I love Vera! I discovered the show last year, but it went off the cable almost as soon as I started to wonder what night it came on. Then, I discovered ACORN TV and Britbox, and, there she was, with nearly all of the seasons. I am so thankful! I have been bingeing her every day sine.
Vera is a DCI Vera Stanhope! She is played by award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn. Vera looks nothing like what I had become used to seeing as a woman detective, meaning young, pretty, with a sexy walk, and with a partner who loves her secretly. Instead, she is the odd gal out.
She is the boss, called Ma’am by her colleagues, and she is not sweetness and lightness, by any stretch of the imagination. She dresses in baggy clothes, but her signature look is her Columbo-style wrinkled coat and a green hat. She drives an old car and she lives in an old cottage in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors around, which would drive me batty.
She isn’t mother-like, as are too many women on police shows. Instead, she stays on her colleagues’ case, not afraid to scream and make snide remarks, which you can tell they sometimes resent. She doesn’t sugarcoat her thoughts and she will let suspects and higher-ups of both genders know that she can’t be frightened. Indeed, they should be scared of her!
But, she is great at her job, and for someone like me who is an older woman, she is a god-send that women still have value after age 40 and that we can kick backside and take names with the best of them! I don’t know what her accent is, but when she calls a suspect “pet” or “love,” I nearly lose it, laughing and shouting at the television, “You go, my sister!”
Vera is as good as television gets for me, but with Britbox and ACORN TV, I am watching all of the shows I loved twenty years ago, such as Keeping Up Appearances, Are You Being Served, As Time Goes By, and other comedies and dramas, as well as new ones from the 1970s and more recent that I have never seen. I right expect to start sounding very British or Scottish or Irish pretty soon, dropping my h’s and being looked at strangely, mates.
I also have access to murders galore and all manner of Detective Chief Inspectors and Detective Sargents, but none of them hold a candle to Vera, including Morse and Midsomer Murders. I will tell you that looking at so many murder mysteries would make me hesitant to live in an English village, where there seems to always be one person consistenty finding dead bodies, like Miss Marple.
One show I had a hard time viewing was Luther, with Idris Elba. It gave me insomnia stoked by watching too intense violence. As handsome and wonderful as he is, I just couldn’t handle it, although I could watch Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes four times a day and eight times on Sunday!
Yesterday, America recorded a record-breaking 125,000 new cases of coronavirus and for the last four days, over 1000 deaths per day. With so many people refusing to wear masks and buying Trump’s lines that it is nothing, I can’t see a change until after President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris take office in January.
So, if I am going to be stuck in my house for the foreseeable future, I know no better way to entertain myself and relieve stress than the wonderful antics of curmudgeonly Chief Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and other DIs and DS’s from the United Kingdom. Along with other excellent shows from around the world, I get by, one day at a time. Thank you, United Kingdom, for Vera, your seemingly effortless wit, and your deeply disturbing love for murder.