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.

 

Deadwater Fell (Acorn TV 2020)

2-1/2 Kernels

Let us binge, let us binge, let us binge. My motto for the pandemic. I have three shows I’m religiously following each week, and this is the first to finish after four weeks. Leave it to the Brits to bring us a mystery.

Well, this one is a bit odd. I had no trouble with the acting, the mystery, but the conclusion was both creepy, a let-down, and slightly predictable — even if you didn’t want to admit it. Nevertheless, it’s an okay watch but not the best British mystery to survive a bag of popcorn.

Dave Tennant plays a dark and moody man, definitely with flaws being over-controlling and showcasing a compulsive obsessive disorder while in private. He is the victim of a tragedy — his wife and three children have died in a house fire, but his neighbor was able to save Tom Kendrick, the center of suspicion from that point onward.

The friendly families with children have their secrets, as well as affairs and questionable trysts. There are multiple flashbacks throughout the four episodes as each character reminisces about occurrences in the past, attempting to make sense of the horrific death of three children.  When the medical examiner tells the police that the wife and children were injected with a needle and died before the fire, the suspicion turns towards the husband, of course.  As the episodes progress and the secrets are revealed, you are made to wonder whether he did it or not. Everything points to him regardless of how many times he insists that he is innocent or washes his hands.

I cannot give this series accolades, but it’s worth the watch for whatever mystery you can squeeze out of it. Tennant does a great job acting the creep you think he is and the show at least has the merit of good acting.

I am also watching Belgravia and Mrs. America with weekly episodes. Actually, I’m enjoying those shows much more.  Stay tuned for reviews to come.

Manhunt: 5 Reasons to watch Acorn TV’s New Crime Series

Agree it was worth the watch. Check it out. Now streaming on Acorn. Source: Manhunt: 5 reasons to watch Acorn TV’s new crime series

 

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.