Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
December 3, 2014 6:59 PM - Subscribe

It's a charming A(ustralian)BC production about a 1920s feminist lady detective. There's murder, mayhem, guns, casual sex, Socialists, wildly varying production values, a truly delightful number of excellent hats, and Season 2 just went up on Netflix. Is there any interest in a group watch?

I've already devoured Season 1, but I marathoned most of it in like 48 hours while grading, so I wouldn't mind a rewatch. If you've never seen the series, it is a delightfully goofy example of a wish-fulfillment female character that does not revolve around domesticity, motherhood, or a monogamous relationship, but that does revolve around having a wardrobe the size of a small country, a pearl-handled pistol, and the ability to flirt so hard that men appear to be actually afraid of you. Here's a taste.

At this point I'm thinking 1 - 2 episodes/week, starting next week. Anyone want to join me?
posted by WidgetAlley (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm watching it, so I'd be chiming in. It's good cheese, if a little pedestrian, mystery-wise. I'm usually more interested in whether Dot and the police doofus will get it together than who killed who.
posted by rikschell at 7:15 PM on December 3, 2014

Yes, please. I loved what you rightly call the "wish-fulfillment" aspect of the series, but also that there's a darker reason that she's chosen this devil-may-care attitude and hedonistic lifestyle. Also yeah hats and scarves and pistols oh my.
posted by bcwinters at 8:32 PM on December 3, 2014

I'm in, but fair warning that I'll spend most of my comments shrieking about how Phryne and Jack should just kiss already.
posted by yasaman at 10:04 PM on December 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

I found the whole thing charming but I don't have much to say about it aside from the fact that the Very Earnest Community Theatre Acting level of some of the supporting cast is somehow even more endearing then it should be.
posted by The Whelk at 11:43 PM on December 3, 2014

Yes, please.

I remember the moment when Netflix recommended the show to me and I was like "Mystery program set in the 20s? Fabulous woman private investigator protagonist with amazing outfits? In Australia?" If there were somehow laser gun fights, I would have thought this show was created in a ;ab specifically for me.

I haven't watched Season 2 yet, but was considering a rewatch of Season 1. To be honest, this show feels like the perfect comfort for Chicago's winter.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:30 AM on December 4, 2014

I'm in the middle of Season 2 now, and it's still fun, but I think it's a little more uneven than Season 1. For one thing, almost all of the Season 1 episodes were based on existing books, and I think they've more or less run out of them now and are writing original scripts. (I can't swear to this, but it seems that way.)

Season 2 also seems to lack the overarching thread of Phryne's sister and the man Phryne blames for her disappearance that gave Season 1 more of a thrust and a sense of impending something. It's starting to feel a bit like Murder She Wrote at this point - which I realize may be a plus for some people - in that people don't exactly come to Phryne with cases, despite her claim to be setting herself up in business as a detective. It's just that wherever she goes, people start to drop dead.

In general, I think I'm with The Whelk. They're fun and I've enjoyed watching them. I especially like the fact that they can have an actress in her 40s being a sex symbol. But I'm not sure what else I'd have to say about them.
posted by Naberius at 1:08 PM on December 4, 2014

Oooh I meant to check out this show after being blown away by Essie Davis in The Babadook. Is there a legal way for Americans to watch it other than physically buying the dvds (i.e. is it streaming anywhere/on youtube)?
posted by troika at 2:33 PM on December 4, 2014

It's on Netflix, and I've watched a few with my wife. Generally light fun, and we love a good murder mystery.

As for the pace of 2 per week, I think we can do that. There are only 26 episodes to date, with the third season to air sometime in the new year.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm so glad there's interest in this! I'm an amateur history geek as well, so I am all about nerding out on the post-WWI social systems and the fashion history present in this show as well as the delightful characters and all the sexual tension (both resolved and otherwise.) I also haven't read the books, so I'm thinking we will go Show Only with these, but I'm totally open to including book discussion too if there's enthusiasm for it.

At this point, I'm thinking I might do a Monday/Thursday posting schedule, so that way folks have a few days to watch the episodes and discuss without being rushed, but we can still get caught up well before the new season airs. That would put our first watch on 12/8/2014. Thoughts?
posted by WidgetAlley at 3:23 PM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sounds good! It'd be interesting read/find a critique of the historical accuracy of the episodes. For anyone wanting to read the books, there are 20, plus a short story collection!

To get you in the mood, here are official desktop images and screensavers. How quaint!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2014

I also am unsure about whether or not I'd have anything to say, but I've been enjoying the series in bits and bites. Haven't finished all of the first season, though.
posted by PussKillian at 9:05 PM on December 5, 2014

I'm in, but fair warning that I'll spend most of my comments shrieking about how Phryne and Jack should just kiss already.

NOOOO!!! In the books he is a happily married man with kids who is REALLY into flowers, he and Phryne are hilarious murder-solving bros. She has much more interesting love interests in the books (and many more love interests in the books, too).

I will try not to talk about that for every episode. I do like the show a lot, it's super cute and fun.
posted by leesh at 6:49 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm in. I might have to rewatch S1 O NOES.
posted by immlass at 8:01 PM on December 7, 2014

Hi everyone, tonight's episode posting might be slightly delayed as Fanfare's new post form is doing some weird stuff. I've contacted the mods and will put it up as soon ASAP!
posted by WidgetAlley at 5:41 PM on December 8, 2014

pb fixed it so we are officially live!
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:02 PM on December 8, 2014

I haven't watched this yet, but I have trouble describing how thoroughly "1920s feminist lady detective ... murder, mayhem, guns, casual sex, Socialists, wildly varying production values, a truly delightful number of excellent hats" appeals to me.
posted by sparkletone at 9:32 AM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

sparkletone, we're only just on episode 2 of the first season if you'd like to join us!
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:24 PM on December 11, 2014

BTW, I just learned that ABC has greenlit a third season of Miss Fisher which apparently began production in October.

Previously there was some doubt as to whether that would happen. The show is popular in Australia, but they have a lot of projects on their table and limited resources. And I imagine Miss Fisher isn't the cheapest thing they produce. I'm guessing the strong international reaction to the show tilted the decision toward continuing.

Anyway, good news!
posted by Naberius at 7:10 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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