Viewers were faced with a mystery these days: why Laura’s Mysteries returned to La1 with the title Laura and her Mysteries. It is speculated that it was a way to differentiate between the series by Carlos Vila and Javier Holgado, broadcast between 2009 and 2014, and the television films commissioned as a continuation of this television universe, which began broadcasting in January 2022. It is difficult to make sense of it. . These so-called special films have the same duration as conventional episodes, have the same characters, have the same visual quality and keep the television format intact.

Be that as it may, beyond this confusing and somewhat useless maneuver, with this new title we have had the opportunity to see more investigations by police detective Laura Lebrel played by María Pujalte. There have been two this month of December, as if they wanted to lighten the viewer’s burden of fiction with a sense of friendly and comic entertainment, despite the murders. The audiences were not stellar but not abysmal either: 1,188,000 viewers and 10.4% screen share on January 13, data that allowed it to lead, and 959,000 viewers and 9.2% this Wednesday.

In Laura and the mystery of the bride who waited too long, the detective began sniffing around the building of her mother, a recovered Beatriz Carvajal. The community of neighbors discovered a corpse dressed as a bride behind a wall and, hours later, one of the neighbors fell from the balcony after climbing on a stool. In Laura and the Mystery of the Suspicious Patient, the last installment aired, the police entered a private clinic after being attacked in her previous investigation. There a patient told him her theory: that many of those admitted there died under strange circumstances after being discharged.

These last two television movies contain the same virtues and defects as the original series (and, for the record, my servant is of the opinion that some of these defects, in a way, can be interpreted as virtues). They have a very lax sense of verisimilitude, which often consists of letting themselves be carried away by their clues without giving too much thought to their presentation, as if Laura’s world did not function exactly like ours and what was important, in reality, was only the good will when having fun with a puzzle.

There it is normal for tenants to go to neighborhood meetings. Private clinics keep patients in for days when they are awaiting leg surgery (instead of sending them home and having them show up when it’s time). It does not matter how the evidence is obtained as long as the murder is solved, as if then it could not be invalidated at trial. And the element that helps to think that Vila and Holgado want unconditional and certainly deluded trust from the viewer is the way of solving the case: the detective always gathers the suspects and tells them who the murderer is, in pure Jessica Fletcher style.

A scene from Laura and the mystery of the suspicious patient was revealing of the essence of The mysteries of Laura or Laura and her mysteries. Maribel, her mother, showed a copy of her latest book, which she wrote (like all the ones she signs) adapting her daughter’s research. She had a hard time understanding the label that the publisher gave her, something like the master of comfy crime. And, by saying it out loud, the viewer could hear the declaration of intentions of Holgado and Susana López Rubio, who wrote the script.

Because, while it is tempting to try to dismantle the murder cases, to criticize the clarity with which certain clues are placed or the lack of ambition with respect to the secondary characters, one remains captivated by the light spirit, by those sweets that are placed everywhere. the episode (or movie) to lead us to the resolution of the mystery, the desire to play of the scriptwriters (whom one imagines in front of the computer keyboard with a smile on their mouth while they write) and above all the enormous charisma of María Bid like Laura Lebrel.

Detective Lebrel, within the framework of Rtve, has a reason for being: to be that light, well-known and comforting entertainment that makes life easy for the viewer with a memorable protagonist. She has murders but can be consumed as a family because the atmosphere never gets too dark. And, while public television should be required to produce risky fiction, it should also be required to provide this type of sympathetic content, just as the British have fun with Crime in Paradise on the BBC.

It doesn’t matter if it’s called The Mysteries of Laura or Laura and Her Mysteries. The important thing is that this fictional universe returns because the light, when it knows how to convey sympathy, is always welcome.