Grantchester returns to ITV for a third series


James Norton and Robson Green return to Grantchester for a brand new six-part series and a Christmas Special

Source: Grantchester returns to ITV for a third series

ITV renews ‘Granchester’ for a third season –


ITV says it has ordered a third season of “Grantchester,” featuring James Norton as the crime-fighting clergyman Sidney Chambers.

Source: ITV renews ‘Granchester’ for a third season –

Grantchester (2014-Present ITV)

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Grantchester – the show with a hot vicar.  Are vicar’s allowed to be hot?  Are they allowed to drink too much, enjoy a good smoke, and love a married woman? Do they have a propensity for solving crime?

Better looking any day than Miss Marple, comes Sidney Chambers, played by the dreamy James Norton.  Probably no one during Season 1 of Grantchester drooled over him as much as they have after War & Peace.  The ladies are clamoring to see more of this handsome Brit with a dreamy voice (if he’s not playing the psychopath in Happy Valley). So flock to Season 2 now on Masterpiece Theater (or Theatre, depending on which side of the pond you come from).

The scene is set in the 1950’s in Cambridgeshire village, which is apparently the era where Midwife, A Place to Call Home, Brooklyn, and a few other shows are reviving the times. James Norton plays the heartbroken man, whose love of his life married someone else. He carries the unrequited love torch throughout the episodes unable to give her up completely. As hard as his friend tries at matchmaking, he just can’t seem to move on.

Of course, Morven Christie as Amanda Kendall doesn’t help matters either. Having married the man her daddy preferred (higher classed gentry), she’s not acting very happy. Nevertheless, even though the lady’s husband just punched Sidney in the nose and told him to stay away from his wife, he doesn’t seem to get the point he’s stepping across boundaries.  Give it a rest Sidney.  Plenty of other women are willing to fall at your feet and wash your clergy robes.

The vicar, of course, has another relationship going on besides his congregation.  He is sleuth friends with Detective Inspector Geordie Keating played by Robson Green. Though he thinks that Sidney should keep his nose out of the business of police work, he ends up tolerating his interference while solving the latest crime.  The Grantchester Mysteries are based on stories written by James Runcie.

Even though the eye candy for the ladies with Mr. Norton exists, I do not find the murder and crime portion of it as engaging as other British television shows. It’s lacking the tension, dark mystery, and danger I prefer. There is always a short sermon in there somewhere for the small congregation of Sidney’s church (no revival going on here), but otherwise, the tales of crime and woe are so-so.  I’ve been spoiled by intense story  lines elsewhere, but I guess in 1950 crime wasn’t as exciting in Britain.

Nevertheless, it fills the void on Sunday nights.  Let’s hope that Sidney falls in love with someone and we get a little heat rather than remorse brewing each episode.  It could liven things up.

Will the vicar eventually fornicate?  Heaven help us. So far he’s good at pushing women up against a brick wall during a passionate kiss.  There may be redemption for this man after all.

P.S. It appears that Grantchester has been renewed for Season 3.

War & Peace (BBC 2016)

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Stars:  James Norton, Paul Dano, Lily James

I can’t believe that I haven’t written a review on War & Peace on my blog!  Of course, I put my two cents on Amazon but must have lost my senses over the handsome Prince Andrei dancing with Natasha.

This is my first viewing of an adaptation of War & Peace and an honest confession that I have never read the book. Though I knew the underlying story, seeing it on screen is another matter altogether. I cannot judge what is shortened, changed, good, or bad in comparison to the written original. Nevertheless, I am able to make a judgment on the BBC version even with my lack of Russian literature experience.

Since I did not have BBC, Lifetime, or wherever else it streamed, I purchased the episodes on Amazon for $2.99 each.  You can buy the entire series for $19.99, if you wish to stream it from Amazon or the DVD now for sale.

The first episode I found rather boring and slow, which nearly made me leave the remaining episodes untouched. Camera work and costumes were a bit out of sorts. If you don’t mind visions of the camera whipping you around in circles, you can get through it. As far as costumes, my first impression ranged from good to “gosh that looks awfully modern to me.”  There are many recognizable stars in the production, but those who shine are Lilly James, Paul Dano, and James Norton – UK’s newest heartthrob.

The second episode finally drew me into the story as the lives and personalities of the characters begin to unfold. By the time Andrei whirls Natasha around the ballroom dance floor, I found the perfect romantic beauty one hopes for in period drama. Of course, much of the romance is tempered by the brutal reality of war. One can romance in peace and then lose the one you love in war.

Paul Dano is a rather strange character as Pierre. At first you are not quite sure if he will do the part justice. However, by the time he’s starving and eating a raw potato, you will be reaching for the tissues.

Some of the lines are very thought provoking, thanks to Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel.  After watching years of war and peace weave back and forth into the lives of the characters (no thanks to Napoleon), these lines become even more meaningful.

“When our lives are knocked off course, we imagine everything in them is lost. But it is only the start of something new and good. As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is a great deal. A great deal still to come.”

If you don’t mind the slight slowness and oddities here and there, this is a well-acted and thought-provoking story of life in Russia in the early 19th century.