TV Review – Whitstable Pearl

Whitstable Pearl released in 2021, though I only heard of it on the 14th August 2022 and I finished season one on 19th August. It’s wonderful.

Here’s what Amazon says about the series:

Big-hearted restaurant owner Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman) pursues her lifelong dream and starts up a local detective agency in the English seaside town of Whitstable. Locals soon flock to her with all kinds of cases, but when a friend dies suspiciously, Pearl finds herself in conflict with gruff new cop DCI Mike McGuire.

I didn’t know what to expect with this one, but I had to give it go and I’m glad I did. Each episode is a standalone story, though there is, naturally, an over-arching story about the DFL DCI Mike McGuire. DFL by the way, is a Down From London, and an acronym I will be stealing from the show.

In episode one, we learn that Pearl was briefly a cop, but now runs a restaurant, with a side order of a detective agency. When she discovers the body of a friend, the new DCI in town obviously pegs her as prime suspect and she needs to investigate to prove her own innocence.

From there the series moves on and it’s a wonderful ride with some great performances from good actors, some of which you will definitely have seen before and some that will be worth looking out for again. Every episode seems to involve one of Pearl’s friends, which kind of makes her the new Joyce Barnaby.

The stories are engaging, though sometimes they feel a bit rushed to cram into one 1 hour (48 min) slot, even so, every one is worth watching.

Kerry Godliman is fantastic. I love her as a standup, and I’d never seen her in a dramatic role, so this was a revelation, she’s really good and though the series she’s put through a gamut of emotions and situations, and she rises to each one.

Equally, Howard Charles is great at McGuire. I’ve only seen him in Shadow And Bone, he was good there and he’s good here. His story line reveals itself slowly, and makes for interesting watching.

I vaguely know Whitstable as I grew up in Kent, so the surroundings were familiar, though I could have done without the one shot of Whitstable at low tide being used every few minutes.

Whitstable Pearl can be found on Prime. Well, to be honest, it’s on Acorn TV, so you have to sign up for a 14 day free trial, but it’s well worth watching and then cancel the subscription.

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