This comes close to the stark stories of Simenon with his undercurrents of class antagonism and the degeneration of the French bourgeoisie. The scenery of fishing villages and back alleys of Paris are poetic. Maigret is played brilliantly by Cremer who pursues the criminal but saves his greatest contempt for the whining rich and their sycophants. It's so unlike more contemporary crime series where a ridiculous emphasis is placed on the inner emotional conflicts of the flawed detective protagonists and their even more ridiculous sex lives - shows where the empty spaces are crammed with gratuitous violence and streams of vacuous profanity.. Maigret maintains a quiet corner of normalcy in his relations with his colleagues, his wife and friends - he is always ready to savor a good meal even with the yet uncovered murderer and savor the domesticity of criminals. This is more literature than the usual television fare of simplistic stereotypes and exhibtionism. Simenon, through Maigret, is as mysogynistic as most detectives in literature - but his greatest contempt is saved for the putrid and downwardly mobile rich, the upwardly mobile grasping industrial and provincial thugs and the bootlicking officials and politicians. Good stuff.