About a year ago we introduced a new section in our Media area: BritTV. The BritTV section, a very successful part of our media collection, includes TV series that originally aired in England. British TV shows are a little different than most TV shows from the US in that most episodes are, in general, longer, the seasons a little shorter, and the shows tend to be better written and better acted than most US TV shows. For a viewer from the US they seem more like what we would call a mini-series as opposed to a standard network TV series.
With that in mind for the Winter
Movie TV discussion we thought it might be fun to show the first episodes of some of our favorite British TV shows from the past few years. We hope that once you watch the first episode of each series you’ll want to watch the rest. No registration required. ALL FILMS TV SHOWS BEGIN AT 1PM.
Thursday, December 15th– Sherlock
Sherlock is a retelling of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, but set in modern London. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Sherlock Holmes in one of his best roles. All of your favorite Sherlock characters are there, including Watson who, in this retelling, is a former military doctor who was wounded in Afghanistan and sets up a blog to record their adventures. Of course the main villain is Moriarty and he is quite the evil villain in this series. It’s fascinating to see how this modern age Sherlock Holmes uses current technology, as well as his powers of deduction, in modern London. The plotlines are based on the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and it’s also fascinating to see how they’ve been adapted to the modern age.
Thursday, January 12th– Call The Midwife
Call The Midwife tells the story of Jenny, a young new midwife who is assigned to the East End of London in the 1950s. The series is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, so this is a series based on actual events. This show is in part about the early days of the National Health Service in England, but also about bringing new ideas of obstetrics and modern healthcare to people who aren’t used to it. The details of childbirth are very real and very graphic in this series. There is also much talk about birth control, enemas, and female empowerment at the time. The voiceovers of the current, modern Jenny Worth looking back at her life are done by Vanessa Redgrave.
Thursday, February 9th – Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders is set in working class Birmingham in the early 1920s. If Martin Scorsese had been born in a dirty factory town in England instead of New York he might have come up with this show. It is one of those classic gangster tales, and the main character, Tommy Shelby, is another one of the great anti-hero characters that have been appearing in recent TV series. One of those fascinating characters like Tony Soprano, Don Draper, and Walter White who have both a good side and a dark side to them. Peaky Blinders is based on true events, there really was a gang in Birmingham called the Peaky Blinders, and it’s a side of English life that has been rarely shown before.