Watch-a-Likes

Miss Marple and the Lady Sleuths Who Have Followed in Her Footsteps

This weekend, fan favorite series Miss Marple returns to Masterpiece Mystery with two back-to-back episodes - A Caribbean Mystery premieres at 9pm EST, followed by Greenshaw’s Folly. In these new installments, Julia McKenzie reassumes her role as Agatha Christie’s beloved spinster who just so happens to be more adept at solving murders than the police.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch a preview of the new episodes here.)

An astute and intelligent woman of independent means, Miss Marple first appeared in a Christie short story in 1926. Since then her sleuthing skills have been on display in books as well as on the radio and stage. In addition, Jane Marple has been portrayed on the big and small screens by no fewer than seven different actresses, including Dame Angela Lansbury in a film version of The Mirror Crack’d.

No doubt Agatha Christie’s creation has inspired other non-law enforcement related detective characters of the female persuasion. Let’s look at few who carry on the proud Miss Marple tradition.

Bickering Telly Couples: ‘Vicious’ and Beyond

The sitcom Vicious has just started airing on PBS stations this past weekend and it certainly lives up to its name. Starring British acting legends Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, the two play a gay couple who’ve been together for almost half a century. A lifetime of companionship has worn on their collective nerves and most of what remains between them is catty remarks, primarily from Freddie (McKellan), and not just a little resentment on the part of Stuart (Jacobi).

Of course deep down the two men really do love one another, but if everything between them was sweetness and light it wouldn’t be nearly as funny, would it?

That got me to thinking about other telly couples who are prone to rows and other types of altercations. Regardless of the nature of the relationship, discord and disagreement makes things interesting and, when you’re not the one in the middle of it all, funny as well.

Missing ‘Call the Midwife’? Here’s What You Should Watch Instead

It won’t be too long now for fans of the heartwarming period drama, Call the Midwife. Episode one of Series 3 is set to air on March 30. However, if the appetizer that was the Christmas special whet your appetite, I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit for more medical drama and strong female bonding.

Never fear, we at Telly Visions are here to bridge that gap and find you something to watch while you wait for the return of the midwives and nuns, formerly of Nonnatus House.

Missing 'Sherlock'? Here's What You Should Watch Instead

One of the most torturous times of year for any TV fan is the interminable wait between seasons of your favorite show. When that show only airs three episodes at a time and the wait between seasons is somewhere between one to two years? Welcome to the life of a Sherlock fan.

Since Series 3 is premiering in January, we can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel that is this particular Great Hiatus. But, even with this fantastic knowledge to sustain us, we’ve still got a couple of months to go before new episodes arrive, so now might be the perfect time to find a new show to help fill the consulting detective-shaped hole in your heart.

Here are several suggestions for Sherlock fans – each based on various aspects that make the show so appealing. Read on, and let us know what you think – or what you’d recommend instead!

Having Withdrawal Now 'Broadchurch' Has Ended? Here’s What to Watch Instead

It is done. The final episode of Broadchurch: Series 1 aired on BBC America this week. After eight weeks of multiple dead ends and a few red herrings, we finally know who killed Danny Latimer. And quite a bombshell it was!

Understandably you might be experiencing a bit of withdrawal now that all the suspense and excitement is over. But never fear! The detective mystery is a genre that the Brits basically own. Just consider how many times the stories of Agatha Christie alone have been dramatized.

The next series of Broadchurch isn’t set to return until sometime next year so if you’re feeling a bit out of sorts and need a little whodunit pick-me-up, may I suggest a few series that might fit the bill?

Missing 'The IT Crowd'? Here are Some Workplace Sitcoms You Should Watch Instead

If you are a fan of The IT Crowd like me, you too have been on pins and needles over the past few years. Back in the summer of 2010, we left co-workers Roy, Moss, and Jen celebrating the relatively successful outcome of their boss, Douglas Reynholm’s divorce trial, secure in the assumption that we’d be seeing them again quite soon.

Little did we know that our expectations were premature. After all, before Series 4 even aired, the show’s creator Graham Linehan announced that IT Crowd would be returning in 2011 for a fifth series.

Hurray! We were innocent and carefree. We had no reason to believe we’d never hear Roy ask if someone had turned their computer off and back on again.

Except it didn’t (and hasn’t) quite worked out like that. We’re still waiting. So here’s some advice on what to watch in the meantime.

Missing 'Downton Abbey'? Here's What You Should Watch Instead

Welcome to the next installment in our new series here at Telly Visions where we try and ease the (occasionally absurdly long) hiatus-es of some of our favorite British shows by offering alternative suggestions of things you should watch while you're waiting for new episodes to return. Got a suggestion for another show for the Watch-a-like series? Let us know in the comments!

One of the darkest times of the year is upon us – the wait for the next new season of megahit costume drama Downton Abbey. It’s already been an eternity more than a few months since Series 3 concluded and we’re all getting a little impatient for the return of the Crawley clan. Plus, the show’s US premiere won’t take place until January 2014, so we’ve still got a ways to go on in our marathon wait.

So, what better time to try out a new drama to help you through the Downton doldrums? Here are a few suggestions to ease your Crawley separation anxiety, based on several of the factors that make that popular drama so addicting. (If you just can’t get enough period costumes in your life, this list is for you.)

Take a read through these – and leave your thoughts in the comments!

Missing 'Doc Martin'? Here's What You Should Watch Instead

Welcome to another new series here at Telly Visions where we try and ease the (occasionally absurdly long) hiatus-es of some of our favorite British shows by offering alternative suggestions of things you should watch while you're waiting for new episodes to return. Carmen’s up first, but you guys just wait till I get to the Sherlock section….

Being a British telly addict in the States can be difficult at times. Never mind there are fewer episodes per series than Americans are used to – I’ve learned to accept the fact and concede that I prefer quality over quantity. But we also have to wait our turn until all our eagerly anticipated programs debut in their homeland first. Fair enough maybe, but it is hard to be patient so much of the time. (I’m sure you heard the whine in your head as you read the preceding sentences.)

Take for example, the newest series of the fan favorite, Doc Martin. It’s set to air in the UK sometime during ITV’s autumn schedule - which probably means no Doctor Ellingham for the Yanks until the spring of 2014 at least. So rather than whinge about it, I’m here to offer some alternative viewing suggestions, just to hold you over until the real Doc Martin comes along.