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Blue Murder Complete Collection DVD (Region 1)

By Julio Angel Ortiz on 13 June 2011

In late summer of 2003, I was laid off from my job. In-between looking for a new job, I had extra time at home to be with the family and watch television, and I got hooked on the American crime show ‘Law and Order’.

This began my interest in a genre of television that I had previously avoided, but subsequently opened myself to (including brief stints with the ‘CSI’ franchise and a longer run with the ‘Law and Order’ spin-off ‘Special Victims Unit’).

So when the opportunity arose to review the complete boxed set of ‘Blue Murder’, I couldn’t turn it down. Despite my love of British television, I had never watched any British crime dramas / mysteries. This was an opportunity to not only catch up but also to broaden my tastes.

‘Blue Murder’ was a British crime drama that ran from 2003 to 2009. It featured Caroline Quentin in the starring role as a single mother of 4 children (she catches her husband cheating in the premiere episode) and works as a Detective Chief Inspector. Naturally, the series follows her exploits in her attempts to balance work with her personal life. The US ‘Complete Collection’ boxed set collects the entire run, 19 episodes in all.

The linchpin of the series is clearly Quentin’s role as Janine Lewis. Quentin deftly balances the serious, hard-nosed Lewis the DCI with the loving mother. When the series starts out, she is pregnant, a harsh remnant of her broken marriage. Thankfully, the series does not play the pregnancy for laughs as part of the plot. She simply deals with it as she does with the challenges of her job and her existing 3 children, such as solving the murder mystery at hand.

If there’s any knock on this series, it’s the pacing. While I appreciate the depth to which we see the police going back and forth in their investigation, even dealing with bureaucratic pressures sure as limiting use of the forensics lab due to budget constraints, it tends to drag the pace down.

On one hand it gives a realistic view of the investigation process (questioning and re-questioning suspects, etc.). However, it allows the series to fully flesh out the case at hand. I am sure part of this is my being used to watching crime dramas where the case is vetted and wrapped up within an hour; the cases in ‘Blue Murder’ are longer.

This additional level of details makes for a rich series, given the strong lead acting from Quentin and intricate writing. If you are patient enough to give it a try, ‘Blue Murder’ is a rewarding viewing experience.

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By Julio Angel Ortiz

Julio Angel Ortiz maintains his collection of curiosities at You can also Like him on Facebook as well and check out his latest writing projects.

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