Acorn TV

Real-life police hero: no guns or quips or lollipops

By now, we’ve seen lots of TV cops.
We’ve met cops with attitudes, cops with quips, cops with guns or lollipops. Now meet Colin Sutton – the real-life Englishman at the core of two “Manhunt” stories (shown here with Martin Clunes as Sutton), the second arriving on www.acorn.tv.
Calm and quiet, Sutton is like no TV cop, with one exception: “There’s a faint element of Columbo,” said Ed Whitmore, the series’ writer and producer. He “invites people to underestimate him.” Read more…

The British master old-cop/young-cop tales

American TV may savor the good-cop/bad-cop concept.
But in England – where crime shows flourish – there’s old-cop/young cop. Just ask Neil Dudgeon (shown here), whose “Midsomer Murders” is starting a four-movie stretch on the Acorn streaming service.
“I spent a lot of times as a younger actor, (paired with) a senior actor,” Dudgeon told the Television Critics Association. “And the senior actor would do all the thinking and be rather brilliant at solving a crime. And then he would say to me: ‘Oh, look, he’s run off into the river. Chase him!’” Read more…

The Brits (and their colonies) give us good mysteries

For more than a century, the British have mastered the art of murder mysteries.
Lately, some of their younger colonies – Canada, Australia , New Zealand – have joined in. And Americans … well, we get to watch them, at a time when they’re really needed.
Bertie Carvel, starring in a new batch of Adam Dalgliesh tales (arriving in November), points to Dalgliesh’s creator: “I think P.D. James said she thought people like murder mysteries because they bring order out of chaos …. That’s something we need right now.”
Lucy Lawless – producing and starring in the current “My Life is Murder” series (which is shown here, with Lawless and Ebony Vagulans – agreed. “It’s giving people a sense of justice. The world’s been so unjust for the last six years and people are hungry for it.” Read more…

“Bloodlands” reflects brooding beauty of Northern Ireland

The coastal expanse of Northern Ireland seems to be waiting for a tough murder mystery.
Now it has one. “Bloodlands” (shown here) opens Monday (March 15), for a four-week run on the Acorn streaming service.
“The idea came from that very distinct sense of place,” writer Chris Brandon told the Television Critics Association. He wanted “a story that really used the landscape of Northern Ireland.” Read more…

It’s charming-village time, yet again

A familiar story gets fresh twists in “The South Westerlies.”
That’s a mini-series that arrives Monday (Nov. 9) on the Acorn streaming service (www.acorn.tv). Despite a slow-start and an open-ended finish, it’s a journey worth taking.
And it happens to be a scenic journey. This is set in West Cork, an Irish area popular with tourists, with its jagged coastline and even a tad of surfing.
Kate Ryan (Orla Brady, shown here) used to love summers there, but now she’s strictly a city person, living in Dublin and ready for a promotion to Oslo. First, however, she’s assigned to spend some time in a West Cork village. Read more…

“The Nest” brings subtlety and venom

“The Nest” (shown here) arrives Monday (July 13) on Acorn, giving us one of those couples we can all envy.
Rich, smart and attractive, they live in a gorgeous, waterfront home near Glasgow. And then … well, then they meet a woman who has a mysterious past and nothing to lose.
Parts of that plot could describe many movies. This could be “Chloe” with Amanda Seyfried or “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” with Rebecca De Mornay or countless others. Storytellers love to start with perfection, then stir things up.
But “The Nest” has the advantage of time and detail. It’s a five-hour story – the first two hours debut Monday on www.acorn.tv – with the time to provide depth to each character, while spinning them through fresh detours. Read more…

Stuck at home? Here are some strong choices

As the virus shutdown continues, it’s time to dive deeper into the TV pool.
I’m guessing you’ve already found some of the streaming giants, from Amazon’s marvelous “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” to Netflix’s deeply observant “The Crown.” But now let me offer some of my personal preference to dig through.
A few are coming up quickly – the first half of a nature gem (shown here) on Monday (March 23), the season-finale of “This Is Us” on Tuesday. Most, however, are easy to find; here they are, in five chunks: Read more…

More virus news: Streamers extend, Showtime delays

For TV viewers, the coronavirus impact brings some good news, plus more bad.
The good: Two screening services – Acorn (including a flashy new “Miss Fisher” mystery, shown here) and Sundance Now – have extended their free trial period from seven days to 30.
And the bad: Some shows are being delayed. FX is pushing back “Fargo”; Showtime has some shows going ahead and others not.
There have beenother virus-related TVnews lately, which you can find by hitting “news and quick comments.” The new ones are : Read more…

A good time for actors, great time for ‘Blood’

Glancing over four decades of TV and movies, Adrian Dunbar was upbeat
.“This is a great time to be an actor,” he said.
He said that quite convincingly – well, actors can do that – and the facts back him up.
Right now, Dunbar, 61, has deeply nuanced roles in two British shows that reach the U.S. via streaming.In “Line of Duty,” he plays an honest-but-troubled cop; in “Blood” and its jolting new seque (shown here)l, he’s an earnest-but-troubled doctor. Read more…

“Agatha” brightens quaint, quiet village

English villages, we’ve learned on TV, are pleasant places designed for murder mysteries
.They have quaint buildings and quiet people, stone walls and stoic constables. So imagine the fictional village of Carsley, when the very-fictional Agatha Raisin swooped in.
“It was quite a sleepy village before she came in,” said Matt McCooey, who plays local cop Bill Wong in the “Agatha Raisin” tales. “And then this whirl of color and energy and beauty.”
That’s Agatha, played by Ashley Jensen (shown here with McCooey). “The color palette is just so glorious and such fun to pick out when we go to costume fittings,” Jensen said. Read more…