• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 20, 2014
  • Season #: 1
Happy Valley Image

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Summary: While investigating a kidnapping case, West Yorkshire police sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) spots the man (James Norton) she believes drove her daughter to take her own life in this BBC drama.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Nov 3, 2014
    Happy Valley is so effective at what it sets out to do, and so neat in fitting all its pieces together (up to the way the story's climax evokes a much milder incident from early in the series), that I'm a bit ambivalent about the fact that a second season has already been ordered. Lancashire is so good that I won't necessarily mind getting to watch more of her in this role, but this particular story is so unique to her in a way that no sequel season can be.
  2. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 11, 2014
    Catherine's "patch" in Happy Valley may be more limited than the big chunks of Baltimore covered by Bunk and McNulty, but morally and emotionally, this fantastic drama goes deep.
  3. Reviewed by: Erik Adams
    Aug 20, 2014
    There’s enough depth and complication in the performances alone to buoy the six-episode run, and given the intensity of the criminal specifics, the slow burn feels more like a feature than a bug.
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Aug 19, 2014
    It’s hard to do the show justice, honestly, based strictly on a description. But the characters are so sharply drawn and the situation so suspenseful that Netflix’s famous binge function will likely be put to good use here.
  5. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Aug 20, 2014
    [A] gritty and entrancing British import.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Aug 19, 2014
    Happy Valley, in addition to being a smart and absorbing thriller, is a morality play, one in which the mystery is secondary (we know who did what all along).
  7. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Aug 19, 2014
    The Brit-speak can be a wee bit difficult to decipher at times but the show is good enough to warrant giving your remote’s rewind button a workout.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Sep 1, 2014
    This is the best show of its kind that I have ever seen. It exists superbly on a number of different levels well beyond that of ma police procedural. The acting and plotting is as close to a work of art as I think possible. The six episodes creates a depth of all the main characters including the criminals. Sometimes it's a bit hard to make out the dialogue but a quick rewind is certainly worth it. This show creates an involvement with the protagonist that will stay with me for quite a while. I've already watched it two times. Expand
  2. Aug 24, 2014
    Excellent show, real raw emotions that you never felt was acting. As another reader said, "We need to fall in love with Sarah Lancashire". I absolutely agree! She did not fail to amaze me because what emotion you expected of her, she completely blew you away by an opposite or totally unexpected reaction. Brilliant! As for her sister? She looks and acts as you would expect a person of her age to finally be a recovering heroin addict and if anyone knows a person who has drank or done drugs for a significant amount of time, they don't slowly become the 35 yr old or 50 yr old they should be because they really didn't grow up during the time they lost while doing alcohol or drugs, She fits the bill very well, looking to help and counsel others but on the home front she looks lost. Great cast, great show! Y oh Y only 6 episodes, tho!!! Expand
  3. Sep 19, 2014
    One of the best thrillers I've seen in a long time. Edge of your seat suspense. The acting was excellent as was the writing and direction. The first episode is slow but soon there after you are in for a roller coater ride. Expand
  4. Aug 22, 2014
    Could not stop watching this show! Excellent. Looks like I have finally found a show that was as entertaining as Breaking Bad - and that is NOT easy to do. Expand
  5. Aug 24, 2014
    I was saw this fantastic series when it was on British television during June and can honestly say that it is one of the finest television dramas out there. A friend of mine summarised the first episode and it sounded intriguing, and I was hooked from there. The acting is all brilliant (with the exception of Catherine's sister who I, personally, didn't think was a patch on the others) and the dialogue is very believable.

    A tense, dark drama that is a must-see.
  6. Aug 23, 2014
    First rate! Catherine, the police sergeant, is a solidly arresting character who carries the show with help of an excellent cast. Lots of threads of nastiness are tied together to make Sowerby one less than happy valley. It's on Netflix. If you can catch this show -- catch it! Expand
  7. Aug 25, 2014
    Clearly the only person who hates it. Find the show incredibly slow, Poorly acted, and making no sense at all. Watched the first episode got 10 mins in before I got sick of it. Don't bother with this one. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews

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