With Luther and Downton Abbey in the off-season, I am jonesing for some British tee-vee. So thank goodness Masterpiece Mystery (yeah, yeah, along with Real Housewives and Pretty Little Liars, I love me some snooty Sunday night PBS) is premiering Zen, one of those high-brow BBC-produced detective shows. Granted, the series is about a Venetian detective named Aurelio Zen and is set in Rome—like how Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander is cast with all British actors complete with their British accents, but we’re supposed to accept that they’re Swedes in Sweden. Whatever—disbelief, you are suspended.
The lead actor Rufus Sewell is a respected English actor (for some reason, I get him confused with Charlize Theron’s ex, Stuart Townsend, who is actually Irish, but again, whatever.) and I maybe recognize him from a canceled show Eleventh Hour, or most likely I just know his name because I’m such an Anglophile. Anyway, the New York Times gave it a very literate and positive review and Entertainment Weekly put it on their “Must List“, but I would have watched it regardless. Don’t be calling me at 9pm tonight. I’ll be busy.
How you doin?
The Golden Globe nominations are in and most of it well-deserved. (I said most—I mean, Piper Perabo for Covert Affairs, really? In a weak moment of Alias-nostalgia, I watched one episode of that show and wanted to shoot myself.) But anyway, my highlight is the Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television nomination for the fantastic Idris Elba for the super-intense Luther. I cannot wait for season two. But in the meantime, I’ll settle for Stringer Bell in a tux. Maybe he can wear his college glasses from The Wire, too. Yummy.
After my early Lanvin x H&M Saturday morning, I was hoping that the remainder of my weekend would be reserved for near-catatonic TV watching. But alas, I was thwarted yet again by evil Time Warner as my 800th cable box imploded and took a week’s worth of quality TV programming with it. (And yes, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills counts). The worst, even worse than the loss of the over-hyped-Gwyneth Glee (although watching that in streaming video REALLY sucked), was that episode five of Luther was gone-zo.
The DVR disaster forced Henry and me to watch said installment of Luther via excruciatingly choppy streaming YouTube video. I love British detective mysteries and this series is definitely one of my favorites. But what I loved, loved in this episode was the blink and you missed it shout-out to Detective John Munch, originally of Homicide (great, great show) and now shamefully underused in Law & Order: SVU (or I think he is because I stopped watching that show a couple years ago). The Munch character has popped up on eight different shows spanning four networks including, The Wire which, of course, also starred Luther‘s Idris Elba as the riveting Stringer Bell. So does that mean Luther creator Neil Cross is as big of a Wire obsessive as we are?
So after my sloth-like Saturday, when I watched seven Stateside shows off my DVR (L&O:LA, you’re officially banned from my TV), I decided on Sunday that I’d get all cultured. So, with a glass of red wine in hand, I hunkered down for a few hours of Anglo-cized TV viewing. This isn’t a rare occurrence as I grew up watching Masterpiece Mystery with my dad (loved Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett and Hercule Poirot with Peter Ustinov) and I’ve totally gotten Henry (the hubster) into it, too.
I started with the Brit reboot of the recently canceled Law & Order (I’m still trying to get over it) first since that was also in the DVR. For those of you who don’t know, yes, they made a Law & Order: UK and it’s on BBC America every Friday night at 9pm EST. Now London is a fabulous choice for the franchise since the dark, gloomy and devoid of sun (at least on TV anyway) city really captures the grittiness of the original series.
Click through to the full post for the rundown of L&O:UK, Wallander and Stringer Bell on Luther.