John Thaw as Inspector Morse (Photo: image courtesy of Executive Program Services)

Dated or Delightful? Inspector Morse

How well do British TV series from the past hold up? Are they classic gems that transcend generations or are they old-fashioned and representative of a particular period in time? This time our Dated and Delightful series takes a look at Inspector Morse on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. 

'Sherlock' Season 4: 'The Six Thatchers' Recap

Benedict Cumberbatch in "Sherlock" Season 4. (Photo: Courtesy of Hartswood Films and MASTERPIECE)

Finally! After what feels like a million years but is actually only three, Sherlock is back with a proper full series. (I’m not counting the Victorian one-off special that aired during early 2016 in this, if only because that episode was really weird, and didn’t actually advance the story of the show at all.) It’s been a while since we’ve spent some quality time with the boys of Baker Street, and Season 3 was both controversial and rather tumultuous, so who knows what to expect in Season 4. Anything, apparently.

“The Six Thatchers” kicks off the new season in style – it’s very intriguing to look at, and it features star Benedict Cumberbatch at his absolute manic best. But is it a good episode? That’s…a more complicated question. In some ways, “Thatchers” isn’t what we expect from a Sherlock episode at all. The “case” as it were, is paper-thin, and serves only as a cover for the character issues that the show wants to explore around it. That’s not a bad thing, per se, but it doesn’t always work. There’s too much time here spent on flashbacks and the primary story edges a bit on the side of soap opera. Maybe there was nothing that could live up to the expectations we as viewers place on new episodes of Sherlock, but “Six Thatchers”, despite several bright spots, was a rather disappointing return.

Why? Let’s talk about it. 

A Five Item Wishlist for 'Sherlock' Season 4

Season 4 Sherlock looks very dramatic, huh? (Photo: Courtesy of Hartswood Films and MASTERPIECE)

It’s almost time. A new season of Sherlock is almost upon us. We haven’t had a proper one since 2014. (The one-off Victorian-set special episode “The Abominable Bride” doesn’t count. Mostly because it was a dream sequence that didn’t actually move the series’ plot forward in any way.) 

Despite the fact that I had some problems with the Season 3 finale, I’ve really missed Sherlock. I’m super psyched it’s (finally) back. I can’t wait to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman together again. But I have a lot of questions. And a lot of things I want to see in Season 4. Here are a few of them. 

In Memoriam: 2016

Few people would dispute that 2016 has been a tough year. It's been particularly devasting in regards to the number of entertainment icons who have passed away with upsetting regularity over the past twelve months. Please join me in honoring the memory of many of the British actors, musicians and broadcasters who have shared their talents with us over the years. 

Richard (Clive Swift) and Hyacinth Bucket (Patricia Routledge) under the mistletoe. (Photo: Courtesy of BBC Worldwide)

Dated or Delightful: British Telly Comedy Christmas Specials

How well do British TV series from the past hold up? Are they classic gems that transcend generations or are they old-fashioned and representative of a particular period in time? In this installment of our Dated or Delightful series, we look at nostalgic BBC Christmas specials of the 1970's through the 1990's.

In this installment of Dated or Delightful, we look at nostalgic BBC Christmas specials of the 1970's through the 1990's. 

Jenna Coleman Discusses Playing a Real Life Queen in 'Victoria'

Jenna Coleman as Victoria (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Period drama Victoria is finally coming to America this January, to fill the hole that Downton Abbey has left in our hearts. Or, try to anyway. Even though it’s a much more straightforward historical drama that’s based on a real person, Victoria has a similar feel. The show’s Downton-esque vibe can no doubt be attributed to its many sumptuous costumes, its rather attractive cast, and the swoony love story at its center.

The story of Victoria, though, centers on the early years of the young queen’s rule. She came to her throne at just 18 years of age, and went on to rule for a (at the time, record-breaking) 63 years. Over the course of her life she had nine children and 42 grandchildren, survived at least seven assassination attempts, buried her husband, and eventually ruled over the largest empire the world had ever seen. 

'Call the Midwife' Christmas Special Preview

Nonnatus staff lend a hand at Christmas. (Photo: Courtesy of Neal Street Productions & OOA © Photos by Coco Van Oppens)

Check out our preview of the upcoming Call the Midwife Christmas special. The Nonnatus House family ventures to South Africa after they receive an SOS call from a mission hospital that’s understaffed, underfunded and threatened with closure. Facing tough challenges, they dig deep to save Hope Clinic and make a difference.

Final Episode Title of 'Sherlock' Season 4 Revealed

Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss in "Sherlock" Season 4 (Photo: Courtesy of Colin Hutton/Hartswood Films 2016 for MASTERPIECE)

A brand new season of Sherlock is almost here, and we finally have one of the biggest pieces of information we're likely to get about it. The title of the third episode in Season 4 has been announced. The first two episode titles were revealeed back in September at the Sherlocked UK fan convention: "The Six Thatchers" and "The Lying Detective". And now we know the title of the season finale. It's "The Final Problem".

Preview the Plays of ‘The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses’

Benedict Cumberbatch in full "Richard III" gear for "The Hollow Crown The Wars of the Roses" (Photo:  Courtesy of Robert Viglasky © 2015 Carnival Film & Television Ltd )

After a long wait, American audiences are finally getting the chance to see The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses for themselves. The sequel series is airing on PBS’ Great Performances this December. (Friendly reminder: you should definitely check your local listings and find out the specifics because end of year pledge-time may affect what days this airs).

The original The Hollow Crown series adapted four of Shakespeare’s history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Pts. 1 and 2 and Henry V – into a single chronological narrative, with the majority of the relevant actors performing the same roles across all the plays. The three-part sequel takes on the next part of the story, the titular Wars of the Roses, when two families battled for control of England’s throne.

'Call the Midwife' Renewed for Three Additional Seasons

The cast of the new "Call the Midwife" holiday special.  (Photo: BBC/Neal Street Productions)

In good news you might have missed during the Thanksgiving holiday: popular period drama Call the Midwife is going to be sticking around awhile. The BBC announced last week that the series has been renewed – not just for a single additional season, or even two, but three.

The medical drama follows the story of a group of nurse midwives and nuns who care for the residents of the economically disadvantaged neighborhood of Poplar. Call the Midwife, of course, is so much more than that though – really digging into the personal stories of all the different women involved. (It’s also great if you happen to need a good cry for whatever reason.)