“Agatha Raisin: Season Four” (2021)
Produced by: Barry Ryan, Michele Buck and David Walton based on Agatha Raisin by M. C. Beaton
Featuring: Ashley Jensen, Katy Wix, Matthew Horne and Jamie Glover
Agatha Raisin: “When confronted with someone who appears to be in a perpetual state of outrage, it is tempting for other people to wind them up. Besides, I have always found the most vociferous guardians of morality on matters of sex are those who aren’t getting any.”
Released recently on DVD is the comedy/thriller/whodunnit series “Agatha Raisin: Season Four” (2021) based upon the novels by M.C. Beaton that moves the traditional detective story into a modern setting in a small village in the Cotswolds with an original character who used to run a PR company in the form of the titular Agatha Raisin.
Agatha is full of contradictions. In her professional life, she expertly helped clients navigate the treacherous waters of fame, but at the personal level she’s awkward and something of a dingbat, desperate to fit into her adopted community.
There are a few parts of “Agatha Raisin” to really enjoy, firstly is the casting of the titular character with comedian Ashley Jensen who has proven over the years on both sides of the Atlantic that she knows how to tailor a performance for not only a given character but also the kind of project she is appearing in. Here she Jas to balance a person who is totally out of balance as a whole but is in control when she compartmentalises her own narrative which is one of the reasons to watch this series and why it is so successful. The fact that Agatha has visits from her pals in London assists not only the storytelling but helps to give the main character a true backstory without pushing it so that it becomes artificial. Of course the stories help as does the aspect of who is the killer in each story and of course we are exposed to different parts of small town life real or imagined it does not really matter or detract from the entire series.
Of course the fact that such a small town has such a high murder rate never comes into play as does the fact that the local constabulary are always incorrect in their conclusions but again does that hinder the enjoyment of this series? Not one iota, as it concentrates on what it means to be living in a small town, seemingly knowing more than the locals, although always relying on them to help in the solving of many mysteries.
If you enjoy eating a series that is not all doom and gloom, in fact is anything but, except for the odd murder, then this is the show for you. It is more or less violence free with a healthy does of humour and could be considered family viewing as it is on the low end of scary or offensive. It tells a story that is becoming more popular that is people leaving high stress jobs, busy cities for a quieter life, which some would argue does not really exist.
Kissing Christmas Goodbye: Agatha’s in need of a well-earned break and with Christmas just around the corner it looks like the perfect opportunity to relax. When she receives a letter from an old lady begging for protection, she can’t help but spring into action.
Love, Lies and Liquor: James has finally returned to Carsely and promised to whisk Agatha away on holiday where she can help him write his next novel. When a hotel guest is found murdered, it’s up to Agatha to prove who the killer is.
A Spoonful of Poison: The competition to be crowned winner of the Carsely Jam-Off has always been fierce, but when the prize jam is poisoned leading to the death of a judge, Agatha resolves to restore the competition’s name.
There Goes the Bride: Agatha reluctantly promises to support James by attending his wedding. However, when a body is found during the morning of the big day, it’s up to Agatha and the gang to come to the rescue.