If you are looking for a series to binge-watch while in isolation, perhaps “The Brokenwood Mysteries” is just the ticket.
This New Zealand series is an interesting and often lighthearted mystery show with plenty of New Zealand scenery. The show takes place in the fictional town of Brokenwood, but is filmed in and around Auckland.
Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) is the new senior detective inspector. Along with Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland) and D.C. Breen (Nic Sampson), he uses his intuition to solve murder cases. And add in Gina (Cristina Serban Ionda), a Russian-born medical examiner who is having a little trouble with the Kiwi sense of humor, and some locals, and there is a lot to chew on in this series.
It is a bit of a change of pace to have a New Zealand series to watch. The accent is quite different from British series and takes a few minutes to catch onto. They pronounce their vowels differently than Americans. But the characters are fun to watch and the stories are, for the most part, pretty interesting.
Pana Hema Taylor is Jared Morehu, Shepherd’s neighbor and a local that is able to help with odds and ends in the murder investigations. Rawiri Jobe is Kaur Taylor, Jared’s brother’s cousin (yes, you read correctly), a plumber by trade but also Sims’ part-time beau. The busybody in town is Mrs. Marlowe (Elizabeth McRae), who always manages to overhear odd conversations and is helpful to most investigations. Other locals in the series include the pharmacist Neil Bloom (Phil Peleton), defense lawyer Dennis Buchanan (Shane Cortese), owner of the pub Ray Neilson (Jason Hoyte), Reverend Greene (Roy Ward), and Frodo (Karl Willetts), a man who just never gets a break and manages to have the worst luck in the town.
There are six seasons available on Acorn TV. As of this writing the show has yet to be canceled or renewed, so once you get hooked on it, there might be new episodes to look forward to. “The Brokenwood Mysteries” is a nice show on which to binge during these difficult times of COVID 19.