The rights to most of the BBC shows currently streaming on Netflix are currently set to expire at the end of the month, and while there’s still plenty of time to renew them, the news has already sparked mild panic in some stateside Anglophiles. (Before you really freak out: Sherlock is safe, thanks to its affiliation with PBS, and Downton Abbey airs on ITV.) Since any excuse to plug quality British programming is a good one, here’s some suggested viewing for the next 18 days. Attempt to watch it all at your own risk. … Read More
Dear readers, the holidays are here! Perhaps your family is squabbling, or your friends are worrying about where to go and whom to kiss when the ball drops, and the youngest folks in your life are playing with their toys and…you can’t take it anymore. You just want to spend some quality time with people who really get you.
People with British accents, bad or good. People in elaborate costumes. People who reappear in multiple-episode arcs. People, dear readers, who are the characters in sentimentality and scheme-saturated British television.
Well, we’ve got your back. So don your favorite wearable blanket, pour yourself a glass of something delicious, and check out these streaming British (or British-ish) period drama mini-series that are available right now.
(Note: we’re linking you to paid services but plenty of these can be watched with a clever Google search or two. Shh!) … Read More
Ten years ago tonight, the BBC premiered a four-part miniseries, North & South (not to be confused with the Patrick Swayze-starring civil war drama of the same name), adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell’s 19th-century novel of cross-class romance in the industrial North of England. The BBC didn’t harbor huge expectations for the series, coming as it did in the midst of a glorious decade of nonstop adaptations of major works by Austen, Brontë, and Dickens. But then, a few weeks later, the fourth installment of North & South ended with a tender, long-awaited kiss (now known to viewers as “The Kiss”). Immediately, so many people flooded the BBC’s online message boards that they crashed and shut down. It’s been enshrined in fangirl lore as “the infamous night that period drama fans broke (a small part of) the BBC (dot com).” … Read More
The original Drive soundtrack was nothing to complain about — in fact, it was one of the most hyped soundtracks of… Read More
That’s Prof Pop to you! In addition to his BBC Radio 6 DJ post over the last year, the Godfather of Punk delivered BBC Music’s annual John Peel Lecture Tuesday night (October 13) in an hour-long presentation at the Lowry theater in Salford, Manchester. His topic — “Free Music In a Capitalist Society” — was a fascinating one, particularly for a musical icon who has moved in and out of DIY and commercial realms for much of his career, eventually having little shame over licensing “Lust For Life” to a Carnival Cruise commercial (among other ads). “If I want to make money, well, how about selling car insurance?” he postured. “At least I’m honest. It’s an ad, and that’s all it is. If I had to depend on what I actually get from sales, I’d be tending bars between sets.” … Read More
This may be one of the strangest – and most intriguing – pop-cultural combinations imaginable: Joanna Lumley (of Ab Fab). will.i.am… Read More
After taking a two-year hiatus so its costars could take a jaunt through Middle Earth, Sherlock in 2014 is less a season premiere than a relaunch. Going into its New Years’ Day UK airdate, “The Empty Hearse” was staring down a daunting series of tasks. Could Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat live up to the fan anticipation, which approached hysteria on certain sections of Tumblr? Could they move the show past Moriarty and make it into a sustainable series? Most importantly, could they provide a decent answer to the “how did he do it” question? … Read More