Sunday, November 18, 2007

Autumn viewing

At last there is going to be something good to watch on television. The first of five episodes of 'Cranford' will be shown on BBC1 tonight. The Beeb will be getting back to what it does so well, but so rarely nowadays, first rate dramatisation of literary classics. That will be followed by 'The Blair Years.' It is much too soon to get a balanced view of the ten Blair years but I shall watch with interest. I don't expect to see any regret but I hope for some honesty and I hope, too, that credit will be given for the achievements which have been overshadowed by the war and the shame of spin.

ITV will be competing for viewers with its own classic brand: 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here', 'Katie and Peter unleashed' and a darts championship. Was ITV taken over by the Sun newspaper or The News of the World when I wasn't paying attention?

I suppose I should be grateful for two watchable programmes in one evening. Last night, having trawled through all of the listings, the only programme I could find worth watching was a selection of favourite scenes from 'The Vicar of Dibley' on Sky. The MM and I were surprised at how funny and touching those scenes are still. We had intended to watch just for a short time over a glass of wine but we watched the lot and finished the bottle!


  1. Thanks for the tip on the Vicar. We've been watching old BBC series (through Netflix) and enjoyed most of them. Inspector Morse which we liked a lot came to an end and next up, A Touch of Frost, is too depressing and dark, so the Vicar couldn’t come at a better time.

    Any other suggestions would be welcome.

    The new TV season here has been poor even by television standards as have been the new movies.

  2. Inspector Morse was one of my favourites, e, especially as most episodes were set in and around Oxford. It took me back to my youth!
    I know what you mean about A Touch of Frost, you might like 'Inspector Wexford' or 'Wycliffe' if they are available on your network. There is a rerun of 'Hamish Macbeth' on at present on Sky, that is whimsical but funny.

  3. Netflix is a video rental outfit. You sign up for as many videos as you want and they arrive by snail mail. They claim to have 60,000 selections and so far they've come up with everything we've ordered.

    It's primitive, I know, but it's the best we have right now. I'll order up some more inspectors for the post Vicar era.

    Sky sounds great. I wonder if it's available on satellite here? I need to Google it and find out.

    Another problem with Frost was we couldn't always catch what they were saying. It seemed some of the actors were swallowing their words. We have the same trouble with Inspector Lynley's, sidekick Havers. And speaking of Lynley, I like Elizabeth George and must say, Nathaniel Parker, with his black shoe polished tresses, is far from the Lynley I imaged.

    He has a nice car though.

  4. Netflix sounds a good way to find what you would like to watch. I watched a couple of the Lynley episodes but didn't like Nathaniel Parker or the wooden actress who plays the female lead. I think Parker is best as a caddish character, he was very good as Rawdon Crawley in the BBC dramatisation of Vanity Fair.

  5. Netflix was stumped. It didn't recognize Inspector Wycliffe or Inspector Wexford.

  6. 'Cranford' more than lived up to the promises of the publicity and the all-star line-up. I can put up with a whole week of nothing to watch now, knowing the treat in store next Sunday.

  7. But what will we do when it's finished M? What about the withdrawal symptoms? Is there anything we can take? Discuss (6 December).

  8. Yes, D, I must get my notebook ready with all the things I wished we'd covered last time!

  9. I loved Cranford and have posted about it over on Random Jottings. I adore Mrs Gaskell she is wonderful. Other suggestions to get from Netflix: North and South; Wives and Daughters both Mrs Gaskell; the last Jane Eyre with Toby Stephens; Under the Greenwood Tree a Thomas Hardy adaptation, simply delightful and coming up soon on the BBC Lark Rise to Candleford which I loved reading years ago.

  10. I've read your post on Cranford, Elaine and D's over on 60goingon16, too. I agree with all you say. I'm watching with eyes peeled because my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law (what a lot of hyphens!) is an extra somewhere in it.

    I didn't know about Lark Rise to Candleford, I shall watch out for it. That, along with Cranford and all of Jane Austen, are my comfort reads when I feel unwell.

    I'm sure our American friend, e, will appreciate the recommendations for Netflix. She and I communicate off-blog and have worked through quite a list already but none of those on yours.

  11. Anna is in the street scenes, but sadly she didn't make the cut in the first episode.

  12. Four more episodes to go! I'm enjoying it anyway, but looking out for Anna gives it an extra edge!


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