The Victim (BBC 2019)

3 Kernels

Now streaming on Acorn TV is The Victim, a BBC series from 2019. They call it a “thriller,” but I don’t think it really meets that definition. It’s more of a mystery of who done it.

Victim is the story of Anna Dean, a mother who so bereaved over her son that was murdered, that she will go to any lengths to find justice where she believed justice was not served.

The individual who murdered her son, Eddie J. Turner, confessed, was sentenced to seven years, and given protection with a new name and location. Why and how this travesty of justice came about is unclear and briefly mentioned. Of course, Anna feels that the man got off far too easily.

With an inside tip, she believes she has received information after his release where he is living. In the aftermath of posting his picture and address, someone shows up on Halloween night dressed in death’s costume to give him a beating that brings him to death’s door.

It doesn’t take long before the police zero in on Anna that she was responsible for arranging what happened, and Anna ends up in court. In the meantime, the man who was beaten, Craig Meyers, is a 28-year-old bus driver, married, and with a child, who is the victim in this case.

The story pops back and forth from the past to the present, attempting to solve the mystery of the death of Anna’s child. She is so filled with hatred toward the man who did it, it clouds her judgment on many levels, and it trickles down affecting her new husband and daughter.

With a twist ending, you sort of wonder will twist anyway, it’s not a bad show. I wouldn’t rave about it, but three kernels will do for passing the hours on this one. Of course, it contains the troubled cop scenario, marriages that broke due to trauma, and the usual tropes you would find in stories like these.

All I can say, if I ever get arrested, I’m going to say, “no comment.”

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.

The Crown Series 3 is the Best Yet (BBC Review)

The Netflix Royal Family saga is back, with Olivia Colman as the Queen – and the history it covers is more fascinating than ever. But does it serve as propaganda, asks Hugh Montgomery.

Source: The Crown series 3 is the best yet

An Inspector Calls (BBC 2015)

Inspector5 Kernels

Now streaming on Amazon is “An Inspector Calls,” which is probably the most profound and emotional story I’ve seen in my life.  Frankly, I never heard of it before.  Written by J. B. Priestley, it was apparently a play first performed in Moscow in 1945 and then in the UK in 1946 and has been on stage multiple times. I guess according to Wikipedia, it’s hailed as a classic. Apparently, it’s been in film and television also throughout the years.

The story is set in 1912 and revolves around a rich cotton mill owner Mr. Birling.  They are at home at dinner with his wife, son, daughter, and her fiance.  After dinner, a gentleman arrives at the door and introduces himself as Inspector Goole from the police.  He is led into the dining room where Mr. Birling and his son and Mr. Croft are talking, while the ladies are in the parlor.

It begins with him asking Mr. Birley if he recognizes a woman in a picture that he shows him, and he denies knowing her.  When pressured why the questions, he states that she has committed suicide and he’s investigating the circumstances that lead up to her death.  Naturally, Mr. Birley asks what does this have to do with us? Eventually, he confesses that she did work at his factory and the story begins.

Well, I cannot tell you the rest because it would ruin it for you.  I think I gasped a few times, got overly emotional, felt my own shame at the end, and sat there dumbfounded after the show ended.  So what’s it all about?  Here’s a short quote that might give you a hint:

We don’t live alone upon this earth. We are responsible for each other.  And if mankind will not learn that lesson then the time will come when he will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.

You’ll discover, too, that Inspector Goole isn’t everything he appears to be.

I highly recommend it because he stabs the audience at the core. It’s also intertwined with the classes of society, how we deal with each other, and the outcome of our actions that can affect others.

It’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime for free.

Call the Midwife series 7: Bryony Hannah, Emerald Fennell and Kate Lamb Have All Quit the Seventh Series of BBC1 drama

Sad news but new characters on the way.

A spokesperson for the hit drama confirms that all three actors have quit the BBC1 show

Source: Call the Midwife series 7: Bryony Hannah, Emerald Fennell and Kate Lamb have all quit the seventh series of BBC1 drama