Essie Davis stars as a brave, brainy, gorgeous, wealthy private detective, Phryne Fisher. Nathan Page co-stars as police detective Jack Robinson. He starts out thinking she's a meddlesome busybody. He tries to shoo her off, but soon discovers she's un-shoo-able and also a great deal of help.
The second season is airing in Australia. PBS is broadcasting Season 1 now, through the first seven episodes so far. In some ways it's the standard-issue "mismatched detective" series, but it's unusual because of the setting, in Australia in the Roaring Twenties, and because Miss Fisher is a thoroughly liberated woman decades ahead of her time. Or one could say she's a slut. She sleeps with a different man (or two or three) in every episode so far, with no apologies and no regrets except when the man turns out to be a villain, as he does in this last week's Episode 7, "Murder in Montparnasse," with flashbacks to Miss Fisher's time in Paris.
The acting, sets, costumes and music (jazz theme by Greg J. Walker, with cuts from Duke Ellington and other jazz and swing greats) are outstanding. So far the episodes have featured quite a lot of humor. Sometimes the teleplays don't quite work, mostly because of an excess of coincidences. Improbably enormous coincidences drive the entire plot of "Murder in Montparnasse," for instance. Lazy writing. But do tune in -- I certainly will keep on watching.