characters act in ways you might not be expecting, but given who they are, that action is always fitting.

 


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