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.

The Mallocra Files (BritBox 2019)

p17605347_b_v13_aa4 Kernels

How is your geography these days? Did you know Spain has islands in the Mediterranean? Ever heard of Mallorca? Well, I never have, until BritBox started streaming this enjoyable police series set in the colorful and very beautiful island. It’s a BBC One creation from 2019 and  Season 2 has been commissioned.

If you’re looking for another dynamic duo, meet Julian Looman as Detective Max Winter and Elen Rhys and Detective Miranda Blake.  Max is German – Miranda is English – they are part of the police force on this picturesque island, reporting to a colorful character by the name of Ines Villegas, who is chief of police. Miranda doesn’t like her by the way, and she doesn’t like Miranda.

You will soon discover that Max is the cool, frankly gorgeous looking blue-eyed detective, who is rather laid back. Miranda, however, is from the UK and everything about her is procedure this and forensics that when it comes to solving crimes. They are regular go-getters solving murders, and boy do they run a lot chasing the bad guys.

I have watched six episodes so far and am enjoying the tit for tat relationship between the two. Max has a girlfriend, but Miranda has no romantic interest. No doubt, this is going to turn out to be one of those shows where they fall in love, but nobody is going to confess it to the other.  There is humor between the two characters, which keeps the series on the lighter side rather than serious.

The murder mysteries are not too long since each episode runs for 45-minutes. The storylines are pretty good, and I haven’t come across any rehashed tropes to bore me. There are a variety of actors from European countries which gives it a good blend of talent.

So, head over to BritBox to get lost in Julian Looman’s blue eyes.  Unfortunately, the poster for the show doesn’t show how blue his eyes really are. I wonder if they are for real or colored contact lenses.  You never know what is genuine these days when it comes to good looks.

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.

 

World on Fire (BBC/PBS TV Series)

3 Kernels

Well, stuck at home for 24 days now, I finished in two days on PBS Passport the series “World on Fire,” which originally aired on BBC and now is streaming each week on PBS Masterpiece. Series two has already been commissioned by BBC, and apparently, it could go on through six series in total if it gets picked up for the remainder.

The storyline is not a simple one. It involves a huge cast of characters situated in Germany, Poland, France, and England in the first seven episodes. Scenes flop back and forth between the lives of all these individuals set in 1939 just before Germany’s invasion of Poland. As the series progresses, you see the Nazis systematically invade Poland, Belgium and then France. As Europe falls into its clutches, the characters are taking their own journey during these turbulent times.

The main family groups are the Bennetts, consisting of a father (Douglas) who has residual shell-shock syndrome from WWI, his daughter (Lois), and a son (Tom) who is in trouble with the law most of the time. Harry Chase and his mother, Robina, are the next family circle. Harry is initially Lois’ love interest. Harry travels to Poland and becomes involved in the Tomaszeski family, falling in love with the daughter. Then there is Helen Hunt, who is a war correspondent based in Berlin, and her nephew who is a doctor in Paris.

Audiences may find it difficult to keep track of the multiple storylines and the changes of scenes between each family group and location.  The series pulls no punches and paints the Nazis in the cruelest light possible in their invasion of Europe. No one is safe–Jews, homosexuals, people of color, or children with disabilities. It focuses heavily on the Nazi beliefs of the “master race.”

Some of the storylines do not quite make sense and backgrounds are not fully fleshed out. Lois’ feelings toward Harry had me scratching my head. Harry’s mother is a hard nut to crack. Tom is a pain in the neck. Nevertheless, despite some pitfalls it holds your attention.

Beware that the season finale leaves its audiences on a cliffhanger that is going to make you wait for another year or more to find out what happens next. Just as a point of personal ranting, I am finding this new trend of cliffhanger theatrics in a lot of series of late to be irritating. Just because the cliff is there, it doesn’t mean there will necessarily be a season two.  Sanditon and Beecham House are two series that cruelly left their audiences because of non-renewals. I’m not sure that viewers are going to continue to be forgiving if this trend continues in the hopes that just because they leave us on the edge of our seats it will mean they will return for another season.  BBC and ITV need to rethink this ploy.

If you are into WW2 movies/series, tune into “World on Fire.” Since it doesn’t look like Victoria will be returning, for the next few years, you can count on being dragged through war instead.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.  And for goodness sake, stay home and binge-watch television.

‘Final’ series of Poldark may not be the last, says writer | Drama | The Guardian

With fifth series coming to screens next month, ‘door has been left open’ for show to return in future

Source: ‘Final’ series of Poldark may not be the last, says writer | Drama | The Guardian