Category: Acorn TV

Queens of Mystery (Acordn TV 2019)

Queens of Mystery 3 Kernels

Acorn TV has added a new English detective series entitled Queens of Mystery.  It’s a quirky series that takes a bit of getting used to, but if you’re into dead bodies and murder in small English towns this is right up your alley.

Like Midsomer Murders, the local population is dropping like flies.  Only this time, it’s not the priest of Father Brown, the handsome vicar in Grantchester, or high-heeled Agatha Raisin solving the cases.  Meet three-crime writing authors and their niece, a regular detective out to solve the crimes.

The first two episodes revolved around the murder of a crime writer, at a crime writer’s contest convention.  The third and fourth episodes focus on the reunion of a band, and the murders of its members.  I could swear this storyline happened to be one like it in the twenty seasons of Midsomer Murders, although a bit different to fit this new mystery.

The aunts, Beth, Cat, and Jane, are all crime solvers because they are all best-selling authors writing murder mysteries of their own.  They seem to also be connected to these recent murders in one way or the other.  They are great sleuths and cannot pass up the opportunity to investigate.  Maltida Stone is the young detective assigned to her hometown of Wildemarsh, England (another fictitious location).  The young Matilda has an unsolved mystery of her own regarding the identity of her father, which question continues to pop up in the series.

What makes this series different is that it’s narrated, which can be confusing at first. Juliet Stevenson, who narrates the tale while you are watching, adds little tidbits about the past or what the characters are really thinking during the moment.  At times it can be entertaining, but at other moments, a bit distracting.  However, it’s what makes the new series unique.  You may remember Juliet playing the wife of Mr. Elton in the 1996 version of Emma.

So if you love people being stabbed, poisoned, strangled in an English setting, this series is for you.  It’s a good filler while Midsomer Murders is filming their next season. The series introduction is quite unique, as well, and kudos to whoever thought that intro up.

queens

 

Mystery Road (Acorn TV 2018)

mystery road4 Kernels

My first thought at seeing the landscape in this Australian outback setting brought a question to mind.  How do people live in such a harsh environment? Wonderfully shot with some stellar overhead views of the vast scenery comes a crime mystery about two missing men on an outback cattle station.

Judy Davis plays a sassy middle-aged policewoman (Emma James) who is reluctantly paired with Aaron Pedersen (Jay Swan), an over-zealous detective.  Emma is quirky and knows the town/area like the back of her hand, while Jay saunters in as the gun-slinging Aussie cowboy type in boots and a hat ready to get dirty and solve the crime.

The six episodes of what happened and who-done-its keep audiences well engaged in a mystery that unfolds bit by bit.  Like a slow peel of an onion, the more layers stripped away in this mystery down a dusty road, the stinkier the core becomes. It’s a great show, well acted, and engaging.  The Aussies are giving the Brits a good run for their money on this outstanding series.

Interspersed between the main crime are the sideline stories of father and daughter problems, as well as a drinking estranged wife. Add that to the brother and sister relationship and secrets from centuries past regarding their ancestors who settled the land before them, you have some good side plots.

Check out the series but bring bottled water.  After a few hours of the dry Outback, you may get thirsty along the way or need a dish of ice cream to cool off.

 

 

Acceptable Risk (TV Series 2017)

acceptable

2 Kernels

Acceptable Risk, streaming on Acorn TV, is an Irish series that aired in 2017.  It’s a drawn-out mystery, focusing on the life of Sarah Manning (played by Elaine Cassidy). Life is peachy until her husband is murdered, and she eventually discovers she married a man of mystery whose actions led to his death.

The story unfolds to a rather convoluted plot that includes corporate corruption, the Canadians getting involved in the investigation, the United States FBI, the local Dublin detectives, a sister, and unyielding Sarah absolutely determined to find out who killed her husband. Thrown into the mix are her children and their issues as she attempts to unravel the mystery shrouding her husband’s true identity.

The character of Sarah Manning at times comes off as obsessive in her search for truth but if it wasn’t for her tenacity the truth would have never been revealed. However, by the end of the series, Sarah became a prickly character that began to grate on my nerves. Nevertheless, you understand her undying motivation to face danger when others in the investigation have thrown in the towel and given up or been told to leave the matter alone or suffer consequences.

The villain of the story is the corporate head, Hans Werner Hoffman, played very coldly by Morten Suurballe. The man literally gives you the chills as the master of evil and manipulation. The other cast members do a fine job, coming in and out of the picture of the story, but Sarah Manning is the die-hard focus that will drag you to the surprising end of corporate greed and secrecy.

To be honest, I had to split this series out into two. Initially, I became bored and uninterested after the first few episodes because Sarah was getting on my nerves. It sat for a month before I returned to finish the series just so I could write you a review!

Since that’s the case, I wouldn’t call this series a binge-worthy watch but more of a slow and sometimes irritating trip to the end credits. Others, of course, may have a different opinion as it appears the series was an “acceptable risk” to watch.  Whatever floats your remote, folks, is fine with me.

No Offense (Acorn TV 2018)

NO Offense

3 Kernels

No Offense is a British television police show set in Manchester, UK (love Manchester).  Season One is currently streaming on Acorn TV.  If you love British crime drama, a variety of police types from DI, DC, DS, DCI, PC’s (you’ll just have to look all those acronyms up), you’ll enjoy this one.

DI Vivienne (aka Viv) played by Joanna Scanlan is the team leader. Her personality is a bit prickly, crass, and a go-getter against fighting crime, however, when the prime suspect is close to home, it’s time to burn the evidence and hopes her two close girls on the force are on her side.

The first season revolves around a serial killer who drowns girls with Down Syndrome. It’s the main focus of the show, but each episode carries small off-shoots of other cases. The department is well rounded out with great characters from those in plain clothes to those in uniform, which occasionally get their own screen time about their personal lives. The ending of Season One is a bit of a twister.

What always amazes me is this DI, DC, DS, etc., never carry guns.  It’s only the uniformed police, unlike the USA where everyone is packing something, including the citizens.  Of course, our knife stabbings aren’t as prolific as they are in the UK.

Well, anyway, I’m probably going to find season two because I don’t feel like waiting for Acorn to get around in a year from now loading the next batch. I find that I lose traction waiting for additional seasons to arrive on Acorn, BritBox, Netflix, etc.  How can you really binge a long one with only six to ten episodes?  It ain’t possible.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: