Media Monday: BritBox and AcornTV

We disconnected the satellite TV a few months ago and are now streaming only. We still get live channels via YouTubeTV. Which we pay about the same amount for as what the satellite company offered to keep us. But we’d made up our minds so we declined their offer. With the streaming subscriptions, we’re saving about $100/month over what we were paying for a bunch of satellite channels we never watched.

Photo from DepositPhotos

We’re watching a lot of British and Canadian shows via BritBox and AcornTV, thanks to Amazon Prime. Which we had watched many of these already, but we’re back at it, and finding some new ones.

I’ve previously written about Murdoch Mysteries, a product of Canada. There were two new seasons we had to catch up on. And talk about a cliffhanger at the end of Season 14! I immediately had to check and be sure they were filming Season 15. Whew! They are.

Murdoch Mysteries

It took us a year to watch all of Midsomer Murders, and last week we watched Season 22.

PBS recently aired a new version of All Creatures Great and Small, based on the books by British vet James Herriot. We watched Season 1, then went back and watched the older series from the late 1970s and early ’80s. We’d read all the books, of course. Both the older and newer series followed the same book fairly closely.

After we finished the older series, we went back to Midsomer Mysteries, Season 21, Episode 1, The Point of Balance, when Christopher Timothy, the actor who played James Heriot, guest starred in Midsomer as Ned Barnaby, DCI John Barnaby’s father.

That was very fun to watch! Seeing an older “Herriot” and how he’d aged.

We tried Doc Martin. I had tried it a few years ago, at several friends’ recommendation, but just couldn’t get into it. Stud Muffin and I tackled it together and after a few episodes, decided we enjoyed it enough to continue. But as often happens, (and I’ve told him this), he gets me to watching something that I’m not really wanting to watch (American Idol, Survivor, Longmire, to name a few) and then I get hooked and he decides he doesn’t want to watch anymore. Well sure enough, around Season 6, SM got tired of Doc’s perennial jerkness and said he was done. I do see glimmers of him trying to be better, so I’ll continue with Doc on my own. One of these days.

We’re currently trying Father Brown. After the first 2 episodes, SM said he didn’t care for how the “writers” (he blames all story deficiencies on the writers, never the producers, directors, or editors) portrayed the police officers/detectives/investigators as “bumbling idiots.” I disagreed with him. We did take a break and caught up on Midsomer, and we’re back to Father Brown. He hasn’t complained again. I don’t think he’s changed his mind, but at least he’s not arguing with the television set.

Media Monday: Midsomer Murders

I had no idea when we started watching this British murder mystery series that it would take us over a year to watch them all. But we persisted and last week we finished all twenty-one seasons! Yes, you read that right. Twenty-one seasons! Now British seasons are shorter than US. Most seasons had only six episodes. Some had only four. But the episodes are all 90 minutes, so essentially movie length. Definitely a time commitment.

MMThey take place in the fictional British county of Midsomer and follow DCI Barnaby and his younger assistant. The younger assistant changed every few seasons. And even DCI Barnaby changed in Season 14. The original Barnaby retired and his younger cousin moved to Causton CID and became Detective Chief Inspector.

The coroner changed about the same time. First was a very professional man, then a young woman to provide some romantic interest for the young assistant, then a few subs, then a saucy, middle-aged woman who stood up to John Barnaby.

The mysteries ranged from quite dark to much lighter in tone. Some of them were very easy to pick out the guilty party and some were very difficult.

The series began in 1998, so the twenty year old episodes appear a bit dated. The more current shows represent England’s culture better.

Altogether, we enjoyed them very much. We watched them on Acorn TV, through my Amazon Prime subscription.

Just be warned, if you start watching, you’re making a commitment. A big commitment!