Intruder (Acorn TV 2021)

3 Stars

What a tangled web of deceit. The Intruder, currently streaming on Acorn, a British series (not intending a second), is an interesting look into human stupidity of what not to do when you screw it up.

Meet Sam and Rebecca Hickey, living the dream in their gorgeous home on the rocky coast of England. As you will soon learn, the story starts out with a bang. Dinner with friends. Two teens in the dark, waiting for the lights to go out and the occupants to go to bed before they “intrude” into the couple’s home to steal what they can.

However, not all teenage heists go as planned. The two gain entrance, but Sam Hickey is still up working. After one breaks in through a window and lets the other inside, they start grabbing laptops and other carry as you go goodies to steal. Sam hears a noise, investigates, and finds one youth and starts chasing him through the house. Unbeknownst to him, the other has a few of his goods and slips out the door he came into, while Sam is on the rampage to stop the other.

As the intruder starts to crawl through the window he gained entrance with, Sam arrives with knife in hand and stabs the kid in the back. When the teen dies, Sam freaks out and wants to re-stage the scene to make it look like the teen attacked him and not the other way around. As a result, he drags his wife and Amanda (their other crazy guest) into his deceitful plot, only to find out eventually it unravels to the detriment of them all.

Rebecca Hickey, played by the talented Elaine Cassidy, is a survivor. As Sam’s wife, and who you think is the rational one among the three ready to do the right thing, brings a surprising twist to the story. I won’t spoil the outcome, enough to say that morphing into a cold-blooded killer, when her husband in a state of panic stabs another, is enough to turn your blood cold.

Does she get away with murder to preserve herself and survive at any cost? Well, you will have to watch the craziness yourself. Don’t expect any justice in this story.

Mr. and Mrs. Murder (2013)

3 Kernels

Now streaming on Acorn Television or via Amazon Prime is Mr. and Mrs. Murder. Season 1 consists of thirteen episodes. It focuses on a married couple who own an industrial cleaning business. They are often called to the scene of the crime to clean up the mess of blood and whatever remains. Since they arrive after the removal of the body and the forensic team doing their thing, you’re not exposed too long to the gore.

Charles and Nicola Buchanan quickly turn into amateur sleuths, solving the murders. They are on good terms with Detective Vinetti, and feed him the clues as they come along. The Detective, however, obviously has a thing for Mrs. Buchanan. Even though she knows it, she and her husband joke about privately.

The series is lighthearted in nature, with a few good zinger jokes that incited a laugh outloud response from me on a few occassions. This series is produced by Bravado Productions in Australia, but contains the same quirky type investigations. If you’ve watched Agatha Raisin and enjoyed it, you’ll probably like this series as well.

Mysteries are the usual for who-done-it, sprinkled with humor here and there. The relationship between the husband and wife is pretty adorable, and a niece tags along for their adventures. Since the show apparently died after one season, it’s a good thing it has thirteen episodes to entertain.

You might check this one out if you’re looking for a little pulp fiction.

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘The Other One’ On Acorn TV 

1 Kernel That Failed to Pop

I am going to forego writing my own review on this particular series and let you read this review from Decider instead. Frankly, after four episodes, I had enough of The Other One. I found it crass, not funny, and pretty much a downer on humanity. They say watch it – I say skip it.  There is enough stupidity in the world as it is, and I don’t find it entertaining on screen.

When a family man dies, his wife and daughter find out he had a whole other family living not far away… and they’re completely different. But they end up bonding anyway.

Source: Stream It Or Skip It: ‘The Other One’ On Acorn TV, A Comedy Where A

The Nest (BBC 2020)

The Nest2 Dry Kernels

Now streaming on Acorn TV is The Nest, a five-part British series. You’ll recognize Martin Compston from Line of Duty and struggle to understand his heavy Scottish accent. Rounding out the characters are Sophie Rundle and Mirren Mack.

The story is about a married couple, Emily and Dan Docherty, who are desperate to have a baby.  Emily cannot conceive and after years of trying, they are looking into having a surrogate carry the baby with their dwindling supply of baby-making material.  After a failed attempt with a family member to carry a baby to term, Emily has a chance encounter with an eighteen-year-old girl, Kaya, who agrees to be her next host for the hefty price of 50,000 Pounds. Apparently, in Scotland, it’s against the law to pay surrogates to have a baby, except to cover their basic expenses.  Dan is very skeptical of using a stranger, as he has a long list of requirements, wanting a baby birthed by a decent person.

Of course, Kaya, has a very dark background and a secret that eventually comes to the surface. Dan, the would-be father, is far from perfection himself. Emily needs a good dose of counseling as she is obsessed with having a baby, and pressures and threatens Dan the entire journey as Kaya’s pregnancy transpires.

This is really an odd series. It’s convoluted. Full of plot holes. Side stories that go nowhere and never get fully baked, and questions that don’t get answered. When you should find some satisfaction in the ending, you sort of turn off the television and immediately forget the series.  Perhaps it is the way the story was presented that makes it so odd to me and unsatisfying.  I wasn’t exactly feeling anything of much for the characters. Surprisingly, it has a 93% Tomatometer from 15 critics and a 7.2 rating on IMDb.  I’m not sure why I’m out on the fringe with this one compared to reviews, but it just didn’t float my remote.

Next, please.

Gold Digger (BBC One/Acorn TV 2019 Mini-Series)

3 Kernels

It’s every single woman’s dream at sixty years of age is to meet a handsome man half their age, who falls head-over-heels in love with you. The sex must be great.

Wait!  You say he must have ulterior motives?  What good-looking man would fall in love with a slightly wrinkled, slightly plump woman with three grown children and grandchildren? What could he possibly have in common with her, being twenty-six years younger?  Surely, he must be a gold digger.  Although Julia isn’t that rich, she is comfortable thanks to her recent divorce.  After all, she received the lovely country home.

Naturally, such a scenario doesn’t sit well with three grown children and an ex-husband who quickly judge Benjamin to be unworthy. He had a secret past, lives in a flat about to be evicted, occasionally gets caught in little white lies, and movies into the family home with mum as if he owns the place.

Well, the series leads you to believe that he is a gold digger like everyone concludes that he is.  Although all may not be as it seems, it isn’t until the last episode that you discover his motives.  Is he really a gold digger or a broken man, looking for a substitute mother figure and security?  That’s even creepier, in my books. Be ready for a on-again, off-again, on-again ride.

Staring Jula Ormand as “Julia” and Ben Barnes as “Benjamin,” you wonder why their names weren’t something different in the series. Jemima Rooper (our Lost in Auten gal), Archie Renaux, Sebastian Armesto play the suspicious and angry children, brooding over their mother’s obvious bad decision. The entire dysfunctional family can’t seem to come with terms with Julia’s ex-husband Ted, played by the talented Alex Jennings (who is the most talented in the series), that their father is a wife beater. Although he attempts to come across as a love-crossed reformed man, he eventually shows himself to be true to his own character rather than his new.

The series does tend to drag a bit here and there. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it as suspenseful as I would have liked but it’s also not predictable. From what I’ve read, the fans in the U.K. were a bit miffed the so-called bad boy didn’t turn out bad enough for everyone’s taste.

Well, it’s Acorn TV and British showmanship.  Give it a shot.  I could go for a guy in his mid-30s at my age. But since I’m not wealthy or good-looking enough to attract one to my bed, I’ll just write about it. Of course, if the story were flipped, let’s be honest.  Sixty-year-old man marries a thirty-four-year-old woman?  There isn’t anything wrong with that scenario.