Part two of my Top Ten TV Mega Post (in ten parts) is The Imports.
Since the only shows we import in the US are either in Spanish or in English. and I don’t speak Spanish as well as I used to, these shows are from English-speaking countries. (Okay, just Canada and the UK. Sorry Australia)
There are seven from the UK and three from Canada. Four are sci-fi, two are costumed dramas, two are mystery thrillers and two are police procedurals. And only two of them are not currently available in the US. I included them anyway because I have a lot of foreign followers and there are “ways” of getting them in the states.
To the list…
Black Mirror (UK)
Created by Charlie Brooker
Black Mirror is an anthology science fiction series for the Internet Age. Black Mirror can be dark at times but the writing is top-notch and always eerily prophetic.
With two seasons and six spectacular episodes, this is one of my favorite shows. Cautionary tales about our society and where it’s headed. I love this show.
In the states you can’t see it yet unless you search for it and break the rules.
Created by Simon Barry
Continuum is a futuristic time travel paradox thriller with action, cool gadgets and fights (the fight choreography is some of the best on TV… hands down) and a well-layered story starring the lovely Rachel Nichols as a cop from the future who comes back in time to stop a gang of time travelling terrorists from destroying her (scary, corporate, fascist) timeline.
I absolutely love this show.
In the states you can see it on Syfy.
Doctor Who (UK)
Doctor Who combines past, present and futuristic time-travel paradoxes with action, adventure, comedy and drama. I’ve watched since Tom Baker was the Doctor and Douglas Adams was in charge, but after the 2005 reboot, Doctor Who has been one of the best shows on TV. Quite possibly the best show of the last eight years.
I can’t wait for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to take the Tardis control this August.
In the states you can see it on BBC America.
Downton Abbey (UK)
Created by Julian Fellowes
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Thomas Howes, Lily James, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leech, Rose Leslie, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Matt Milne, Lesley Nicol, Amy Nuttall, David Robb & Maggie Smith
Downton Abbey is a 1920’s Historical household drama within a class system, the Upstairs/Downstairs for the 21st century. It has great characters and situations and the great Maggie Smith dropping mad one-liners. This show is a lot of fun for a historical costume drama that often kills off its main characters.
They kill off a bunch of characters along the way but the show doesn’t lose a step. Just try not to get too attached. No really. They’re worse than Game of Thrones.
Downton Abbey is awesome and it goes well with tea and biscuits.
In the states you can see it on PBS (months after its BBC broadcast… so the Christmas episode is in the Summer… what’s up with that, PBS?)
Lost Girl (Canada)
Created by Michelle Lovretta
Lost Girl is about a bisexual super hero with a sexy, deadly, powerful thirst. She’s a succubus trying to control her urges. I love this show. I love the way the writers quote cool movies in every episode. The banter is witty, the characters are loveable (and fuckable) and the music is sensational. Did I say yet how much I love this show?
In many ways it is the granddaughter of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The dark and the light fey creatures fight for control of the human world but our hero, Bo (the lovely Anna Silk), refuses to choose a side thus throwing the balance of power into chaos.
If I were to make a list of my favorite bisexual characters (Ooh. I need to make a list of my favorite bisexual characters) my girl, Bo would be right up there with Eric Northman from True Blood at the top of the list. And Nolan from Revenge.
This is a very sexy show and I love it. Dear god, I love it so.
In the states you can see it on Syfy.
Created by Daniel Cerone
Motive is my new favorite police procedural where the mystery is not the killer but the motive. I love this format. In the first 30 seconds of every episode they show you the killer and the victim and give you a mystery to solve. Why do they do it?
I love this show.
In the states you can see it on ABC.
Orphan Black (UK)
Created by Graeme Manson & John Fawcett
Orphan Black is a clone mystery thriller with a great cast including the sensationally talented Tatiana Maslany. She carries the show and plays most of the parts… brilliantly I might add. Some of my favorite scenes of the show are when one of the characters that she plays pretends to be one of the other characters she plays to hilarious result. It is, in my opinion, Emmy award worthy acting. (That’s right. She was robbed)
In the states you can see it on BBC America.
Sherlock is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes in present day London. It stars the wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The show has evolved with each season (or series, as they call it). Sherlock Holmes has traditionally been a famous detective but with each season of this fantastic BBC re-imagining, he becomes more and more famous. It has become a spectacle and I don’t know if I like it.
Don’t get me wrong, the show is still amazing. The cast is amazing and the mysteries are intriguing but, and this is not going to be a popular opinion, I think the American show, Elementary is a better adaptation. I just think the BBC’s Sherlock has become too much of a Sherlock for the internet age while Elementary, with the female Watson (The excruciatingly lovely Lucy Liu) and the American setting, keeps Holmes grounded.
Sure, looking something up online is what passes for detective work these days but it seems to me to be beneath the great Sherlock Holmes. I love the show. I love the show. I fucking love the show. I just don’t like the direction they’re heading.
In the states you can see it on PBS.
The Musketeers (UK)
Created by Adrian Hodges
The Musketeers is a BBC show that features Dumas’ Four Musketeers (Athos, Aramis, Porthos & D’artagnan) in an action-packed costumed adventure each week.
I talk a lot on this blog about my first books. I wasn’t given children’s books as a kid. They gave me the complete works of Shakespeare, the complete Sherlock Holmes and a collection of the works of Dumas. There were others but these were the three with which I spent the most time. I didn’t quite know how to read then so I was given a dictionary.
Actually it went like this:
“I can’t read this.”
“There are pictures.”
“Only at the start of the chapter. I don’t know this word.”
“Here’s a dictionary.” THUD
These were my first books, my first friends, my first heroes and my introduction to the world of fiction and the human condition. If you take Sherlock Holmes and the Musketeers then put them in a Shakespearean tragedy (or comedy… or history for that matter) with nothing but a dictionary, I would be there to greet them. Saying, “Welcome to my world.”
This is a sexy (the costumes are pretty) and fun (it does not take itself seriously) and exciting (lots of sword fights, musket battles) action adventure show with a fantastic cast and cast of characters including Peter Capaldi as the evil Cardinal Armand Richelieu.
I love this show so very much that the theme song makes me do a little dance.
In the states you can see it on BBC America… I think.
Created by Dennis Kelly
Starring Alexandra Roach, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Paul Higgins, Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Adeel Akhtar, Steven Robertson, Oliver Woollford, Neil Maskell, Paul Ready, Geraldine James, James Fox & Michael Smiley
Utopia is a mystery, conspiracy, thriller with a dark undertone. The plot involves a group of hackers and wanna-be revolutionaries who uncover a vast corporate conspiracy and are hunted by professional killers as well as an organization with power and influence.
In the states you can’t see it unless you search for it and break the rules.
… and that’s it.
Left off the list were Babylon from Danny Boyle (with Brit Marling) and Mr. Selfridge with Jeremy Piven. One because it won’t get going until later this year and the other because I hate Jeremy Piven (even though the show’s pretty good).
See you on the couch,