Striking Out (Acorn TV)

4 Kernels

Striking Out is a series available on Acorn TV.  It’s an Irish legal drama broadcast on RTE Television. It’s based on a variety of legal professionals (solicitors and barristers) and their professional and personal lives in Dublin. The show focuses on Tara Rafferty.  Poor Tara walks in on her fiance, Eric Dunbar, shagging another colleague. Brokenhearted she breaks the engagement, while Eric kicks himself through two seasons for having lost the best thing in his life.

Among the storyline you are immersed in Tara’s cases, but also a larger sideline plot of corruption being investigated that involves her former law firm and all sorts of hidden secrets.  Tara works alongside her mentor, Senior Counsel Vincent Pike, to uncover the dirty coverup. There isn’t a whole lot of internal courtroom drama, so you won’t have to sit through hours of testimony on cases.

Season one kept my interest, but season two really sucked me into the dark side of the hidden dealings of Eric’s father and newly formed love interests between the cast members. Trust is a huge issue, and the audience has no idea who to trust in this convulted storyline. Now I’m stuck waiting in limbo for season three!  It better be back.

Below is an article on season two but beware the spoilers.

This is a good series to watch, and here’s hoping it continues to some type of conclusion in the future with the bad guys getting their due and love for Tara finally realized.

**WARNING: SPOILERS**

Source: Striking Out season finale delivers ‘line of the year’ and leaves viewers on a cliffhanger

‘Maigret’ marks a welcome return from Rowan Atkinson

Highly recommend!  Just watched the first episode.  Check it out on BritBox.

Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. Mr. Bean, returns as French police detective Jules Maigret.

Source: ‘Maigret’ marks a welcome return from Rowan Atkinson

The Jury (ITV 2002 & 2011)

JuryThere 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.

REV. (BBC Series 2010-2014)

The Rev. Säsong II. Tom Hollander som Rev Adam Smallbone.Thanks to BritBox, REV. has started streaming.  It is a delightful comedy series starring Tom Hollander about a vicar who has transferred to the east side of London to a struggling inner-city church.  Having come from a small rural parish in Suffolk, he faces new challenges of a sparse congregation, an ever pressuring Archdeacon to increase the church’s income, plus an eclectic mix of individuals who make up his parishioners.  His wife has a fulltime job as a solicitor but isn’t involved in the workings of the church with her husband.

If anything, this sometimes irreverent and humorous show has given me a new appreciation of Tom Hollander.  He is fantastic in this role, giving you an inside look at the mind, motivation, and beliefs of Reverend Adam Smallbone.  Each episode contains his inner dialogue of prayer that is often down-right humorous, as he throws questions of why this and that to God.  He pokes at the almighty about his personal struggles and asks why Nazis live into their nineties.  It shows his humanity as he deals with his calling.

One particular episode he falters in faith, displaying the moments the faithful all walkthrough on dark days.  It is especially poignant and thought-providing story that draws him back to his calling that he cannot escape.

His self-esteem is often tested when he meets the popular vicar with a bulging congregation offering smoothies on Sunday, and the popular vicar who has a radio show he is jealous of for his success.

Whether you are a believer or non-believer, I highly recommend this insightful series that will give you a chuckle.  Don’t be surprised if it pokes at your own belief system and morals.  The fact that they make the vicar such vulnerable and honest human rather than a saint is what makes this show a great 30 minutes for each episode.  In addition to Tom Hollander, there are wonderful short appearances with such stars as Ralph Fiennes, James Purefoy,  Geoffrey Palmer, Hugh Bonneville, and Liam Neeson.

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