Image: Philadelphia #1January 11, 2023
Death In Paradise — Why?January 11, 2023
For those not aware, Death In Paradise is a British TV crime series. From what I understand it is one of the top three shows, by audience, on British TV and has managed to last for nine seasons, now being broadcast in most countries of the world.
Set on a fictional island, a British possession in the Caribbean, each episode of the series sets up a murder mystery — often a variation of the locked room genre — that needs to be solved by the police led by a visiting British detective inspector. It is often comedic in a lighthearted way, and highly formulaic. The setting is beautiful (filmed on Guadeloupe) and, for what it is, the acting is fine. Nearly every episode has one or more guest stars who are well-known personalities on British TV.
It is, however, racist to the core and a paean to colonialism.
It is racist because, although most of the local — black — police characters are shown to be both interesting and good at their jobs, in no case is the murder ever solved by anyone other than the white detective. In the formula used to close every episode, he — always a he — gathers all the potential suspects together and explains in detail how he has brilliantly worked out the mystery. Applause all around while the British detective takes his bows.
As for the colonialism, there is no attempt to have a local officer work their way up to the inspector level. The inspector is always seconded from London. And always white. It is as if black British actors such as Idris Elba, David Ajala, or Lenny Henry don’t exist.
I am probably making too much of this; after all, I am sure the production gives lots of work to local actors and crew. But it does piss me off.