Despite the term "heartwarming" in the descriptive copy on the back of the "Country Matters" DVD case, most of the episodes are reminiscent of Thomas Hardy. They are slow, brooding, and mostly focus on rural life as it really was for the poorer classes: Isolated locations; dark, dirty cottages; bare economic survival; few acquaintances; poor verbal communication; and extremely limited options in life. In most episodes, the central character is offered one chance at a better life, usually economic improvement and/or love and/or escape from a bad family. And usually, fails to get it due to either poor choices or bad luck, and then is made to realize how dreary things will be for the rest of his or her life. It's a good series, but don't watch more than one or two episodes in an evening if you want cheerful dreams.
The rural locations are beautiful, the costumes are pretty good, the acting is excellent, in short the production values of this series are high. Except--and it's a big except--for the music. British folk music would have accented the series extremely well. Instead, the music for every single episode consists of a little-varied, much-repeated, rinky-dinky, incongruously upbeat, rather electronic tune which, if memory serves, is also the theme for the BBC "Lovejoy" detective series. If BBC couldn't shell out enough for decent music at the time the series was filmed, they ought to have done it before issuing this DVD.