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.)
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…
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.
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.
Rejoice, David Tennantfans! Though you may have wept at the cancellation of the American Broadchurchremake 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.
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?
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 trilogyAidan 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.
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.
This year five talented Brits have been nominated for an Academy Award. Most of these names are quite familiar to UK film fans; however, before they were delivering inspiring performances and their names appeared on movie theater marquees, they had to pay their dues with small guest appearances in television series and made-for-TV movies.
Let’s take a brief look at their careers before they were Oscar hopefuls…
Channel 4 has revealed the first trailer for its upcoming lavish ten-part period drama Indian Summers, which aims to tell the story of the final years of British colonial rule in India.
Following an assassination attempt at the Royal Club in Simla stories of promises, secrets, politics, power, sex and love play out as the British Raj begins to falter and a nation opens its eyes to the possibilities of freedom.
Two-time Academy Award nominee Julie Walters leads a massive all-star star cast that includes Harry Potter’sHenry-Lloyd Hughes, The Borgias Jemima West, Bedlam’s Nikesh Patel, Lilette Dubey, Mr. Selfridge’s Alexander Cobb, Craig Parkinson, Fiona Glascott and many more.
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