The Good

Ashurst and Scribbins are your average detectives and that is what makes them extraordinary.

The Bad

No real special features. Too much packaging real estate for two few discs.

Kate "Ash" Ashurst (Caroline Catz) and Emma "Scribbs" Scribbins (Lisa Faulkner) may not be Cagney and Lacey but for Murder in Suburbia: Series 2 they more than get the job done. This two disc set has 6 episodes that sees the ladies coming up against all sorts of cases on their beat in Middleford. Mixing humor, sass, and plain old deductive reasoning, these ladies are detectives first and women second (or vice versa depending on the situation or person they happen to be dealing with). With episodes that range from things that we Americans might've seen on Kolchak, CSI or Without a Trace, there is always a bit of that sly British wit that seems to play so well on these shores.

My two favorite episodes in this set were "Episode 1" which finds Ash and Scribbs investigating the murder of a girl named Holly Andrews. Throughout their search they realize just how "friendly" of a girl Holly was, but things take an interesting turn when it seems that witchcraft played a part in her demise. With characters as logical (most of the time) as our main ones, this certainly makes for an interesting episode. I also found that "Episode 5" stood out to me. Any show that examines the almost cultish bond between pets and their owners is certainly something I want to see.


Cast Filmographies

Aside from the fact that they have done a good deal of these filmographies, I really didn't spend the time going through them. I know that Acorn Media has their reasons for not including more features, but I am so used to DVD sets that do I found this to be the biggest letdown of Murder in Suburbia: Series 2.


16:9 Widescreen. I loved the simplicity of this show's look. While at times I think the video format that this show has been lensed on is a little too clear, overall I didn't find anything in this release that took me out of the story. There were a few occasions where the color seemed to shift a bit when we'd move from exterior to interior shots, but these moments didn't happen too often either. All in all, the compression to DVD looks really good on this two disc set.


Stereo. The audio on this show was good. I had turn up the sound about halfway on my system but once I did that everything played the same over both discs. This show is heavily dialogue laden. There are a lot of quips and asides from everyone. It is sort of how I imagine The Office might be if the characters ran a detective agency instead of a paper company. However, amidst all this there is a lot of seriousness to this show but they don't guide our emotions with needless music. Everything about each episode seems to organically come out of the stories.


This artfully put together slipcase cover features our main characters with some imagery that seems to recall Woody Allen's Interiors. The back offers up two promo shots from this show, a well written description of what Murder in Suburbia: Series 2 is about, Special Features, and some minor technical specs. Both of these discs are stored in two amaray cases which look almost identical to the actual slipcase cover that houses them. I am wondering why they didn't choose to package this release as digipack? It seems like it would have been more economical and cost effective.

Final Word

Once again, our friends at Acorn Media provide us with some great murder mystery DVDs. I am big fan of these kinds of shows so Murder in Suburbia: Series 2 really didn't have to do much to make me enjoy it. The episodes are well written, well acted and overall, well executed. I have only viewed a couple of Acorn's offerings in this department, but I like how they put together these shows. Too many detective series in the US try and get so visual that they become almost hard to watch. With the shows I have reviewed from Acorn Media, I haven't found that that is really the case. They seem to go out of their way to make things play as straight forward a possible, and the only thing they rely on is that the stories will be interesting enough for us to follow.

By having so much faith in their audience, Murder in Suburbia: Series 2 harkens back to the detective shows we used to make on this side of the pond.

Murder in Suburbia was released .