Happy Valley fans laud 'sensational' drama as final series premieres

‘Sarah Lancashire is a GODDESS!’ Happy Valley fans laud ‘sensational’ BBC drama while critics dub final series premiere ‘impeccable’ after seven-year-break

  • The multi-BAFTA-winning series, which saw actress Sarah Lancashire reprise her role as Sergeant Catherine Cawood, premiered on New Year’s Day
  • After the first episode aired, viewers and critics alike heaped praise upon ‘goddess’ Sarah, as well as her co-star James Norton and writer Sally Wainwright
  • It saw Sarah’s character discover the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir
  • This sparked a chain of events leading back to her former nemesis and the father of her grandson Ryan, played by Rhys Connah

Happy Valley fans lauded the ‘sensational’ BBC crime drama as it returned for its third and final series on New Year’s Day, after a seven year break.

The multi-BAFTA-winning third and final season, which saw actress Sarah Lancashire reprise her role as Sergeant Catherine Cawood, premiered on Sunday night.

After the first episode aired, viewers and critics alike heaped praise upon ‘goddess’ Sarah, as well as her co-star James Norton and writer Sally Wainwright.

‘Sarah Lancashire is a GODDESS!’ Happy Valley fans lauded the ‘sensational’ BBC crime drama as it returned for its third and final series on New Year’s Day, after a seven year break

The Guardian’s five-star review said: ‘From its impeccable acting talent to a writer who captures the female experience like no one else, this drama’s final series is as excellent as ever.’

In The Telegraph’s five-star review, critic Anita Singh said: ‘TV drama doesn’t get much better than this.’

Despite four stars in The Independent, it was dubbed ‘one of British television’s greatest sagas’ while the Daily Mail’s Christopher Stevens commended James’ ‘superbly menacing’ performance as villain Tommy Lee Royce.

Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: ‘Happy Valley is just brilliant TV isn’t it. The writing, the casting, the acting, it’s just phenomenal. TV Drama at its best.’

Talented: After the first episode aired, viewers and critics alike heaped praise upon ‘goddess’ Sarah, as well as her co-star James Norton (pictured) and writer Sally Wainwright

Critics’ reviews of Happy Valley’s series three premiere 

The Guardian’s five-star review said: ‘From its impeccable acting talent to a writer who captures the female experience like no one else, this drama’s final series is as excellent as ever’

In The Telegraph’s five-star review, critic Anita Singh said: ‘TV drama doesn’t get much better than this’

Despite four stars in The Independent, it was dubbed ‘one of British television’s greatest sagas’

The Daily Mail’s Christopher Stevens commended James’ ‘superbly menacing’ performance as villain Tommy Lee Royce

Another added: ‘Happy Valley. Do I need to say anything about it other than absolutely blooming fantastic, Can’t wait for next week!! Stunning scenery, fabulous writing and the best actors, what more could you want?!’

A third penned: ‘Everyone involved with #HappyValley …you dropped these. I mean what a way to kick off 2023. Sensational. Sally Wainwright is just phenomenal. The performances are outstanding. Excited for the rest of the series.’

Chiming in, a fourth said: ‘There are no words to describe just how good the first episode of #HappyValley is and just how brilliant #SarahLancashire is in it: Both have set the bar for best drama and best actor of 2023 to an almost unassailable level.’

A fifth and sixth said: ‘Happy Valley never fails to deliver just superb Sarah Lancashire is sublime great writing and cast,’ and, ‘#HappyValley WOW just WOW. Sundays are sorted for the next few weeks. Brilliant way to start 2023!’ 

A seventh wrote: ‘Man I need the rest of happy valley now.’

Another typed: ‘WOW! That’s the best thing that’s been on TV over the Christmas period by a country mile! Absolutely brilliant! Outstanding! Brilliantly written and acted!! I don’t want it to end… ever!! #HappyValley.’

Concluding, another fan said: ‘Sarah Lancashire is a goddess. Sally Wainwright is a genius. Happy Valley is the best. #HappyValley.’

Impressed: One fan wrote: ‘Happy Valley is just brilliant TV isn’t it. The writing, the casting, the acting, it’s just phenomenal. TV Drama at its best’

A host of familiar faces joined the final series, including Game of Thrones star Mark Stanley and former Coronation Street actress Mollie Winnard, who play a married couple.

The pair lead a subplot about domestic violence as Stanley plays controlling PE teacher Rob Hepworth, who padlocks the fridge and beats his wife Joanna, who is addicted to diazepam.

The first episode of the series saw Sarah’s character discover the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir, sparking a chain of events leading back to her former nemesis and the father of her grandson Ryan, played by Rhys Connah.

Sensational: The multi-BAFTA-winning third and final season sees Sarah (pictured with Mark Stanley playing Rob Hepworth) reprise her role as Sergeant Catherine Cawood

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