Let’s face it, Americans have fallen for British television. First came Dr. Who, then Downton Abbey, and now we’re all crazy in love with Sherlock. Personally, I have never seen Dr. Who, but I know it is out there somewhere in my future. I also know that what we love about Downton is the interesting writing, beautiful sets and costumes, wonderful characters, and almost across the board great acting. (We don’t like the fact that they killed Matthew off–at least I don’t–and I fail to understand why they couldn’t just let the Bates family be happy, but I think all that deserves a separate post when I have finished watching the current season.) Sherlock is just phenomenal. The ensemble is the best I’ve ever seen. The first time I saw “A Study in Pink” I remarked about half-way through that I despised Sherlock Holmes, but by the end of the episode I loved him. His interaction with Dr. Watson won me over. I could go on and on, but I will stop.
Sadly, there are not enough episodes of these programs to fill our imaginations. We wonder how to occupy these cold winter nights. Our British cousins have ruined American TV. (Actually, I’m pretty sure we’ve done that ourselves.) It’s hard to go back to American Idol after you’ve been to Downton. What to do? I have a suggestion:
Foyle’s War is another British series. Set during World War II, it takes place in the city Hastings(1066) on the southern coast of England. If you like history you will love it. If you like mysteries you will love it more. If you also enjoy great acting and excellent production values, you will have a difficult time letting an evening pass without watching an episode. We have spent December and January watching the six seasons worth of shows that are currently on Netflix. Alas, we will watch the last one this evening.
The episodes are about 90 minutes in length. They make you think. There are always plenty of suspects, but “who-done-it” is almost never obvious. There are some delightful side stories that lead viewers to emotionally invest in the characters, and the look at World War II through the eyes of everyday Brits is fascinating. The main character, Christopher Foyle, is a hero. He’s a man who loves the law and his country. At the beginning he really wants to be doing something more to help the war effort, but eventually he comes to see that keeping the peace and bringing criminals to justice is essential. This show is really quite delightful. I hope you’ll watch and enjoy.