A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grantchester is a mystery series set in an idyllic English village in the 1950s. A murder takes place and is solved on each episode, and dead, bloody bodies are often shown at length. Manners of death, including a (faked) suicide by gunshot, are discussed graphically. Characters initially presented as "good" turn out to be malevolent. Many scenes take place in pubs where characters drink whiskey and beer and smoke cigarettes frequently. Cursing includes profane phrases such as "son of a bitch!" and "bugger off." Infidelity plays a role in plots; characters are shown taking off their clothes and then thrusting in bed. For teens who like British murder mysteries of the dry variety, Grantchester could be their next binge-watch.
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What's the story?
Set in the bucolic English village of GRANTCHESTER, this detective drama focuses on two good men: Anglican vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) and Detective Geordie Keating (Robson Green), who stumble upon a series of murders that reveal the dark underbelly of Grantchester. Together, the hard-driving, cynical Geordie and the emotional, gentle Chambers fall into being partners, despite the differences in their methods and personalities. Together, they work to uncover the nefarious chain of events that led to each murder. This series is based on The Grantchester Mysteries book series written by James Runcie.
Is it any good?
This series' slightly odd tone will be familiar to any viewer who's caught a Miss Marple mystery or an episode of Poirot. It seesaws between idyllic village life (picture fishmongers, winding lanes, fields of wheat) and rather purple plot twists. But by setting Grantchester in the 1950s, a pleasant Mad Men-ish air is added to the proceedings, with vintage hats and cigarettes abounding. Though dead bodies are shown at length, and there are scary sequences such as one in which one woman almost pushes another into the path of a train, the menace level never rises about "mild," and Chambers is a stalwart, reliable, and, by the way, quite handsome character on which viewers can rely. Thus this mystery series is mild enough for young teens to watch, with parents or without.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the setting for Grantchester. How would this story change if it were set in London? Seoul, Korea? Baltimore, Maryland?
Each week, the characters on Grantchester solve a different murder. Can you name any other kinds of shows with this kind of "case of the week" structure? Why do you think people enjoy this style of show?