Parents' Guide to

The Indian Detective

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

India-set murder mystery is gentle and easygoing.

TV Netflix Comedy 2017
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It's rare in our era of boundary-pushing cable and alternative-network dramas that a show about crime and murder is as gentle as a warm bath, but here we are. The Indian Detective is a bit of a throwback to the '80s crop of crime series in which murder was just a minor complication before the first commercial: Murder, She Wrote, Magnum, P.I., Matlock. The murders and tragedy are safely offscreen (or sanitized, like one death scene in which a poisoned man expires with no more fuss than going down for a nap), and what we see is a likable cop wisecracking his way through a case.

The show's Mumbai setting, though, does add some sparkle to the proceedings. As a clumsy tourist in his ancestral homeland, D'Mello stumbles through a lot of picturesque night markets with street food vendors tending to grills and piles of unfamiliar (to many Westerners) fruit. In the show's first episode, we watch a swami's funeral: calm mourners line up to drape his bier with orange flowers; candles are lit and set afloat on the ocean. Later, three young girls explain to D'Mello that their plan to get enough money to attend a university will come from praying to the Hindu goddess Saraswati, indicating their altar to her. These and other unusual (again, to many, but of course not all, Westerners) sights and plot points give The Indian Detective a distinct but easy-to-digest novelty -- it's like traveling in a foreign country with a friend.

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