Must See TV

I’ve given up on watching television. Oh, I’ll binge-watch.

I’ve been watching Amazon, Netflix and British TV through an Amazon subscription to Acorn TV.

Foyle’s War is on PBS and Amazon.


At the beginning of the series, it is 1940, WWII is on and  Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) wants to serve. He’s  a police investigator in the south of England.

DCI Foyle is assisted by his driver, the adorably curious Samantha Stewart, played by the overwhelmingly adorable Honesuckle Weeks.

The tall guy in the back is Sergeant Paul Milner, a war vet.

Each episode is a mystery, though there are some two-parters.  Real events are woven into the plotlines, especially incidents from WWII.   Don’t miss “Fifty Ships” and “High Castle” for morality plays — and in a morality play, Foyle always represents the high road.

The character Foyle is prickly, likeable and unique.  At some point you realize that for all his talents, Foyle doesn’t want to catch crooks.  Given a choice, he’d rather be serving in uniform or fly-fishing.  He knows he’s just carrying on.  His sense of duty, and his commitment to the truth guide the series.


I watched the second season of Dicte, and the second season of Hinterland this weekend.

Dicte is a crime show on the level of Law and Order in terms of seriousness. She’s the brave but headstrong writer for a newspaper.  It’s a bit of a challenge since the dialogue is in Danish, but it is subtitled in English.  Turns out Danes curse in English sometimes, and certain sexual acts apparently have no accurate Danish word.  Danish sounds like German spoken by much more polite people. Also I expected more breakfast pastries.

If you like your heroins perfect, she’s not for you.  She is sooo excited when her daughter starts having sex, it’s a bit odd.  Season one reminded me a bit of Sex and the City.

Hinterland is a dark, moody crime drama.  The main characters are police detectives. DCI Mathias (below) is a train wreck.  He needs counseling.  He also needs a shave.  Always.

While it is in English, it takes place in Wales and was shot for English and Welsh.  As a result, there are long scenes with no dialogue at all — as if it was smarter to have characters stare into space instead of talk, since they have to shoot the speaking scenes twice.

This scene might last 45 minutes.  He is not looking at anything important.  The crime scene is over his right shoulder.

According to this show, all of Wales is bleak, cold and needs a coat of paint.  The Welsh government actually did predict the show would boost tourism.  They need to get their money back.

Still, it’s good drama.






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7 Responses to Must See TV

  1. Russ says:

    I second the recommendation for “Foyle’s War.” And “Hinterland” is in my queue.

    Here’s an odd one they have: “Atelier,” a series made in Japan for Netflix, in Japanese and subtitled in English, about the trials and tribulations of a small lingerie design company. (They could have been producing anything, really – the story isn’t lingerie-specific, you might say.) I watched the first episode out of pure curiosity; I found it to be rather charming, really… and addictive. I have only the final episode remaining, and I’m actually disappointed that there isn’t more. If you can deal with foreign TV, I recommend it strongly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Former Commenter says:

    We’ve been working our way through Foyle’s War weekly for some time now, with only one episode remaining. We’re going to miss these characters and the WWII-based stories of this wonderful series.


  3. Some of the later Foyle’s episodes were fun for me since they were filmed around Dublin. The shot where Sam is holding the bread when they take her photo and use it to campaign for the other guy was taken on the TCD Dining Hall steps, which I went by (and up) daily for six years. It’s always fun when you get to play “name that place!” watching a show.


    • Someone noticed that the door frames are sometimes too low for Milner. They sometimes shoot in homes that are 150+ years old, back when tall people were 5ft 9in.


      • Modern American doors are 80 inches tall. My house is a Victorian and the kitchen door is only 75. (It makes finding a screen door you can afford interesting). The front door is all of 77.

        I have to be careful changing in our bedroom because, barefoot, I can put my full palm against the ceiling, and I’m only 5’6″. As my daughter asked shortly after we moved in “Was this place built for midgets?” I told her that folks weren’t going to pay to build the walls any higher than absolutely necessary in the family areas of the house. I’ve seen much older buildings where as far as I can everyone was expected to duck going in. I guess the smaller openings help keep the heat in in the winter?


  4. Gus Bailey says:

    Hear hear for Foyle’s War. Beautifully British production and pacing; which means anyone under 40 will have a hard time enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

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