|Grantchester: Seasons 1 and 2|
British drama does so many genres right, but most especially their period dramas. Pair the period drama with a mystery genre and you usually get a masterpiece, such as ITV's Grantchester which premiered in 2014 and has two successful seasons and is gearing up for a third. While there have been a few other mystery shows involving a crime solving priest, what make Grantchester different is that the crime plot is only a small part of the story.
The crime aspect is what brings all the characters together, but more often than not, the story lies in other areas. The story about a war-torn soldier who has turned his life to God, the story of a loving father and husband who must split his time between work and family, the story of a young woman who doesn't know where her heart truly is, the story of a community that is close in nature, but also distant at heart. All of these stories are united by whatever crime is committed and must be solved by a young Anglican priest who struggles with the God he wants to serve and a detective who will uphold the law no matter the cost.
|Grantchester: Season 1|
Season 1: After serving in the Royal Scots Guard in WWII, handsome Sydney Chambers made the unexpected decision to serve God and become a vicar, but his time during the war still continues to haunt him. In 1953, he is serving in the small village of Grantchester in Cambridge where he enjoys his work and his parishioners admire and respect him. A rather unorthodox clergyman who would rather drink whiskey than sherry, loves listening to Jazz music and has the worst luck with women.
After a murder takes place in Grantchester, Sydney meets Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, a who is gruff and by the book while on the job, but is completely devoted to his wife and four children. Sydney finds himself drawn to the crimes in the stories and has an unusual talent of getting himself involved when he doesn't mean to. At first, Geordie is put off by this, but eventually sees the young priest as a great asset and an unlikely friend, something they both lack.
When not helping Geordie solve crimes, Sydney finds himself in a constant state of heartbreak with the women in his life. Most especially with his friend Amanda who is beautiful, wealthy, intelligent and out of the blue she tells him that she's engaged to a man her father has arranged for her. Shocked by this, Sydney has no choice but to step back and watch as Amanda leaves him for another man, but it doesn't necessarily mean she's gone forever.
|Grantchester: Season 2|
Season 2: Roughly a year after Amanda's marriage and Sydney and Geordie are back to solving crimes in Grantchester. When a heinous crime involving the death of a pregnant teenage girl is committed, the whole town of Grantchester is in an uproar and demand justice. A young boy is accused of killing her and while Sydney believes that is was assisted suicide and the boy may be more innocent, Geordie (who has three little girls) wants complete and absolute punishment. This puts a strain on Sydney and his relationship with the community as well as a wedge between Sydney and Geordie's friendship.
Meanwhile, Amanda is miserable in her marriage and continues to find Sydney when she feels that she is at her breaking point. Sydney wants to help Amanda, but doesn't want to interfere with her marriage. Soon, he finds himself attracted to Margaret a beautiful secretary who works at the police precinct with Geordie. Margaret is lively and charming, but soon begins to realize that she is not what Sydney needs as a wife, especially a vicar's wife.
Eventually, Sydney, Geordie and Amanda are all put on the balancing points of their relationships with one another. Who will break and who will build? What is absolute justice, true love, and overwhelming forgiveness?
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|Sydney and Geordie, at work and at play.|
This show is slowly starting to gain momentous popularity and deservedly so. Like I said in the introduction, Grantchester is not just about the mystery and the crime. It really is about the wide array of vastly different and personable characters and how they contribute to the story and the life of Sydney Chambers. Grantchester is beautiful and heartbreaking, written and acted with great depth and emotion. Normally, I'm not crazy about a murder mystery show, but Grantchester is worth all of the praise it has received.