Netflix: Happy Valley

Happy Valley
Happy Valley

Time for a new recommendation from Netflix.   Happy Valley is a British crime drama television series filmed and set in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire in Northern England.  Catherine is a no-nonsense police sergeant who heads up a team of officers in a rural Yorkshire valley.  It’s a really good crime series with a nice mix of raw crime and humor ala “Wallace and Gromit”.  Two seasons are available on Netflix and the third is is the making.  Go watch them, it’s worth every minute.  Trailer below.

Season 1: Catherine Cawood is a strong-willed police sergeant in West Yorkshire, still coming to terms with the suicide of her teenage daughter, Becky, eight years earlier. Cawood is now divorced from her husband and living with her sister, Clare, a recovering alcoholic and heroin addict, who is helping her bring up Becky’s young son, Ryan, the product of rape. Neither Catherine’s ex-husband nor their adult son, Daniel, wants anything to do with Ryan. Catherine hears that Tommy Lee Royce, the man responsible for the brutal rape that impregnated Becky and drove her to suicide shortly after Ryan was born, is out of prison after serving eight years for drug charges. Catherine soon becomes obsessed with finding Royce, unaware that he is involved in the kidnapping of Ann Gallagher, a plot instigated by Kevin Weatherill and orchestrated by Ashley Cowgill. Things quickly take a dark turn as the abductors scramble to keep the kidnapping secret, although Catherine is onto them.

Season 2:  Eighteen months after the events of the first series, Catherine is back at work and has won the Queen’s Police Medal for gallantry, for rescuing Ann Gallagher from Tommy Lee Royce, who is serving a life sentence in prison. But when Royce’s mother is killed, Catherine finds herself implicated in a string of murders. While trying to prove her innocence, Catherine is tasked with investigating a human trafficking operation linked to the serial killings. Meanwhile, senior HMIT officers Detective Superintendent Andy Shepard and Detective Inspector Jodie Shackleton begin to suspect that the supposed fourth victim of the serial killer, Victoria Fleming, was in fact murdered by someone else. Gradually their investigation starts to lead them towards Victoria’s actual killer – police detective, John Wadsworth, whom Fleming had been blackmailing. Catherine’s grandson, Ryan, develops a friendship with a new teaching assistant, Miss Wealand, who is secretly a prison groupie infatuated with Royce. Royce, whom the court has forbidden having any contact with Ryan, is using Wealand to try to build a relationship with Ryan and get revenge on Catherine. Ryan increasingly concerns his family by asking questions about his father and even suggests Royce should be forgiven.


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