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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Primetime TV Binge Watching Update - February 2015

Here's a list and a quick description of all of the shows I've watched since the start of 2015, that I have yet to write about on the blog. Of course, as always there is a possibility of spoilers for any primetime show I mention.

Many of the shows I've watched are British. That being said, I do watch US shows, but most of them are still mid-season, so I won't write about them yet.

I've caught a good number of shows on the Sundance Channel or on their on demand service. The first was "Appropriate Adult" about real life serial killers, which originally aired in the UK in 2011. Appropriate adults are people, who are civilian observers of interrogations. Janet Leach (Emily Watson) was brought in to do the job for Fred West (Dominic West). This was based on a real story that took place back in the 90s as Fred West and his wife Rose, were accused of multiple serious crimes including the murder of their daughter. "Fred committed suicide before he could go to trial, so no one was ultimately punished. "One Child" is an original miniseries that first aired in December 2014, which was a coproduction with the BBC. Katie Leung plays Mei, a young woman who lives in the United Kingdom with her adopted parents: an English father and an American mother. She is contacted by a reporter, because her biological brother has been convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Mei decides to go to China to meet her brother and mother, and try to help him. This show is rather intense and I was surprised by it. I also watched "Restless" from 2012, which was a BBC One production and took place in two eras prior to the US entering WWII and the 1970s. Hayley Atwell and Charlotte Rampling playing the same character in different decades named Eva. Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon did the same in the role of Lucas. Michelle Dockery played Eva's daughter Ruth, who believed her mother's name was Sally. Eva was Russian and recruited to be a spy, who went underground when things fell apart during an operation in the United States.

"Sons of Liberty" on the History Channel was a 3-night event about the American Revolution. It was just okay, as I felt like it covered too much history in too short of a time. They had many stories going on at the same time and reminded me of a history book that told you a lot of facts, but didn't go into much detail.

"Low Winter Sun" aired on AMC in 2013 and was about corruption in Detroit. The show was a remake of a program with the same title from the UK. It wasn't what I was expecting, and only last one season.

"Bedlam" aired in 2011 and 2012 on Sky in the UK, and BBC America had all 12 episodes available on demand. This was a horror programming and isn't for the faint of heart as characters die in every episode. It takes place in an apartment complex called "Bedlam Heights", which had once been an asylum for the insane. The first series starred Theo James from the movie "Divergent" as Jed, who was able to see ghosts. The second series starred Lacey Turner as Ellie, who took over Jed's role in the series, as he was killed off at the end of the first story. It is discovered through the course of the show, that Jed and Ellie were related. Only the characters of Kate and Warren appeared in both series.

"Grantchester" is a 6-episode series that aired as part of Masterpiece Mystery in the US, and was on ITV in the UK. The first series starred James Norton as Vicar Sidney Chambers and Robson Green as Detective Inspector Geordie Keating. Sidney helped Geordie solving crimes in the town of Grantchester. They also would spent time together playing backgammon and drinking in a pub. More episodes are being filmed in 2015. (What is funny is that James Norton appeared on Restless in the small role of Kolia, Eva's brother.)

ABC's run of the show "Agent Carter" ended after 8 weeks. The series stars Hayley Atwell as the title character and James D'Arcy as Jarvis, her unexpected helper. It was surprising to see a program on major network television that stars two actors with British roots speaking with non-American accents. No one at the SSR believed in Agent Peggy Carter and she was relegated to the stereotypical gender role of being a glorified secretary. Eventually she showed her worth and proved to be a better agent than anyone else at the SSR. I tried this show because I knew the main actors in other roles, and because Lyndsey Fonseca from Nikita appeared in a few episodes. What amused me was that Bridget Regan from Jane the Virgin also played a villainous character in this show.

Another round of "Project Runway All Stars" completed on Lifetime. I watched it again within a few days of air on demand. I'm always curious to see what designers come up with, and love to see Swatch the Mood mascot doggie.

So that's what I've watched so far in 2015, that I didn't include in earlier postings or was a one-off, documentary or game show. I plan on doing another one of these entries once I have more programs completed or it is the end of the month, whichever comes first.

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