Sunday, January 26, 2014

Simply Mad for British T.V. and Movies

Well, if you are wondering what in the "Sam Hill" I am talking about...( by the way, my friend Julie had a neighbor named Sam Hill and I always had this overwhelming urge to say really loudly.. "What in the Sam Hill?" Yah, like he never heard that before. Oh, I digress.) There is more to life than Downton Abbey. Don't get me wrong, I watch Downton Abbey. Loved last season. The first episode of this season was sort of all over the place. The second episode much better. But darlings, there is more where that came from.

 Upstairs we have a Roku player attached to our TV. It is a little box the size of a deck of cards approximately that is hooked into your HDMI cable. It has its own remote and is really fun. You can use it to stream everything from Netflix to Amazon prime and Hulu, to games and all sorts of other cooking and news and religious stations.You can use its little remote to play Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and Angry Birds. We play Wheel of Fortune as a family and fight and crack up and then tell the winner he or she was lucky.

The Roku also streams (you have to pay for it... but shoot, it's a LOT less than a movie out) a channel called Acorn TV. It is all British broadcasting. (Why is it called Acorn? I don't know. Do the Brits like acorns? Is the president of the station a squirrel lover? I'm at a loss.) Acorn TV offers mysteries which are subtle and dark and not at all like our American cop shows. It offers miniseries, and comedies and dramas. It's cool. You can also stream through an X Box or through your computer.

Amazon Instant Video also offers British programming. One of my personal favorites is The Forsyte Saga which was a novel generally thought of as we think of romantic fiction today. I found it much deeper than that and the performances were amazing. If you enjoy British film and TV, check it out. PBS is our go-to here in the states for British TV and miniseries. I just can't get into Mr. Selfridege. Maybe it's Jeremy Piven. I like him. I just can't see him as a proper-
type gentleman in any way. I LOVED The Bletchley Circle. It was a 4 or 5 part Who Dunnit with a group of brilliant women who used to work for the government during the war cracking codes. After living as civilians for some time, they reunite to attempt to solve a mystery together using their penchant for breaking codes and finding patterns. It takes place in the 50's which I loved too.

I know what you're thinking. Dude! You sure watch a lot of TV! Well, I want to assure you that I am honestly watching less television than I did when we just flipped through channels in the evening and many times watched either whatever garbage was on, or I would zone out a little on House Hunters and Property Brothers one episode after another. No offense to those individuals that are truly excited about the pink tiled bathroom with a 30 year old toilet and want that "open concept" feeling. Oooops, snarky. I find I am watching what really interests me. I am choosing a time to sit down and really enjoy the program, or I stream it to my computer and watch while I am cooking or doing bills... whatever. It is certainly less brain dissolving than most of what's out there. A lot of it too is derived from literature, which I can appreciate since I was a English/Writing major.

Maybe you are a TV snob and don't watch TV or only watch the news or the weather channel or something like that. If so.. move on to the next article. Otherwise, Downton fans, I will keep you properly posted (posted! that's a good one) on the developments regarding British cinema. Cheers!

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