04 March 2012

Kingdom: A Small Town Solicitor's Life

Netflix has decided that I love British television programs and keeps recommending them to me. Most of them I ignore, some of them I watch with bemusement, and some strike a chord.  Kingdom turned out to be a real gem. I rate it a 4 out of 5.

Kingdom is the story of Peter Kingdom, a solicitor in Norfolk. He is surrounded by a number of characters who are slightly offbeat. There's his protege, Lyle, who apparently didn't go to the best of law schools or spend his time worrying terribly about grades while there (it is implied that he would have never come out to Norfolk if he could have gotten a job in London), but who tries hard and has all the foibles, desires, and prejudices of youth. There's Gloria, the secretary who is the one who keeps everything running however chaotic things get. There's also the chronically depressed sister, Beatrice, who moves in and acts irresponsibly.

There's also a string of slightly goofy clients who come in and want Peter to handle all sorts of situations for them.  The most prominent of these is Sidney, the town eccentric who wants to fight the council on everything it wants to build in the town. My favorite episode is probably the one when the powers that be in the town get fed up with Sidney and start doing things to mess with him, such as putting a "No Parking" sign in the middle of his porch, 4" from the only doorway so that Sidney has to climb in and out his window.

There's also a slightly darker back story, which explores the death of Peter's brother and the debts he had accumulated with criminals prior to his dissappearance. I can't say this drew me to the show, but I think it serves as an anchor, keeping the show from spinning into a goofy comedy.

The great thing about this show is that it is just enjoyable. You are not being shoved along at breakneck speed. There's not a lot of people yelling at each other and threatening law suits. The tone can be serious, but it is not overly brooding. Best of all, the characters are not so eccentric and goofy as to be ridiculous. It's filled with understated humor and interesting situations, but no flash. Of course, this means it would never be made in the U.S.

Sadly, only three seasons with 6 episodes apiece were made in the U.K.  I recommend each and every one of them.


Anonymous said...

I watched this some time ago in Australia. Some episodes are better than others mainly related to story lines & it doesn't seem to relate to the series or the episode position within a series - so if you don't like one episode - keep watching - you will probably love the next one

(get real with those characters - 3rd and last try)

Ken Lammers said...

(get real with those characters - 3rd and last try)


Dominic said...

Sadly we need longer tv series in the uk