I tried to ration out the second series (or season, depending on where you are in the world) of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, I really did.
I ran out anyway, and now I am sad. If you are not also already sad that you have to wait for the third series, you should sit down and watch the show now, so we can be sad together.
Here’s what you’ll find:
More Amazing Clothes
The costume designers on this show deserve every penny they are getting paid and then some. Phryne has the most scrumptious outfits. She climbs into graveyards at night wearing magnificent beaded and furred black cloaks, sneaks around in stunning black silk outfits, and settles down to rest in a lavish black, oriental flowered robe. She is not the only one, either. Dot may have quieter clothing, but it is impeccably tailored; Jack looks quite dashing in his suits, and various guest stars have shown up attired in detailed period clothing. The period, by the way, is the 1920’s, which means style!
The producers have also taken a great deal of care with the “background” details. If Phryne visits a house, not only will that house have detailed interior decorating, it will stand up to both close-ups and wide-angle shots. Someone has taken a great deal of care in dressing the sets. This holds true of street views, seaside visits, and assorted other visits throughout the country.
I could almost watch the show on mute just to admire the clothes and setting.
Almost, but why would I when there is so much else to enjoy?
Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) is still the same strong-willed, adventure-seeking, smart lady we saw in series one. She grew up poor, she served through World War II, and she is not letting anyone get in her way. She is quite polite about it, generally, but there is no doubt that she will go where she wants and do what she wants with whom she wants.
There is only one small sadness here: I love Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) and Essie Davis and Nathan Page have a strong on-screen chemistry together, but everyone seems to have given up even pretending that Phryne ever solves a mystery on her own. She does plenty, don’t get me wrong, and she generally gets herself out of any scrapes she gets herself into; I’d just like to see an episode or two where she was the only detective around.
The Supporting Characters (Everyone Who Isn’t Phryne) are a great group. It’s boring to watch a show where the main character is marvelously marvelous at the expense of everyone else being complete idiots. That is not the case here. From the shy, ladylike, and steel-strong Dot to the imperturbable and always surprising Mr. Butler, they know how to hold their own.
The aforementioned Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is well, more than a supporting character. He’s a determined, honorable, honest man who has no patience for shilly-shallying and no room for corruption. He respects Phryne enough to listen to her and enough to argue with her.
Dot and Hugh Collins are still one of the most (if not the most) adorable couples on television as they negotiate their way through the intricacies of modern dating. Dot, of course, remains a major presence and while she hates driving with Miss Fisher, she loves everything else—even with the danger. She and Mr. Butler did not get many conversations this series. Maybe next?
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries remains a cozy series for viewers (the books are rather darker). The violence usually happens in the first two minutes with the rest of the show devoted to solving it. The plots are complex enough to keep one guessing and, blessedly, tend to avoid the “Suspect all the wrong people until finally getting to the right one by the process of elimination” trap that so many amateur detective shows fall into. Phryne is a detective. She gathers clues; she doesn’t guess.
Oh yes, and The Music
Murder on the Vine had a stretch where the music was trying a little too hard to let viewers know “This is spooky!” but that is notable because the rest of the music is so good. It takes full advantage of the jazzy tunes available. Also, both Essie Colins and Nathan Page can sing.
Now, all I have to do is wait until series three airs in Australia starting March 20, and gets over here and onto Netflix
Seriess one and two Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries are available as DVDs and also up on Netflix for viewing all in one glorious sweep or carefully rationed out in hopes of making it last until series three is available.