Sunday, 24 February 2013

Worth Watching #1

Well here it is! Worth Watching is a new feature that I'm working on =) in this series of posts I aim to show you what I'm currently enjoying on television, on catch up, in the cinema and on DVD.

Having been ill this week I have spent most of my time in bed with paracetamol and my iPad. This means I've been watching a ton of catch up tv. I've discovered some really good dramas and I'd like to share them with you before they become unavailable!

I'm definitely a catch up tv kind of girl. I love that I can watch it whenever suits me. Living at home means that my parents have exclusive access to the family television so I don't really get the opportunity to watch what I would like. Catch up tv means that I can pick and choose my own broadcasting schedule and also means, with the help of apps, that I can watch from the comfort of my own room. 

In the UK we are so lucky to have access to BBC iPlayer. The BBC is well renound for its stunning dramas (I mean who can forget the 1995 Pride and Prejudice in a hurry?) and they're still churning them out at a fantastic rate. ITV also produces some wonderful dramas (Downton Abbey, anyone?) but their online player is littered with adverts which can sully the experience somewhat. I haven't perused Chanel 4 for any good dramas for a while.. If you have any recommendations then do let me know! 

Without further ado here are my top picks for what's currently on the catchup apps at the moment!

Mr Selfridge (Broadcast Sunday 9pm ITV - DVD release March 8th)
Mr Selfridge is a fantastic drama full of lavish costumes and sets. It, rather obviously, revolves around Mr Selfridge, the creator of Selfridge's department store on Oxford Street in London. I have been watching this since it started and have finally caught up. I always like to leave it and episode in lieu for when I really crave to watch it but it was so gripping I watched two in a row one night and have been anticipating the next ever since. Mr Selfridge himself isn't always the most likeable character but he isn't exactly unlikeable either. He makes rather ambiguous moral choices but always tries to help people. The shop itself is full of quirky characters and a central role is given to Agnes Towler, a shop girl from a lowly background who is shown kindness by Mr Selfridge and quickly becomes an important part of his team. Another interesting character is Lady Mae Loxley who is a shrewd and clever member of the Women's Rights Movement and has her foot in the door of Selfridges by being married to the main benefactor. I also love that Frances O'Connor (from Mansfield Park) plays Mrs Selfridge; she has to be one of the prettiest and most intelligent actresses ever. There are intertwined relationships throughout and more than one character is left heartbroken. We also see domestic violence and alcoholism included within the plots. Despite this the series manages to maintain an upbeat and lively feel to it and it is never depressing for too long. I highly recommend that you look into watching this series as I know that you'll enjoy it.

Dancing on the Edge (Broadcast Monday 9pm BBC 2 - DVD release March 11th)
I wanted to see this mainly for the fact that I recognised Angel Coulby (Gwen from Merlin) in one of the main roles during the trailers. This drama isn't at all what I thought it would be and that's a good thing! I won't tell you what genre I would put this in because I really don't want to spoil it for you, but let's say there's a plot twist that totally changes the direction of the series and is one I totally didn't expect! The main character is a man called Louis Lester who is the frontman of a jazz band bearing his name that sees itself grow in fame to a large extent. He is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (whose name I'm not even going to pretend to know how to pronounce) who I instantly recognised from Serenity and Love Actually. I love his accent, totally RP. Anthony Head is also in this, which means its got to be good. I loved him in Buffy, I loved him in Persuasion, in fact I don't think I've seen him in anything bad at all. Another actor I recognised is John Goodman (who, despite his numerous high profile roles, will always be Pacha fro The Emperor's New Groove to me!) who plays Mr Masterson, an extravagent American business magnate. The drama is cleverly done, it's first scenes are set in 1933 then it shows what happened previously to get to that point. I have watched 4 episodes so far and I think I'm just at the point where the 'before' and 'now' come together. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Ripper Street (Broadcast Sunday 9pm BBC 1 - DVD release March 18th)
I have to admit I'm only one episode in with this but oh my it's good! I did at first say out loud "What the hell is Mr Darcy doing in an underground fighting club?!" but once I got over that initial shock I got really into it! I've been putting off watching it because I thought it would be scary.. and I don't enjoy being scared.. but it's not. It's clever and it's engaging. Matthew Macfadyen is indeed the main character and no, he's not Mr Darcy this time. He plays a police detective that has been plunged back into the world of murder and other sordid practices following the wake of the Ripper murders in Whitechappel (1888) several years (at least I assume several years) previously. I also recognised Amanda Hale (Mary Musgrove in the 2007 adaptation of Persuasion) as Mr Darcy's, sorry Detective Inspector Reid's Wife. The story is fairly fast paced and is very graphic in places but at the same time strangely enjoyable? It sounds weird to call it enjoyable in a way.. it's very disturbing because Edmund Reid was a real person involved in the Ripper murders.. that and the fact that the murders were real too and very brutal.

I wholly recommend all of these series. Make sure you catch them soon as well, Ripper Street is being removed from iPlayer on 3rd March and the early episode of Mr Selfridge are already disappearing off ITV Player because they don't hold entire series' like the BBC does. The DVD's will be out soon though and will be worth purchasing, especially as DVDs don't contain adverts in the middle of the episodes! All of these series are in hour long episodes so you'll get a lot of viewing just from these three. I hope you try them out and that you enjoy them!



Annabelle said...

ahem .. *Stern but slightly sarcastic voice* Do not watch Mr Selfridge it is a rip off of the amazing Paradise.. .
*Grins and laughs*
Yeah whenever I see my parents watching it I tell them off! whoops! :D <3

Leishasaurus said...

Haha well I wouldn't say Mr Selfridge has ripped off The Paradise exactly, as it was filmed before The Paradise was aired.. But there are similarities between the two. I think you should watch it, if you liked the Paradise you'll like this =) xxx