07 December 2012

British TV to Watch This Weekend: 8-9 Dec 2012

It looks like it's going to be a streaming-video, DVD, and/or cinema weekend, since new Brit TV episodes are few and far between on telly. So here are several recommendations for your viewing pleasure...

Saturday night might be alright for fighting, but why would you when you can get your laugh on instead? At 10PM Eastern tomorrow night on BBC America, you can do just that with The Graham Norton Show, when Graham welcomes two-thirds of the Top Gearcrew -- Jeremy Clarkson and James May -- plus Jake Gyllenhaal and Joan Rivers to the red couch.

The Graham Norton Show: Jake Gyllenhaal, Joan Rivers, Graham Norton, Jeremy Clarkson, James May
PA Wire/Press Association Images


Going Postal
I recommend Going Postalfor fans of fantasy and comedy. Based on the book by Terry Pratchett,the story follows Moist von Lipwig (Richard Coyle, Lorna Doone,Coupling),a con man who gets caught and must choose between becoming the postmaster of the decrepit post office or suffering a "pit"-iful death. Postmaster it is, but things aren't quite that simple, especially when his conniving ways provide little in helping him to escape his predicament.

He has to contend with his golem of a parole officer, Mr. Pump; a post office that's filled with thousands of undelivered letters; and corrupt competitor, Reacher Gilt (David Suchet, Agatha Christie's Poirot,The Way We Live Now),who will stop at nothing to stamp out (sorry, couldn't resist) both von Lipwig and the post office. Then there are his nightmares. But all is not gloom and doom, for he meets and takes a fancy to Adora Belle (don't call her adorable) Dearheart (Claire Foy, Upstairs Downstairs,Little Dorrit),and invents the postage stamp and express mail service to the townspeople's delight.

Going Postal is quite fun and worth the watch. You can stream it at Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Northern Lights
Over at Acorn TV, you can stream the "Northern Lights"collection. This dramedy series stars Robson Green (Wire in the Blood,Reckless)and Mark Benton (Waterloo Road,Land Girls)as Colin Armstrong and Howard Scott, respectively, best mates since schooldays who work at the same company, live next door to each other, and compete at nearly everything. They're even related through marriage, since Howie married Colin's wife's sister. But best mates doesn't mean best behavior, as both can be prats to each other and to those around them.

The show is more drama than comedy, although the funny bits are bleeping hilarious. (The scene in "Christmas Lights" with the mechanical Santa had me crying from laughing so hard.) Check it out. It's streaming through 30 December, and Netflixhas the DVDs.

Speaking of Robson Green, Acorn TV also has Series 3 of Touching Evil.Green plays DCI Dave Creegan, now recovered from a bullet to the head and back on the job with a newfound ability to sense criminals. A must-see (imo) for fans of dark detective dramas. Acorn TV is streaming Series 3 through 30 December, and both Amazon Instant Videoand Netflixare currently streaming all three series.

© Acorn Online
And if you're in the mood for mysteries, Acorn TV has "Most Mysterious Christmas Specials." These holiday episodes include two Poirot programs, "The Theft of the Royal Ruby" and "Hercule Poirot's Christmas," plus "The Cup of Silence" from the Rosemary & Thymeseries, "Ghosts of Christmas Past" from Midsomer Murders,and "Bleak Midwinter" from Foyle's War.They're streaming through 23 December.

BTW, Acorn TV is currently offering a free 14-day trial on its membership, so if you don't yet have one, this freebie is a great way to watch all of the episodes Acorn TV has available for streaming, not just the first one for each program.

And at the cinema, Brit films Cheerful Weather for the Wedding and Hyde Park on Hudson open today in limited release. Check Fandangofor theatre info and tickets.

Lastly, the stateside premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeyis one week from today, and the man who is arguably the biggest Tolkein fan this side of the shire -- Stephen Colbert -- interviewed several stars of the film this past week. So if you missed seeing Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf the Grey), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Andy Serkis (the Gollum), and director Peter Jackson on The Colbert Report, catch up on his Hobbit interviews at Hulu.

Have a fab weekend!

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