McDonald and Dodds (ITV 2020)

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McDonald and Dodds is a new series now up on Britbox. There are only two episodes in the first series, but it’s been renewed for more.  It’s filmed in Bath in the United Kingdom, so you get to enjoy all that Jane Austen-type architecture throughout various scenes. However, it’s not the location that makes me like this series. It’s the characters. And believe me, they have character, which is the spice this show has that Wild Bill was lacking.

The first episode, entitled The Fall of the House of Crockett, was a delight. Meet DCI Lauren McDonald, a go-getter from London who has arrived in Bath for her new position.  She’s ready to take charge and solve crimes.  Instantly, she’s running about barking orders at the crime scene and getting her crew to realize she’s spot on the job.  When she meets the detective assigned to her by the name of DS Dodds, she’s aghast to find a man who, by all means, should be retired. He’s old and has sat at a desk for the past ten years. Outwardly, he appears like a doofus, who keeps losing his glasses. The audience soon finds out that he’s got a keen eye, although he can barely articulate a clear thought.  He sees things where others cannot. His type of investigation is old school, while McDonald’s thinks she knows it all in the modern age.

DCI McDonald is overseen and threatened with loss of job by a Chief Superintendent who is overbearing. He’s the typical pushy CS, get things done quickly, so I look good.  John Houseman plays that role.  Frankly, they could have eliminated that character and I wouldn’t have cared.  I guess though he’s needed to put the pressure on McDonald so she nearly cracks by the end of episode one.

The episode was engaging, fast-moving, and the murder interesting enough to keep you guessing.  Robert Lindsay played Max Crockett, and I was so surprised to see him.  It took me a while to recognize him under the aging face and spotty gray beard and hair.  He’s been a long-time favorite for me from the old show My Family, a British sitcom that I loved to pieces and own all the episodes on DVD.  He played the part of the suspect as quirky and well-acted as you would expect.

Well, the first episode has surely entertained, and I will be happy to see more.

Wild Bill (Britbox Original 2020)

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UPDATE:  I guess it failed to impressed others as well.  It’s canceled after one season.  Read Here

Okay, there is a new crime show on Britbox entitled Wild Bill, starring our own American actor, Rob Lowe.  It premiered on August 4th, with episodes being released weekly.  The story revolves around a widowed police officer, fired from his job in Miami, and moving to England to lead a small police force, bringing in new high-tech ways.  How he landed the job is beyond me, nevertheless he’s the new cop on the block in his spiffy commander uniform. His new team already makes fun of him before he arrives and a few officers carry grudges against him from the onset. One particular young lady who does investigations is a delight. The others on the force are lacking character.

To add to the personalization of the story, his fourteen-year-old daughter is along for the ride.  Wild Bill is wild and does things not quite legally correct. He is acclimating himself to life in Britain. His daughter, on the other hand, deals with the depression over the loss of their mother and adjusting to school life, getting kicked out for unruly behavior early in the series, and ending up elsewhere.  I’m not too enthralled with her story either as it’s an old worn-out trope.

I have to honestly say I’m not too impressed with this series.  It is mildly entertaining in spots when it comes to the differences between Yanks and Brits.  One particular scene about the police never using their guns is amusing, while we in the wild west shoot suspects left and right.  The crime mysteries are not that engaging either, and I’m sorry to say I’m not quite sure why this show is flat overall.  Oh, wait, I do know why!  Read my review next review and you’ll understand the differences.

The Mallocra Files (BritBox 2019)

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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.

Midsomer Murders Season 21: Premiere Date & Where to Watch It – I Heart British TV

[Inserts squeal]

Great news for Midsomer Murders fans. It’s been a long wait, but the Midsomer Murders Season 21 premiere is now in sight. When […]

Source: Midsomer Murders Season 21: Premiere Date & Where to Watch It – I Heart British TV

The Jury (ITV 2002 & 2011)

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There are times that I become so overwhelmed at the absolute greatest of British television, I’m speechless.  No one does it better than the Brits.  I’ve just finished the two seasons of The Jury that first broadcast in 2002 and then again in 2011.  Both series consists of five one-hour episodes.

It begins with ordinary citizens receiving in their mail a summons to jury duty.  A few of the jurors in each case are focused upon as subplots and how the experience affects them.  Of course, the main focus is upon the accused.  The first 2002 series revolves around a Sikh teenager who is accused of murdering a classmate who bullied him.  The second in 2011 focuses on a man accused of brutally murdering three women he met on an internet dating site.

For those of you who love Gerard Butler, you will find him staring as one of the jurors, along with other familiar faces such as Helen McCrory.

The entire series engrosses you into the English jury process.  As the audience, you are given no more information about the guilt or innocence of the individual than what the jurors hear. When they retire to deliberate, no one agrees, of course, initially upon the verdict.  You, on the other hand, can cast your own vote.  In the first series there is still some doubt, but in the second it appears to be overwhelming evidence at the end of the unanimous outcome.

Needless to say, I’m continuing to rave about the excellence in writing, acting, and presentation of some of these fantastic British shows.  This one is currently streaming on BritBox and well worth the ten episodes.