Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Weekly Rec: The Bletchley Circle: San Franciso

I'm here to recommend the new Bletchley Circle spinoff, but it occurs to me that I should point out that if you haven't seen the original The Bletchley Circle, you should rectify that immediately. It's about Bletchley Park codebreakers who are pushed back into traditionally female roles in post-war British society; bored and frustrated with this, they start . . . solving murders with the skills they honed during the War! It's DELIGHTFUL.

The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco is BritBox's first original show; as always with a spinoff of something I really like, I was a bit wary of what they'd do, but so far I'm really liking it. Two of the women from the original series travel to late-1950s San Francisco when they read about murders there they think are linked to the wartime murder of a girl they knew at Bletchley. There they meet up with some of their American counterparts and continue solving crimes.

The spinoff has all the charms of the original as well as frank explorations of race and class and gender issues of the late fifties. The new American characters include a black woman whose family is fighting gentrification, a Japanese-American woman who talks openly about how she needs to work twice as hard and behave twice as correctly to keep her job, and a female engineer who has left a rural area for the city and is great at her work but has trouble with social cues. So far, at least, it's doing a better job with the time period than most American shows manage.

There are two episodes streaming so far with a new one premiering each Wednesday! Go watch!

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