With Donald Trump's inauguration rapidly approaching, now more than ever, TV audiences need to watch strong, independent women in power, and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries provides exactly that.
Based on Kerry Greenwood's novels, the Australian TV show, which chronicles the heiress-turned-detective Phryne Fisher, isn't widely known in the United States yet. However, many who have watched Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix have become passionately devoted fans, because this wonderful program possesses every characteristic a great TV show needs.
Check out the reasons why everyone should be binge-watching it on the streaming site.
It's incredibly feminist
It's a TV show about a woman, which is only recently becoming more common — and she's an unmarried woman who is in charge of her own life. Even better, she's not an ingénue, nor is she a grandmother, the two seemingly most popular categories for female characters. Phryne Fisher's age is never mentioned on the show, but Essie Davis, who plays her, is in her mid-40s. Phryne is a woman who is not only sexually liberated, but wonderfully unapologetic about it. In the pilot episode, Phryne's maid Dot sees her diaphragm and Fisher casually says, "family planning." This has inspired anger from a few viewers, but celebration from many more.
In response to the slut shaming of her character, Davis told the Sydney Morning Herald, "[Phryne]'s just a woman who knows what she wants, and it's it's not marriage."
Despite being set in the 1920s, Miss Fisher tackles some incredibly progressive issues, such as women seeking illegal abortions and enduring unsafe working conditions. Phryne always works to help the underdog — which, let's be honest, is usually women. Fisher's best friend, Mac, is an out lesbian and brilliant doctor, and Fisher's support of her is unwavering. She hires the shy Catholic maid Dot and helps her come out of her shell. She adopts the orphaned Jane and she builds her own unconventional family.
By presenting these subjects in the guise of a period drama, they are almost sneaked into the viewer's consciousness, much like Mad Men informed its viewers about sexism and workplace harassment.
The sets and costumes are gorgeous
The series has a reported budget of $1 million per episode, and it shows. The Jazz Age-era costumes are nothing short of sumptuous, dripping with feathers and sequins and an endless supply of stylish hats. Miss Fisher is most decidedly an action show, with the titular detective scaling buildings, breaking and entering and winning many physical fights, but she never compromises her style while doing it. There is no such thing as sensible shoes for Phryne Fisher — only stylish heels. And each episode features its own color palette.
It's sexy as hell
While Fisher is never lacking in prospective lovers, there is one relationship that endures throughout each season. The sexual tension between the rogue investigator and detective inspector Jack Robinson, played by Nathan Page, begins simmering in season one, and by the end of the second season, viewers found themselves desperately shipping the two.
Fisher and Robinson are a classic case of opposites attracting and influencing each other in positive ways. Although at first Robinson dismisses Fisher's detective work as that of a wealthy woman indulging a whim, he comes to respect her and even acknowledge that he needs her to help with his cases. The outgoing, adventurous Fisher encourages Robinson to be more daring in his professional and his personal life, while Jack's seemingly by-the-books style (although that first impression is slowly eroded throughout the series) grounds Fisher the few times she needs it.
It's being made into a movie
Miss Fisher fans are eager for another season, but as they anxiously wait they can also start getting excited for a feature film series about the daring detective, which could take the heroine out of Australia and around the world. The possibilities for adventure (and costumes) are endless.
Seasons one, two and three of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries are available for streaming on Netflix.