Years ago, I watched the first episode of Midsomer Murders, and couldn't take the music. That seems silly but I found it interfered with the story. I tried watching it again a while later, and felt the same way. I just decided I wasn't going to be one of the zillions of fans of this English television program.
But then ... I follow both Acorn TV and Britbox on Instagram, because we subscribe to both channels. I'll make a plug here, which I've made before, IF you are an Anglophile, and/or you like well-written television, you ought to subscribe. Their pages on Instagram had a lot about the upcoming season of MM - series 21! It has been on since 1997. I got caught up in the hoopla, and thought I would give it one more try. I still didn't care for the music in that first episode, but I continued on, and well, that was it. Love at third sight. I wish I could remember exactly when I started watching, but I know it was in the late fall. Over the holidays I usually watch quite a few Thanksgiving and Christmas movies. This year I watched two. Every other night I was in my comfy living room chair happily visiting Midsomer. Even when cast members changed, I still loved the show. I finished at 12:55 am on Friday, April 10.
Why do I love it so much? Well, the cast is a big part. Wonderful acting by everybody. A lot of famous actors show up, and many are my particular favorites: Phyllida Law, Edward Fox, Owen Teale, Toby Jones, Clare Holman, Tony Haygarth, Peter Egan, Joanna David, Anna Massey, on and on and on. You may read the entire show's cast here. So, that's one thing. Another is the Barnaby family, both the first and the second. The series begins with John Nettles, whom Tom and I first "met" long ago in A Family At War, as Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. He is married to Joyce, and has a grown-up daughter named Cully, a name I've not heard before which I'm quite fond of. This cast was there from 1997-2011. Then it changes to Tom's cousin John, and his wife Sarah who have an unbelievably adorable dog named Sykes, and later a little girl named Betty, and later another dog named Paddy. The detective sergeants change in both shows, but I like them all.
Both families are happy and loving, and interesting in their own right. They are sometimes involved (not killing people!) in the crimes in one way or another, and sometimes they are just there for the Chief Inspectors to be with.
When I finished watching, I felt a bit lost. I had been involved with these people for so long. They were my evening company! I began following MM on Instagram, and suddenly they were asking people to list their top five episodes, and then they would calculate the top 50. I didn't get involved because except for that first episode that I ended up watching three times, I wasn't familiar enough with all the episodes to choose. A few days ago, the site began the countdown with number 50. I decided I would watch each one on the list! So far, Tom is watching with me, but who knows how long he will last? Even if he stops, I will happily go on, watching 50 episodes in a row! Oh, and by the way, I have come to love the music!
I am going to offer this for British Isles Friday which was yesterday, but better late than never.