The Murder-Mystery Flapper Show You've Never Heard Of — But Need To



cheeksembeddedImage: Courtesy Of ABC1 Australia.
We love TV. So much that sometimes we'd rather spend a whole weekend in front of the tube than dancing at da club until 3 a.m. Is a lack of any kind of television service holding you back from feeling our joy? No problem! You can get by just fine with a little help from Netflix, Hulu, and the myriad other streaming services rapidly taking over the home entertainment industry (Thank you, Internet!).

Some shows are just better when binge-watched. Whether it's the latest BBC comedy, a PBS miniseries from the '70s, or that cultish show prematurely scrubbed from a network — we're hooked on the stream. So, we're unrolling Staying In(stant), a new feature highlighting the best of streaming content. Each week, we'll bring you a show we're obsessed with and think you should be, too. This week?
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

Where To Watch:
Netflix.

How I Got Hooked:
I imagine the frequency with which I watch films “With A Strong Female Lead” paired with some choice Law and Order: SVU binges resulted in Netflix recommending this sassy lady-detective show.

Why You'll Love It:
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is a 13-part Australian miniseries that follows the hijinks of an absurdly rich, sexually experimental, murder-mystery-investigating 1920s flapper, Phryne Fisher (pronounced Fry-nee). Does that premise sound absurd? It is.

But, part of the pleasure of this often cheeseball detective show is how it portrays the romanticized era — the Roaring '20s! Jazz parties! — with only the most fun, decadent parts intact. It's a Gatsby party without, well, Gatsby. Phryne is inexplicably loaded; she does whatever the heck she wants. She’s also the modern-day equivalent of a cougar — a striking lady of a certain age who has opted to never marry or have children. She’s glamorous, with the easy lifestyle we might wish we had. She swills champagne and whiskey before noon, has a butler to prepare decadent meals, and entertains plenty of hunky men.

We’ve got plenty of pleasure-driven men in television and cinema — Archer, James Bond, Roger Sterling, all those frat-pack dudes. But, perhaps save for Samantha from SATC, there are far fewer women living high without enduring consequences. Miss Fisher embraces fun, casual sex, and nude portrait sittings — all while fighting crime with her gold revolver. She's a feminist in a time when the movement just began to make real strides. It’s a treat to watch a character rail against tradition in an era when the “proper lady” was still very much a concept. And, she is very "improper."

Marion Boyce, who created the costuming on the show, obviously had an intense love of the era. Phryne’s outfits are painstakingly created — gorgeous, indulgent fur collars, hand-beaded dresses, intricately patterned silk jackets. And, of course, our leading lady sports an immaculate bob. (To anyone who has seen this show: Is this a wig?? I can’t tell, but it looks rather wiggy.)

In short, if you're looking for a cerebral, gritty detective show, look elsewhere. If you want ermine trim and murderous Jazz singers — all set against the backdrop of revolutionary social change — then Miss Fisher is your gal.