Shetland

Image via BBC

Dear ladies and gents,

sometimes when there is a full TV schedule some things will slip through the cracks. UK shows especially. It would help if there were premiere dates listed anywhere. What’s up with that, seriously? Early in 2016 doesn’t really help. At any rate it does come in handy when there is nothing to watch and I can can go on a crime series binge.

So Shetland. I remember watching the pilot. And I liked it. But I never gotten round to the second season (third season is currently on air). So I kinda caught up over the last two weeks.

And I think for anyone who is a fan of UK crime series, it will be a solid watch.

Shetland is based on the books written by Ann Cleeves. On the side note – she also wrote the Vera Stanhope novels that have been dramatized by the BBC. Vera is also not bad and will start airing its sixth season at the end of January. Just fyi.

Anyway. ANYWAY Shetland is based on the books about the Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez (played by Douglas Henshall) who lives at the Shetland islands in Scotland. Obviously the scenery is beautiful, but it’s Scotland after all so it is to be expected. But what I think the series does really well is depict just how isolated the area is and since it is a small community just how much people can get up in each other’s business. The murder mystery is solid and there are usually some twists and turns along the way. This is not cozy mystery a la Midsommer murders, on visuals alone it is far more haunting. But I like it all the same.

If you plan to binge watch 10 episodes aired so far. Also I might add that in current season Ciaran Hinds and Archie Panjabi make a guest appearance.

UK shows to check out this winter

Dear ladies and gents,

had this post saved in drafts for weeks. WEEKS. Blogger fail. This merits a double face palm obviously.

(It’s never not a good time to use this gif).

At any rate – here are some UK shows to check out this November/December.

First stop – Christmas. BBC is pulling ALL the stops this Christmas and they commissioned a number of Christmas specials including but not limited to Call The Midwife, Still Open All Hours, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Citizen Khan, Boomers, Not Going Out and Nan.

Then there is Doctor Who.

Then there is Sherlock. On a side note – totes not feeling this Victorian special. Am I the only one? It’s like meh whatever can we have a proper season? I’m kinda like there is so much great TV, do you really want to wait that long between seasons? Yes, yes I know, I know Doctor Strange and all that, Cabbagepatch is busy, but as I said whatever.

I will tell you what I am excited about.

LUTHER.

Yes, that’s how excited I am about Luther.

Ok here is some other stuff that aired recently that might be worth a look.

River

I watched River and lemme tell ya – it’s dark. And heavy. So please don’t say I didn’t warn you. It stars Stellan Skarsgård as Detective John River who… well… sees dead people? Before you start shouting at me for being a spoilery cow – it’s right there in the trailer, they give it away!

At any rate, it’s a solid police drama, but the emphasis is on drama, if that makes sense. River is available on Netflix in case anyone is interested.

Unforgotten

I quite liked Unforgotten – so they discover a skeleton in this house, right? And the police discovers this poor bugger was murdered some 30 odd years earlier. So one detective makes it her mission to find out who murdered him. Stars Nicola Walker and Trevor Eve (of the Waking the Dead fame).

Jekyll and Hyde

Jekyll and Hyde is about Robert Jekyll (played by Tom Bateman), the grandson of Dr. Jekyll, who is trying to learn more about his family’s history. Obviously that will end well. The show seems to be a bit gory as a bunch of people in UK complained it was too bloody to be shown before 9pm. Hm just a suggestion, don’t watch then?

London Spy

Now London Spy. I still haven’t gotten round to it, will probably save it for the holiday period. At any rate – it’s about two guys who meet and fall in love, but it soon transpires that one is a spy. And suddenly goes missing. So his boyfriend decides to find him. The thing is – the cast is stellar – Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling (among others) so I think this will be worth the watch. Also? London p*rn :) As in the city.

The Frankenstein Chronicles

The latest show for ITV – it stars Sean Bean as John Marlott, an inspector investigating a series of murders in London in 19th century that may have been committed by a doctor who is determined to reanimate the dead.

Summer UK TV Shows

Dear ladies and gents,

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. Down below is a short selection of some of the TV shows airing in the UK at the moment.

The Interceptor

I quite liked the Interceptor. It is a crime drama type of series that BBC does so well. Written by Tony Saint, it is about super secret Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team that hunts down the UK’s most wanted criminals. It stars O. T. Fagbenle and Trevor Eve (of Waking the Dead fame).

Not Safe For Work

Not Safe For Work is a black comedy starring Zawe Ashton as a civil servant who works on the immigration issues. Due to the budget cuts she gets transferred to the office in Northampton. Once she gets there, it turns out her new boss is her former protege. And the department hasn’t done any work at all over the past 2 years.

Humans

Jointly produced by Channel 4 and AMC Humans is based on the Swedish series Äkta människor (Real Humans). It is about a future where the latest gadget is a Synth. Which is an android robot you need around the house to do stuff for you. Obvs people wouldn’t be people if they didn’t use the synths for all sorts of nefarious reasons. And obvs it wouldn’t be a tv show if the synths didn’t start feeling things/rebelling. Saw the first episode and it’s not bad. It stars William Hurt and Katherine Parkinson (Jen off the IT Crowd).

No Offence

No Offence is a crime/drama/comedy hybrid series about the officers working for the Manchester Metropolitan Police. The team is led by D.I. Viv Deering (played by Joanna Scanlan) and they are investigating a serial murder who is killing girls with the Down syndrome in Manchester.

Returning shows

Strike Back

Strike Back is well.. back for it’s fifth and final season. Based on the novel written by former SAS soldier Chris Ryan, it follows the members of Section 20 on their super secret mission around the globe. A solid choice for all the thriller/military/spy buffs who enjoy this type of thing.

Vicious

Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi are back. You need to know more? They play a bickering gay couple who have been together for 48 years. Like you care – it’s Ian McKellen!

Man Down

Greg Davies stars as Dan, a man who loathes his job as a teacher. Unfortunately Rik Mayall (who played Dan’s dad) passed away and he was supposed to have a more prominent role in the second season.

My Mad Fat Diary

My Mad Fat Diary is based on the book written by Rae Earl. It follows the story of a 16-year old Rae Earl who is trying to adjust to her everyday life after spending 4 months at a psychiatric hospital. The series was a breakthrough hit for Channel 4 and this will be the show’s last season. Also – the American version is already in the works (facepalm)

Last but not least…

I know, it’s a TV show about cars, but who the hell cares – it’s Idris freaking Elba!

Idris Elba No Limits

Best British TV shows – revisited

Dear ladies and gents,

a while back I wrote this post about the best British shows.

Since this was written back in 2008, I wanted to the revisit the post and see what has aired in the meantime and deserves a mention.

So.

Luther. Obvs. OBVS.

The IT Crowd. Now that one did air prior to the original post. However I haven’t seen it at the time. I have rectified that mistake and yes, it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Someone actually called me a moron for leaving that one out. (shrug)

Sherlock.

Gavin and Stacey.

Misfits.

Black Mirror.

The Fall.

Gogglebox. Yes, I know. It’s a TV show about people watching TV. But it’s really, really funny.

The Thick of It.

Rev.

Any other suggestions? I’m sure I have forgotten plenty.