If you've found yourself reading this article, it's because you are one of two types of people. The first already loves Grantchester and wants to know their feelings are validated. You can rest assured that your feelings are correct; Grantchester is fantastic and absolutely worthy of your love. The second is scratching their head because they don't know what Grantchester is and are hoping to find an answer to this mystery. And you, second person, are in for a treat.
Recently renewed for a fourth season, ITV's Grantchester (which airs on PBS in America) is set in 1950s England and stars James Norton as Sidney Chambers, the very, very attractive vicar of the small town of Grantchester. Based on the The Grantchester Mysteries, short stories written by James Runcie, the series finds Sidney teaming up with Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green) to help solve murders... because if a British TV show isn't at least a little bit about solving murders, is it even British?
Anyway, lest you think this is just another stuffy period drama, please think again. Sidney is a jazz-loving, whiskey-drinking vicar whose romantic exploits offer a new spin on the traditional image of the buttoned-up clergyman we've come to expect. But if that's not enough to entice you into watching, here are five more reasons to jump on board the Grantchester train.
1. It's literally a show about a hot vicar who solves crimes.
We kind of already covered this above, but honestly, one of the main draws of Grantchester is that it's a show about a hot vicar. Think about how rare this is in pop culture: in the history of television and film, has there ever been a truly hot vicar? We don't really know the answer to that, because we have yet to complete our goal of watching literally everything ever made, but it's probably safe to say hot vicars are few and far between. And if there has been a hot vicar before Sidney Chambers, he probably didn't spend a lot of time in the local pub or getting it on with some very lovely women in the village. No, there's no one quite like Sidney.
2. The new season is also James Norton's final season.
Unfortunately but perhaps unsurprisingly, Grantchester's upcoming fourth season, which will premiere in the U.S. in 2019, will be the last season starring Norton. Since the series premiered across the pond in 2014, the actor's star has been steadily rising (he'll next appear in the AMC drama McMafia), and it makes perfect sense he's ready to move on to other projects. Although the end of Season 3 actually offered the actor the perfect out — don't worry, we won't spoil what happens — he will return for a proper goodbye before a new vicar (presumably also hot) is introduced. This means you'll want to be up to date before Season 4 premieres.
3. There's more to it than just solving murders.
If you thought this was just another murder mystery drama, think again, because there's also plenty of romance and character drama. Whether it's Sidney's thorny relationship with the church that is further complicated by his feelings for longtime friend Amanda (Morven Christie), Geordie's marital strife, the story of Leonard's (Al Weaver) life as a closeted gay man, or Mrs. Maguire's (Tessa Peake-Jones) journey to find love again, Grantchester features a number of personal arcs for its compelling characters and their ongoing interpersonal relationships.
4. It's easily consumed and entirely comforting.
Everyone's time is limited these days, and that's why Grantchester's short seasons (by American standards anyway; they're completely normal for the U.K.) make it the perfect weekend binge. All three six-episode seasons and a Christmas special are available to stream on Amazon Prime, which means you can, if you are so inclined, knock out at least one season in a relaxing weekend. And we really mean the relaxing part — Grantchester is essentially comfort food. It's the perfect series to watch when you want to curl up and immerse yourself in another world. It's easy to watch and doesn't require much thought — which is not a criticism, there's plenty of great TV that falls into this category — but because it's set in the 1950s and because the characters are all familiar enough to be your own friends and neighbors, it doesn't feel like like a typical period piece.
5. There's a really cute dog named Dickens.
Never underestimate the power of a cute dog, especially when said dog starts out as a cute puppy.
Grantchester is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.