Tag: British TV

‘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)

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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.

Vera (ITV 2011-Present)

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I cannot believe after searching through my reviews that I haven’t written a review about Vera. It’s probably because after watching seven seasons multiple times and now watching Season 8 on BritBox after it airs in the U.K., that I’m just forgetful, pet.

So let me take a moment to tell you what I think of Vera.  I love Vera.  I love the show.  I love DCI Vera Stanhope and Brenda Blethyn who brings her life.  I love the way she calls people “pet” and “luv” and wanders around the beautiful Northumberland landscape solving murders.  I love the way she barks at everybody on her staff and confronts every suspicious bloke on the block.  Needless to say, it’s a great show.

Based on novels of the same name, written by crime writer Ann Cleeves, Vera in herself is a complex woman.  Excellent in her job and ability to solve murders, on the personal side she is a very private and lone individual who doesn’t care to socialize.  She would rather retreat to her secluded home, once owned by her father, drink, and review case files at night by herself.

She has gone through two DS’s in the years, played by David Leon and Kenny Doughty.  Both have survived Vera’s demanding work schedule and barking orders to solve the mysteries.  Each episode runs 90-minutes in length, so these are deep-dive stories into the multiple suspects until Vera catches her killer.

As usual, British crime shows are the best.


BritBox British Streaming is Here! • Willow and Thatch

BritBox has launched! Lets look at the costume dramas & historical period films on the new British television streaming service for Anglophiles in the US.

Source: BritBox British Streaming is Here! • Willow and Thatch

Here is a great list of programs on the new BritBox, thanks to Willow & Thatch for checking out the service.

Of course, I immediately signed up and then devoured the show above about the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.  I’ll be reviewing it shortly.

If you’re looking for more British TV, thanks to BBC and ITV for making it possible for us poor folks from across the pond. We now have more opportunities to binge watch and ruin our health.

At $6.99 a month, you can’t go wrong. Devises vary and new apps, plus more programs are on the way.  I had no difficulty streaming on my computer or my Chrome Notebook, but could not stream on my Google TV.  Hopefully, as more apps and devices are added, we can indulge on more electronics.

Here are the FAQs.  https://www.britbox.com/help

Breathless (ITV 2013 Series)

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Stars: Jack Davenport,  Catherine Steadman, Zoe Boyle
AXED!  I wanted to give this a 3.5 rating, though I almost gave it four.  Finally after watching the last episode of Season 1 and being left hanging, the show was cancelled.  Bummer!

Breathless is really the UK’s attempt at a Mad Men type of story set in the 1950’s. It is almost humorously similar in some ways, but since I was raised in the 50’s, I always get private enjoyment of watching the hey-day of my mother and father recreated on screen.

My particular giggle was one scene in Episode 1 where all the men on the block get in their cars and drive away for work at the same time.  Standing on the sidewalk are their wives, wearing their day dresses, looking primp and proper, and waving at them goodbye.  Some know how to keep occupied in their roles as housewives, while others who have given up careers to marry are bored to death.  

The story is about a group of men and women – doctors, nurses, wives – who live out their secrets but are intertwined with one another in many ways.  Jack Davenport plays the dreamy Otto Powell, who is the best doctor on staff, a man filled with wisdom and deep regret, in a marriage of convenience, and has a longing for one of the new nurses on the staff. His attempts to woo her throughout the series doesn’t succeed until the end.  The outcome I will not spoil.

Otto, you see, has a dark secret. He has tried to redeem himself, but falls prey to an inspector who is back in his life and out for blood. How that entire matter plays out is slightly disturbing and shocking to say the least.  It was a great disappointment to me that the show was cancelled, because it left a huge gap of what the future would hold for Otto and his family.  Perhaps I should write a sequel.

The show does deal also with abortion as Otto and his side-kick doctor take trips in the dead of night to relieve women of the mistakes they’ve made or the inconvenience of bringing a child into the world. Even though abortion is illegal, he continues to put himself at risk, along with his anesthesiologist friend and a nurse. For some it’s a matter of principle and others a way to earn extra money. It may be controversial to some viewers, so be prepared to handle it. In addition to the subject matter above, you’ll be exposed to 1950’s thinking in the medical world about female health and gynecology. 

In any event, I found the show fairly entertaining and enjoyable, since it’s right up my alley age-wise.  Though not the greatest in British TV, I still would have enjoyed a second season.

Now streaming on Amazon free for Prime members.

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