You’ve probably been hearing all about the same few shows to watch on Netflix for a while now. When you ask for suggestions, people rave about The Crown or Glow. Outside of Netflix originals, it’s typically The Office or Grey’s Anatomy that everyone says you should watch. While these aren’t bad shows, the same recommendations all the time can get boring.
Luckily, there are some great shows available on Netflix – you just have to look a little harder for them. One of those shows is Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Miss Fisher’s is an Australian show produced by ABC (but probably not the ABC you’re thinking of) that first aired in 2012. It follows the adventures of The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher, a well-to-do woman living in 1920s Melbourne, who just so happens to solve murders in her spare time.
The show begins with Miss Fisher returning to Australia after time abroad. She visits her family and, of course, stumbles upon a murder.
Miss Fisher is accompanied in her adventures by her companion, Dot, and her butler, Mr. Butler. Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is reluctant to let Miss Fisher investigate any of the murders because he thinks she should leave them to the police, but he’s grateful for her help in the end. The subtle “will they, won’t they” flirtation between them is fun to watch, too.
Most of the episodes are based on a series of books written by Kerry Greenwood. That means that each one is packed with plot and attention to details. Need more convincing to give the show a try? Here are just a few reasons why you should start streaming Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries today.
The costumes alone are reason enough. They capture all the flair and glamour of the ‘20s, especially the ones Miss Fisher wears. Her sparkling gowns, embroidered robes and feathered hats will have you wishing for a time machine. If you love The Great Gatsby, you’ll enjoy the aesthetic of Miss Fisher’s. It’s not only the fabulous flapper style, though. While the costumes of the other characters are usually more subdued, they’re still memorable, and they’ll make you realize that there’s more to 1920s fashion than glittery fringed dresses.
The show teaches you about historical events while not coming off as dry or boring. One of the recurring characters is pressured to end her relationship because she’s a Catholic and her beau is a Protestant. Catholics and Protestants were greatly divided in Australia during the 1920s. In another episode, two men who are in love get caught up in a plot to blackmail them because being a gay man was punishable by law in Australia until the 1990s – yes, you read that correctly. It also gives a lot of context surrounding Australia’s role in World War I. There are a lot of shows and movies that focus on the World Wars from the American perspective, but Miss Fisher’s offers a different point of view. It’s interesting to see a different take on a popular narrative. You learn a lot from watching the show but the historical context is woven into the plot, so it doesn’t feel forced.
Miss Fisher herself is another great reason to watch the show. Not only is she sharp and witty, but she’s a great feminist role model, too. The show tackles several issues related to feminism in the 1920s with messages that are still relevant today. It has episodes focusing on topics like sex work and abortion, and Miss Fisher always does her best to stand up for women who might be facing judgment from society at large. In the show’s first episode, she explains the concept of “family planning” (birth control) to Dot, who has just come to work with her. Every time someone doubts the idea of Miss Fisher solving a case just because she’s a “lady detective,” she proves them wrong.
Between the costumes, characters, writing and lessons to be learned, there’s a lot to be said for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. The show currently has 34 episodes available for streaming on Netflix. While that might not be as many as Grey’s or The Office, each one is filled with twists, turns, laughs and, of course, fantastic costumes.