Category:Drama

"Last Tango in Halifax" to Return for a Fourth Season

This may seem surprising news to American fans, who haven't even seen Season 3 yet, but popular romantic drama Last Tango in Halifax has already been given the green light for a fourth season! The BBC officially announced the renewal via their Twitter account, following the conclusion of the show's third season run in the UK. 

The series stars Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid as an older couple who found a second chance at love with one another thanks to the power of social media, fifty years after they first met. Sarah Lancashire and Nicola Walker play Alan and Celia's grown children, who lead rather drama-filled lives of their own.

Category:Drama

Watch: The First Trailer for J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy'

The BBC has released the first trailer for its upcoming adaptation of J.K. Rowling'sThe Casual Vacancy, the Harry Potter author's first attempt at a novel for adults following the conclusion of her blockbuster teen wizard series. The drama stars a bevy of recognizable British faces, including Potter film franchise alum Michael Gambon alongside Line of Duty’s Keeley HawesThe Hollow Crown’s Rory Kinnear, Appropriate Adult’s Monica Dolan, Miss Marple’s Julia McKenzie and more. 

Category:Drama

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Series 5, Episode 5

Previously, on Downton Abbey:  Rose’s parents are getting a divorce, which is sad and all but it means that (awesome) Shrimpie is back! Yes! Violet decides to help her ex-flirtation/possible affair Prince Igor (literally, his actual name) find his wife and enlists Shrimpie’s assistance. Mary goes to London to buy dresses and dump Gillingham; Anna spends her trip time casing the area where her rapist died. Lord Merton proposes to Isobel, Gillingham refuses to accept his new “totally dumped” status and Tom brings Sarah Bunting to dinner, wherein a massive and super awkward shouting match ensues. For more, see last week’s recap.)

All right, Episode 5, let’s do this!

Category:Reality

What I’ll Be Watching on Super Bowl Sunday: ‘The Great British Baking Show’

While many Americans are excited about the imminent Super Bowl extravaganza, I dare to suggest that not all of us plan to partake in the annual football classic. In fact, I have an alternative competition that just might have you on the edge of your seat rather than asleep in your recliner (if like me, the background drone of football games tend to lull you into a stupor, that is).

PBS’ latest BBC hit acquisition The Great British Baking Show, a program that pits twelve amateur British bakers against one another for a series of culinary challenges, has become a topic of Monday morning water cooler conversation for many Yanks.  I propose it could well be the perfect viewing option for those looking for a compelling championship level event without all the big sweaty men. Well, there was that one episode where it was really hot in the bake-off tent, but I digress.

The following is my argument for watching The Great British Baking Show instead of the Super Bowl…

British Actors You Should Know: Jamie Dornan

Jamie Dornan may not be a household name but I contend that, in the coming months at least, his name will be bandied about quite a bit. If you have heard of him it’s likely due to the fact that he’s been cast as Christian Grey in the film adaptation of E.L. James erotic best seller, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Set for release this coming Valentine’s Day, fans of the book have been vocal about the choice of this relatively unknown actor. However, as is the case with most performers who seem to pop up overnight, this Northern Irish actor has actually been slowly been building a career for almost a decade. Without having read the Fifty Shades trilogy, I argue he’s got all the necessary attributes necessary to play the male lead.

Category:Drama

Mystery Series ‘Grantchester’ Will Be Back for a Second Season

Good news for the many people who’ve been enjoying new Masterpiece Mystery series Grantchester. Turns out the drama – the first season of which is currently airing on PBS stations around the country – has already been renewed for a second series by UK network ITV.

Fun fact: The renewal news actually was announced by ITV last winter and somehow I completely missed this, but hey, maybe we can all rejoice a little harder now we actually know how good the show is, yeah? (There’s something anticlimactic about a thing getting news that something’s already been renewed before you’ve even seen it. Or at least there is when one is trying to make excuses for totally spacing on this bit of info before…)

Anyway, the renewal news isn’t completely unexpected, as the mystery series was averaging a quite healthy 6.6 million viewers in the UK during its run, and – judging from early viewer commentary around here – seems fairly popular among US viewers as well. 

Category:Sci-Fi

David Tennant Joins the Marvel Universe as ‘Jessica Jones’ Villain

Rejoice, David Tennant fans! Though you may have wept at the cancellation of the American Broadchurch remake series Gracepoint  - if only because it meant a lack of the former Tenth Doctor on your TV every week (I mean, honestly, otherwise, why would you?) – you can rest easy, because the former Time Lord has just landed another big role. Yes, indeed, Tennant has officially joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and will be playing the villain in Marvel’s upcoming 13-episode Netflix series A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

The official description for the Jessica Jones series as follows: “After a tragic ending to her short-lived super hero stint, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter, ABC’s Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23) is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City. An enigmatic figure from Jessica’s past, Kilgrave’s reappearance will send shockwaves through the former super hero’s world.”

So dramatic, right? These superheroes and their issues.

Category:Drama

Downton Abbey Recap: Series 5, Episode 4

Previously, on Downton Abbey: Mary’s “romantic getaway” is an epic failure, because all of a sudden she’s not nearly as into Lord Gillingham as she used to be. Baxter gets to keep her job, Thomas is scheming about something (we don’t know what, but do we really care?), the cops ask more questions about Bates and Mr. Green, several more people find out that Mary’s “sketching trip” was really not about drawing at all, and it turns out that the Dowager Countess had a sort of secret flirtation or something with one of Rose’s Russian Refugees back in the day when she visited Russia. Oh, and that guy is an actual prince. Because the Dowager’s life motto is basically go big or go home. There’s a lot more, so hit up last weeks’ recap if you need a refresher.)

This is technically the halfway point of the season, y’all. (Well, if we don’t count the Christmas episode, which will get tacked on to the end of this run here in the US. You get my point though. It’s all going so fast! How??!) Let’s dish this week, shall we?

Category:Drama

Watch: The First Trailer for the Splashy New ‘Poldark’ Remake is Here

Masterpiece has released the first US trailer for the upcoming lavish-looking remake of classic period drama Poldark. And – spoiler alert – it looks pretty fantastic. So much dramatic dialogue! Such gorgeous scenery! Plus, the cast doesn’t exactly strain one’s eyes, either, if you know what I mean.

The original Poldark screened on Masterpiece Theater in 1977 and starred Robin Ellis in the title role. It was one of the BBC’s very first costume dramas and was a smash success on both sides of the pond.

This updated version will star The Hobbit trilogy Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark, a brooding British officer returning to Cornwall from the American Revolutionary War in 1793, who finds his home life much changed. He discovers that his father is dead, the family mine is long since closed, his sweetheart is pledged to marry his cousin. So, you know, there’s some drama. 

Category:Drama

Martin Clunes Drama ‘Arthur & George’ Set for Masterpiece Airing in 2015

Rejoice, Doc Martin fans! We may not have a new season of the uber popular Britcom to look forward to just yet, but you’ll still be able to get your Martin Clunes fix on public television this year. And, if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes as well, then this is probably your version of Christmas.

During its bi-annual spin through upcoming programmng known as the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS and Masterpiece announced a few new titles coming our way later this year, one of which happens to be the intriguing period mystery series called Arthur and George.  Clunes, as it happens, plays the titular Arthur, otherwise known to the masses as Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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