Shakespeare & Hathaway (Film Review)

Looking for a cozy mystery full of quick-witted charm and fluffy feelings? Have we got the show for you! Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators is a darling, comedic mystery that serves as a great binge-watch for anyone locked in quarantine.

“Hardboiled PI Frank and his rookie sidekick Lu have formed the unlikeliest of partnerships as they investigate crime and misdemeanors in the rural town of Stratford-on-Avon.”

– Amazon (Link)

When Luella Shakespeare is falsely accused of her new husband’s murder on the day of their wedding, she finds herself in pickle and needing the help of a down-on-his-luck Frank Hathaway.

Several years ago, Hathaway was a successful police officer, but he’s now a bit past his prime and struggling as a private detective to pay the office bills. He’s now got debt collectors claiming his office furniture and his assistant Sebastian asking for his paycheck (how rude!). So when Luella offers him money to help her out in a pinch, he takes her on despite his better judgment.

That one decision is the start of a beautiful friendship! Thoroughly enjoying her foray into the world of ‘mystery-solving’ with her own case, Luella pitches the money and becomes a partner in Frank’s detective business and off they launch on a whirl-wind series of mystery, intrigue, and quite a bit of fun.

The show ran for three seasons so far and has already been approved for a fourth, serving as one of BBC’s most popular daytime shows on iPlayer (Link).

One of the things that attracted us is just how much fun their interactions and episodes are. While some episodes have more serious cases, the atmosphere as a whole is bright and whimsical. Unlike so many shows that get bogged down in internal drama, Shakespeare & Hathway is purely episodic – each crime wrapping up neatly as the episode concludes. There is minimal angst between the characters, leaving that to the mysteries themselves.

The show doesn’t take itself too seriously and some of the mysteries are pretty straight-forward, but that lends to its charm. In fact, one of the best roles is that of Sebastian Brudenell, Frank and Lu’s only assistant. Sebastian is a professional trained, but still up-and-coming actor with legs for days and the ability to seemingly take on any role. He can jump almost seamlessly between creepy car mechanic to suave and spoiled playboy in an instant. A skill that comes in handy for Frank and Lu who aren’t always quite as good at being subtle.

The show is fun for almost any audience (PG though, so not kids), with minimal graphic materials, almost no cussing, but open-minded enough it avoids being overly conservative. If you’re looking for something fun to slip in of an evening, check it out!

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