Category: Acorn TV

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.

 

 

 

Delicious (Acorn TV 2016-17)

delcious Season 1 – 3 Stars

Season 2 – 1 Star

Meet the dysfunctional family whose central character Leo played by Iain Glen. He is having an affair with his first wife, Gina, played by Dawn French. Twenty years earlier, he left her for a younger woman named Sam, played by Emilia Fox. At one time he and Gina owned a hotel, were both celebrated chefs.  He now runs that hotel with Sam.

Leo makes a mess of his life when his current wife discovers he’s shagging his first wife on the side.  When he finally decides to ask for forgiveness and confess his love to his second wife, he ups and dies by accidentally taking too much heart medication.  He leaves behind a bankrupt estate, debts, children that no one knows about, and a convoluted mess of relationships.  If that weren’t bad enough, Gina, his first wife has been holding onto a secret of her own that her mentally disturbed daughter, Teresa, is unaware exists.

The tale waffles between the odd and often strained relationship of Gina and Sam who attempted to keep the hotel afloat after Leo’s passing. They have their own secret buried in the backyard that will eventually come to haunt them. Joe and Sam have an 18-year-old son named Michael who has a nearly incestuous relationship with his supposed half-sister. It’s another storyline that plays out to a surprising conclusion.  Among the two seasons an old lover returns, Gina’s father shows up who she hates, the police are investigating money laundering, and another secret in the closet that Leo has held quiet for twenty years emerges.

Season one was mildly entertaining in the fact that dead Leo narrates the story and occasionally appears to his daughter and Gina.  However, when season two rolls around, the storyline crashes into the ridiculous, making me wonder what hallucinations the writer entertained  The ending makes absolutely no sense, and if it were a book, I probably would have thrown it against the wall.  Just when things are all coming together for the good of everyone involved, Gina goes off the deep end with no rational reason for her behavior whatsoever. By the end, her character and the audience’s relationship with her turns from tolerable to absolute hatred.

If you’re curious, give it a watch only if nonsensical endings do not get the best of you.

%d bloggers like this: