Medium Cool is a weekly series related to popular culture, mostly film, TV, and books, with some music and games thrown in. We hope it’s a welcome break from the anger, hate, and idiocy we see almost daily from the other side in the political sphere.
Arguments welcomed, opinions respected, fools un-suffered. We’re here every Sunday at 7 pm.
What do Longmire, Lincoln Lawyer, and Line of Duty have in common besides all starting with the letter “L”?
They have been my best companions for walking on the treadmill – and I am sad to say that I just finished all 6 seasons of Line of Duty. Since you guys put me on to The Lincoln Lawyer and Line of Duty, I am coming to you again for help in keeping me on the straight and narrow – aka walking on the treadmill.
- Movie or a series
- No subtitles
- On Netflix, Prime, Apple TV+, or Paramount+, Acorn or Britbox
I can’t afford another streaming service. Trying to figure out whether to keep Acorn and Britbox – I got Britbox so I could watch Line of Duty without ads (the ads on FreeTV were driving me mad) and then had to get Acorn in order to get seasons 5 and 6.
My rule is that the only way I get to watch my “treadmill” shows is when I am on the treadmill. If I want to see what happens next, I have to be walking on the treadmill.
I finished Line of Duty yesterday, so I started watching something called The Recruit on Netflix, about some guy who joins the CIA straight out of law school. It seems interesting enough so far, so it will tide me over as I search for the next great show.
Any suggestions for me or anyone else?
A Spy Among Friends on Amazon.
Transatlantic on Netflix.
The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix
We are watching Star Trek Picard which is on Paramount+. It’s engrossing. I do find the writing a bit uneven across the first season but apparently seasons 2 and 3 are real bangers.
It’s almost 30 years old now, but I keep coming back to Babylon 5.
And I have a big soft spot for Friday Night Lights.
I expect everyone has seen both of these, but:
Severance (Apple TV+) and Ozark (Netflix) are both excellent and not to be missed.
Not a drama but we have been enjoying the hell out of The Good Place.
The Fall, 17 episodes on Amazon Prime. “A psychological thriller that examines the lives of two hunters. One is a serial killer who stalks his victims in and around Belfast, and the other is a talented detective superintendent [Gillian Anderson] from the Met who is brought in to catch him.” (IMDB)
Slow Horses and Collateral, which are both set in London, were two of my favorites.
@Steeplejack: Speaking of Gillian Anderson, Bleak House (Dickens) is an 8-episode series on BritBox. Also Sex Education-a coming of age drama-comedy on Netflix.
Shetland is a Scottish murder-mystery series (not too gory) with some nice scenery. 7 seasons on BritBox
I have Last Tango in Halifax on my watchlist. It’s on Netflix, a British detective story set in contemporary time. We don’t have Apple TV right now but if we did I’d watch The Reluctant Traveler, a travel show featuring Eugene Levy.
Oooh, another one I want to watch: Young Royals on Netflix. I think someone here actually recommended it. A Swedish drama series featuring young LGBTQ characters.
hells littlest angel
Line of Duty is my all-time favorite TV show. It’s flawless from first episode to last. Here are a few other favorites:
Vera (the earlier seasons, 1-8, are the best)
Bodyguard (another Jed Mercurio joint, not quite as good as LOD)
And two by the underrated Hugo Blick:
Black Earth Rising
The Shadow Line (possibly the blackest comedy of all time)
I think I initially heard about Bad Sisters here but then forgot about it until a friend re-recommended it. Fits all the criteria, on Apple TV. So much family drama, including a brother in law who really needed killin’, as I used to hear when I worked in Appalachia (where rarely, that actually happened. No violence was random, though!)
ETA I second Shetland and Slow Horses
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
There are several British mysteries, if you haven’t already seen them: Unforgotten (love Nicola Walker), Vera (ditto Brenda Blethyn), to start. Don’t know where it is, but the reimagined Battlestar Galactica was wonderful (with Edward James Olmos), and of course The Wire. Probably the 2 best series I’ve ever seen on TV. Original British versions of House of Cards and State of Play were also very good. These are all old ones.
Up vote for Longmire. Both Craig Johnson’s books, and the show, which is shot around Las Vegas NM. Amazing how much it looks like Wyoming. Hehe.
hells littlest angel
Last Tango in Halifax is not a detective story, it’s a domestic comedy. It’s got some great actors in it.
would recommend Karen Pirie and Brokenwood Mysteries, the former is a brief series set in Scotland and the latter an 8 season offering from New Zealand.
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
@hells littlest angel:
it’s got the wonderful Nicola Walker, whom I loved in Unforgotten.
Someone on this top 100 blog mentioned Poker Face and It is worth paying for a month to watch Natasha Lyonne performance.
You just have to remember to cancel, but that’s what calendars are for.
Transatlantic on Netflix.
I tried watching it, gave it the first three episodes and then quit. The lead character is vapid and empty, there was no tension, no real drama and despite what could have been an excellent basis for a riveting show, it was shallow, hollow and boring.
I wanted to like it, it’s a subject I find fascinating, and instead went away disappointed.
Elsewhere: For a short series, I recommend Manhunt, the story of the Boston marathon bombers. It included a lot of details I have never encountered before and the stories from the survivors, the residents and the police were very interesting
I mentioned Surviving R Kelly the other night, and if you have the stomach for it, it’s an extraordinary documentary focused on a man who sexually abused scores, if not hundreds of victims, primarily little back girls from Chicago.
On another note, watching the Miami v Bucks and Joe Ingles just entered the game and for the past five or six seasons I regularly pronounce his last name Inglés.
If you think Last Tango in Halifax is a detective story, you have been sadly misinformed. It’s a family comedy-drama loosely based on the second marriage of the screenwriter’s mother. It’s good, but it’s not a detective story.
hells littlest angel
@A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan):
Nicola Walker is brilliant, even in the lightweight-but-fun
@HumboldtBlue: I saw this:
And thought you were recommending Miami Vice.
I assume that by the time we hit comment #25 or #30, folks will just be recommending whatever they like for anyone. :-)
There are about four or five of the Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck) movies on amazon. Another small New England town with an outsized crime wave.
Even though it doesn’t fit your criteria in any way (it is a dramedy with closed captions) I am going to throw “Tokyo Diner” on Netflix out there for anyone who isn’t on a treadmill. It is a 25-minute show about a small (seats for eight at the U-shaped bar) diner on a small back street in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. Every episode features the story of another customer conundrum assisted by the sage advice of the diner’s owner (called “Master”, of course). It often shows recipes for the featured dish at the end of the show.
I avoided watching Mare of Easttown for quite a while. Why? I honestly thought it was about a horse. Not my cup of tea.
Finally, I found out it was not about a horse. Rather, it is very good murder mystery featuring Kate Winslet, Marianne “Mare” Sheehan, as a detective in a small Pennsylvania town.
(1 season with 7 episodes on HBO)
Also Hinterland, three seasons on Acorn. Basically Shetland in Wales.
Everyone’s taste is different. Also, I would ask who you see as the main character?
I just finished Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, an Agatha Christie novel turned into a 3-part series written and directed by Hugh Laurie. Lots of fun. On BritBox.
I am always slightly surprised when people completely ignore your criteria, even in the early comments.
The Jesse Stone movies are very good, even if you don’t much like Tom Selleck. Good plots, good casting, and Selleck turns in a solid, low-key performance.
@Steeplejack: It doesn’t surprise me at all.
It’s Balloon Juice. :-) I could put up a thread saying “list your favorite thing about X, and the first comment is likely to be someone saying whatever it is the they hate about X.
Even so, I have yet to put up one of these without coming away with a next great show for the treadmill.
I get not wanting another streaming service, but can you afford a one-time charge? I got a ROKU stick because my previous streaming device didn’t have a Hulu option and I found a great deal on Hulu. And I discovered an unexpected benefit – the ROKU channel. It’s no charge, you get it with the stick, though you do have to watch some commercials. But man, does it have a LOT of stuff! Have you seen Bones? Ran just about forever, and sounds like the sort of thing you’re looking for. Like the older crime dramas? They’ve got Columbo and Cagney and Lacey.
And not what you’re looking for, but I really like the vast collection of documentaries and documentary series – I’ve been watching a lengthy series of short episodes of Crown and Country, about various spots in the UK and their connection with the monarchy. Presented by Edward Windsor, AKA Prince Edward.
The ROKU stick runs from $30 to $50 for top of the line, and the basic one is just fine.
I’ll repeat my query from downstairs. Has anyone seen Amir Khalid lately?
@Steeplejack: @patrick II:
I love the Jesse Stone movies! I have seen all of them, probably more than once. I especially love the haunting music in them.
I really liked the first Molly 10x better than the woman who replaced her in movie #3. (or thereabouts)
@JoyceH: So many years of Tivo – with no commercials – I just can’t stand commercials. Especially when I am trapped on the treadmill!
I watched Bones when it was on TV, and enjoyed it, even though it was pretty up and down after while.
Another votes for Severance, which I will note hits all of the listed criteria. OK, ‘engrossing’ is subjective, but I found it so.
Mike in NC
We enjoyed Shetland so much that we took a trip there in 2019. We’ve also been watching Doc Martin for years and the wife would love to visit Cornwall.
@Steeplejack: You are right! His last comment was on 4/6. That’s 10 days.
Too long, Amir! Maybe Agent Sully is keeping him too busy for us.
Last time Amir was gone I was so worried about him.
@piratedan: new season of Brokenwood started last week. New episodes on Mondays. Acorn.
Can you guys say more about Severance?
Thanks for checking. I was wondering if I had missed an “I’ll be away for a while” comment.
@Delk: There were 2 seasons of Brokenwood on what I think of as the Murdoch Mysteries channel, but nothing recent.
I’m not sure it’s engrossing enough to keep me on the treadmill, but I’ll definitely watch it when I’m not. Glad to hear there are more than 2 seasons.
I won’t recommend Obsession with Richard Armitage on Netflix. Too exciting (and embarrassing) for the treadmill
@hells littlest angel:
Whoops! Somehow I thought it was about a detective looking into her son’s murder. Must be a different show! Anyway, glad to know that it’s good.
@WaterGirl: You know how people tend to have a work-life and a life-life? What if someone came up with a way to make that a clean break? Work-you has no memory of you-you, complete change of memories the moment you step in the front door of your workplace and then back again when you leave. That’s Severance. Needless to say, things get complicated and the premise is just the beginning.
Only one season aired so far, so it’s not a huge amount of material; I have a vague recollection that season two is coming this fall.
@hells littlest angel: Yes, she is! First saw her in Touching Evil, a late 90s crime drama following the exploits of the Organized & Serial Crime Unit. Also starred Robson Green.
@WaterGirl: Here’s a review from Peter Watts (author of pretty famous SF novel Blindsight).
@delphinium: Bleak house helped me get my arm to work again
@C Stars: Last Tango in Halifax is not a detective story!
Loved Hinterland too! But didn’t mention it since it has some subtitles and WG said she didn’t want that.
Damn, if you didn’t have the “no subtitles” condition, I’d have like 50 great suggestions.
@Delk: I’m loving Brokenwood. I’m happy to hear the Maori inflections and words, but I do wonder about how it hits people who don’t know the language. The words used are just normally integrated into English in New Zealand. I’m also just happy to hear Kiwi accents.
Cathie from Canada
We really liked Bosch, on Prime.
Its got 6 or 7 seasons – each season has 8 or 10 one-hour episodes – and the original series now has a sequel series (Bosch: Legacy is the name as I recall).
Bosch is the Lincoln Lawyer’s step-brother, they are both based on books written by Michael Connelly and are part of the same “universe” so to speak.
Each Bosch season focuses on a different case, which is wrapped up by the end of the season. The same characters pop up in most of the seasons, with the main character being Harry Bosch, a homicide detective in LA.
Also check out The Outlaws – its two seasons, 12 episodes all together, from England, about a group of six or seven people who are working off their convictions/fines in community service by cleaning up an abandoned school. Christopher Walken is hilarious, and the rest of the casting is great too. There is humor and pathos both, and all of the characters have depth.
@WaterGirl: The first episode of the newest season dropped this week on Acorn. We like to catch Australian, New Zealand, and South African shows, so it’s Acorn for us.
@UncleEbeneezer: I’ve been watching Soviet movies from the 1970s and they’re great. Anything with Andrei Myagkov. But I assume wg needs subtitles
@zhena gogolia: ??? Do say more!
@delphinium: We’re past comment #25 – anything goes! :-)
@zhena gogolia: Just finished watching that and agree. Didn’t really get into it though, Mr. Armitage aside ; ).
Spoiler alert: It reminded me of the movie Damage with Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche. Maybe it was a remake of this?
@zhena gogolia: We watched all of Bleak House during a multiple day storm in New Zealand. So I always associate it with my first Roaring Forties storm (referring to the latitude, 40 degrees south). It’s so well done that I may give it another go, though I think it deserves a ripping storm outside.
Agreed, I just went in with much higher expectations than what I encountered. I consider the woman from Chicago the lead character.
@Cathie from Canada: Yes, Bosch! I knew I was forgetting another great “treadmill” show for me, but I couldn’t think of it!
Love Bosch and Bosch: Legacy!
I couldn’t remember if there were any subtitles. If so, minimal, as you said.
Have you watched Mr. and Mrs. Murder? Only one season, but I thought it was low-key hilarious.
Just finished Transatlantic on Netflix. Mrs. Mountainboy and I enjoyed it a lot. Interesting perspective of history-akin to the Durrells in Corfu.
It is brief (seven episodes?)-so it might only be a quickie on the treadmill.
I am also curious who HumboldtBlue thought was the
”main character” ?!?
Goliath is another good series.
Billy Bob Thornton plays a former super lawyer who is now a down on his luck alcoholic.
Similar to Lincoln Lawyer, but the main character, Billy McBride, is quirkier than Mick Haller and the story lines are more imaginative.
It’s not new, but I only discovered it last year. It was on Prime, not sure where it is now, but ‘Elementary’ was terrific.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
It’s a few years old but Mindhunter on Netflix is a good mystery/thriller series. It’s about the early days of psychological profiling at the FBI.
It’s on Peacock and not a drama or mystery but I can’t say enough good things about Rutherford Falls. I’m really bummed it was cancelled after the second season.
Also have to plug Amazon Prime’s The Tick. It’s a really fun action comedy which also only made it two seasons.
@WaterGirl: We’re halfway through. Let’s just say Richard had to hit the gym for this one. The plot is preposterous but his eyes are very blue.
@delphinium: It’s based on the same novel.
Elementary is on Hulu now. It was a great series. I especially liked how they grew Lucy Liu’s character, Watson, from two-dimensional handmaid/sidekick to full, complementary partner—without any romantic overtones.
@Nelle: I also like My Life is Murder
Anyone watching season 2 of Perry Mason? It’s very good
The Expanse. Near future 4K HDR space opera.
The Cleaner on britbox if you like dark comedy.
I watched House on the treadmill at work, twice. It’s interesting and adult, while not being NSFW for anyone who might happen to glance at it. Battlestar Galactica is another good treadmill show if you’ve not seen it.
Mr. Bemused Senior
@delphinium: oh yes, Nicola Walker. I first saw her in River. Only 6 episodes, very good.
Only a single season, but “Beef” on Netflix is worth a watch.
Which streaming service has The Good Place?
It’s on Netflix.
The Politician’s Wife
Dalziel and Pascoe
We’re enjoying The Big Door Prize on Apple TV +. A vending machine mysteriously appears in small town US, dispensing what it says is your “true life potential”. Interesting characters, some comedic moments but it’s mostly a drama. The only actor you might have heard of is Irish actor/comedian Chris O’Dowd, who’s excellent in it.
I don’t find season 6 of Line of Duty on Acorn. Is it on Britbox?
Tales From The Loop– follows the interconnected lives of the residents in the fictional town of Mercer, Ohio. Mercer is home to the Mercer Center for Experimental Physics, an underground facility known as the Loop. It is here that researchers attempt to “make the impossible possible”.
Them!– Set in 1953, Them follows a black family who, during the Second Great Migration, moves from North Carolina to an all-white neighborhood in Los Angeles. The family’s idyllic home slowly transforms into an epicenter of evil forces, next-door and otherworldly, that threaten to haunt, ravage and destroy them.
Swarm– is an American satirical comedy horror thriller television series created by Janine Nabers and Donald Glover. The series follows Dre (Dominique Fishback), a young woman whose obsession with a pop star takes a dark turn.
Swarm debuted on March 17, 2023, on Amazon Prime Video. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the direction, cinematography, soundtrack, and balance between its bright, vivid aesthetic and its elements of psychological horror—though the writing drew some criticism. Fishback’s performance in the series has received widespread acclaim, while the guest performances of Chloe Bailey, Billie Eilish, Heather Alicia Simms, and Damson Idris have also received praise.
Maniac– follows Annie Landsberg and Owen Milgrim (see also Milgram experiments), two strangers who connect during a risky, psychologically intense, twelve-person, mind-bending pharmaceutical trial conducted by Neberdine Pharmaceutical Biotech (NPB). The experiment, originally overseen by Dr. Robert Muramoto and Dr. Azumi Fujita, later falls under the purview of the study’s original designer, the eccentric Dr. James K. Mantleray. Together, Annie and Owen go on a mind-bending odyssey through various hallucinatory worlds.
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?: Yeah, I thought Mindhunter was interesting too.
Brokenwood Mysteries — others have covered this one
My Life is Murder — 3 seasons (so far?) mystery with Lucy Lawless as a retired police detective in Australia, then New Zealand. Definitely lighter than Brokenwood (in terms of legal accuracy — the evidence gathering is definitely dodgy at times), but the relationships between the women are delightful.
Harry Wild — Only 1 season so far, with Jane Seymour as a retired English professor in Dublin whose son is a police officer. She becomes a detective, and a thorn in her son’s side. The mysteries are “literary-related”, and 1 or 2 is logically “stretched”, but the characters again are quirky and easy to like, and less “neat” than My Life is Murder.
I also watched Kingdom, which is about an attorney in a coastal town on England’s East Coast, whose “mysteries” usually involve helping someone in the town. I like the concept, but the execution is a little uneven, and the family backstory of the main character is messy. If you like Steven Fry, maybe?
I recommend this
Physical– Set in 1980s San Diego, Physical is a dark comedy following Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne) through her journey of self discovery via aerobics.
For All Mankind– (I think you are already watching this, but sharing for anyone reading along because it is truly one of the best series on tv).
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?:Also have to plug Amazon Prime’s The Tick. It’s a really fun action comedy which also only made it two seasons.
I didn’t really care for The Tick on Amazon. I thought they tried to make it too much a standard superhero action hero thing. Having been following The Tick since it was a Saturday Morning Cartoon, standard superhero is not what The Tick should be.
Parminder Nagra Stars in New Crime Thriller “DI Ray” Premiering on PBS Passport and The PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel February 20, 2023
Late to thread, but…
Happy watching! We’re working through It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia right now.
An older series is “Person Of Interest”, from the early 2010s. It is an action show with an artificial intelligence. If you like powerful female characters mixed into the stories, this should appeal to you. It has excitement, humor, thought provoking subjects, along with excellent casting and writing.
There are plenty of snippets on YouTube (search for “POI” or the full name) and ‘Reaction’ videos to get a feel for whether you want to invest time in following the show.
My favorite snippet is:
“POI Bank Scene – Fusco & Shaw”
Fusco is a NYPD detective, Shaw (picking up the letter opener) is a former spy/assassin.
@oldgold: Sounds interesting.
David 🌈 ☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch
American Experience has been phenomenal this year:
@Cathie from Canada: Bosch is way better than Lincoln Lawyer. There is also a spinoff on Freevee called “Bosch: Legacy,”
@Brachiator: I think Hulu? Otherwise Amazon. Maybe both? Lol. Will confirm and edit.
ETA – Netflix. 😊
@suilebhan: Maybe I had it backwards. I could get everything but the last season on either Acorn or Britbox, and then season 6 was on the other one. So if you’re sure season 6 wasn’t on Acorn, it was on Britbox.
Mr. Bemused Senior
@Mallard Filmore: Person of Interest is a favorite of mine.
Of course WaterGirl has already seen it, as with most things I like.
Even though I’m a long time Trekkie (I have a character in a spin off novel named after me), I am not enjoying Star Trek Picard. Plenty of fan service, but it’s not enough, given the bad plotting, contrived return of characters and enough out of character moments that have ruined this season for me.
No charge for subscribing to Tubi*; also if your local library offers one (or both), Kanopy and/or Hoopla included as a no-charge perq of having a library card. Wide selection of stuff on those.
Just a few off the peak o’ the pate drama series:
Wild Boys (Prime)
River (Britbox, Prime)
Criminal Justice (Tubi)
The Hour (Tubi)
Fallet (Netflix – about 90% in English)
Anatomy of a Scandal (Netflix)
Hustle (Tubi, Prime)
*Creating a free account at their web site not required, however doing so strongly encouraged as that enables the feature for the service to remember where you left off.
@Mallard Filmore: I loved Person of Interest when it was on TV.
That’s definitely one show that would benefit from binging. I recall LONG breaks between seasons.
Season 6 is on BritBox (along with the first five seasons).
So many great suggestions! Much appreciated!
@Raven: I fixed your nym and approved the comment. All that showed was an L or an I. :-)
I’ll put in another plug for Bosch, same author as the Lincoln Lawyer, I think they have some crossover books.
a chance to see the late great Lance Reddick and an all around great cast.
it’s on Amazon, make sure you watch Bosch first, then Bosch Legacy, the order matters.
Agatha Raisin and Queens of Mystery, both on Acorn, both light hearted comedy mystery.
I really liked Person of Interest when I watched it in “real time” (when it was first on), but I find it hard to go back to. I didn’t like the way the series ended, and I can’t not think about that when I watch old episodes. But I would recommend it to someone who hasn’t seen it and is going in chronological order. Great characters, good plots.
Staged is hilarious. David Tennant & Michael Sheen having a ton of fun sort of playing themselves trying to rehearse a play in lockdown
A Touch of Frost, Inspector Lynley Mysteries British detective series
I just checked on the BritBox site, and it looks like they have all six seasons of Line of Duty.
Ah, well …
RIP Ahmad Jamal.
Mr. Bemused Senior
@Steeplejack: in one of Paul Krugman’s newsletters he linked to the scene of Root and the shrink. I don’t recall exactly why but I remember it was apt.
One straggler (ain’t there always).
The City and the City (Prime)
“Hamish Macbeth”, with Robert Carlyle in the lead role, on Acorn, perhaps? It’s a mystery series, based on a series of novels by M. C. Beaton.
“Hetty Wainthrop Investigates”, with the wonderful Patricia Routledge in the title role, is on Britbox. Also a mystery series, although a dramedy, so perhaps a bit more comedy than you’re comfortable with.
On Amazon’s Freevee channel (with commercials, alas), you’ll find Perry Mason and Columbo. I bought a tool that downloads the episodes and strips out the commercials, since I hate the commercials, too.
@LeftCoastYankee: Also on Acorn, we liked Darby and Joan, an Australian one (only one season. Hope for more).
And Recipes for Love and Murder (South African) – only one season. Hope for more.
Oh, hell. I’ve been dreading this day. My favorite jazz pianist. He was 92, but still.
@WaterGirl: I have recently been watching YouTube channels doing the “Reaction” stuff, and am constantly amazed at all the little details that went entirely over my head.
Also, have you seen “The Blacklist”? I’ve watched season 1 and really liked it. That one’s on Netflix.
@Steeplejack: Fun fact: Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, and Billy Strayhorn all graduated from Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh.
As for books, we just finished Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz and loved it. Even better than Magpie Murders. Then I was all sad because I didn’t have any new mysteries, and my husband pulled out a box of stuff he got down from the attic, and there was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
Re: the missing, and missed, Amir: could it be he’s taking Ramadan off? My knowledge of the details of Islamic ritual is about zero so I don’t know what is required other than daytime fasting.
@Mr. Bemused Senior:
Interesting. I’ll have to look that up. Root was a great character, so much so that I used to be shocked when I saw the actress (Amy Acker) in other stuff.
@Pete Downunder: He never has in the past.
@WaterGirl: I don’t know how that happened, it was autofilled.
eta maybe it wasn’t
Not currently streaming but all 13 episodes (watch ’em in order, there’s continuity) are up on YouTube: Wonderfalls.
Also on YouTube, BTW, the aforementioned Wild Boys.
I just finished The Last Kingdom. 5 seasons and a lot of 9th century English history before it was England. Vikings and lots of violence but it was ok, not gratuitous. Very well written and well acted. I learned a lot and was entertained. Now I am binging on Viking history. They got to the Caspian Sea!
I got the DVDs from the library but I think it’s on Amazon.
Tastes vary. I saw it on Netflix (not sure if it’s still there), and didn’t enjoy it. Definitely engrossing, but it was difficult to watch the serial killer’s point of view, given his specific crimes. I felt like I was constantly disappointed or frustrated with the policework as well.
Someone recommended Kaleidoscope (Limited series on Netflix) in an open thread weeks ago. I second that. I liked getting the background on the characters. You see how they met each other & their motivations for the heist.
I’ve been meaning to recommend Shimmer Lake (dark comedy/thriller movie on Netflix), but it either didn’t fit in with the Medium Cool topic, or I didn’t see the thread until it was long dead. The movie is told backwards. You start the movie knowing there was a bank robbery, murders, and missing suspects. I’ve watched it 3 times, and you catch stuff on later viewings that you either didn’t notice or understand the significance of on the first watch.
The Last Kingdom is on Netflix.
I never thought I’d get into How To with John Wilson. It grows on you, and the technical mastery in piecing together a narrative on the inanities of existence is amazing. Skip the first episode. After that every theme chosen for reflection is wonderful.
I have to admit that I have watched only a little of The Fall, but it was highly recommended to me by a trusted friend, and it fits WaterGirl’s criteria.
Babylon5! Babylon5! It’s free, with commercials on Tubi and (I think) the Roku channel. It’s a great series that, well as much as I want to say still resonates today, is actually possibly more relevant today than when it was produced. JMS (J. Michael Straczinski) knows his history, psychology and sociology and made a brilliant series that combined all three.
Season 1 and the early half of season 2 is a lot of world building, but still has compelling episodes. Once it gets going, it just keeps on ramping up.
Frankly, if someone here wanted to do a week by week rewatch/discussion I’d be in. I’m following several B5 podcasts and they make me remember how GOOD the series is.
…and the prequel
Agreed! Roku channel has some really great shows. I’d add Cold Case, an old CBS series. Note: have Kleenex on hand. After about episode 5 I just cry my way through the end EVERY SINGLE TIME. It’s the musical montage at the end that gets me. They mysteries are pretty good as well. It’s one of the few shows that focus on the victim, not just finding out who did it.
Also, Roku channel is available on Ipad, Andriod and online without Roku hardware. It really is a great deal.
@Percysowner: I had an office in the studio complex where Cold Case was filmed, and they were right next door to us. We always heard them listening to lots of music to test out for each episode. They worked hard at it!
Noticed “Wire in the Blood” – starring Robson Green, 2002~2008, 6 seasons from BBC, is on Amazon Prime. Saw this years ago and liked it. Psychological thriller.
If you don’t mind another oldie goldie: A British series called “New Tricks” (2003-2015) It’s a cop show, where a Commander is put in charge of cold cases and told to recruit a team herself. She gets a bunch of old cops out of retirement – most of them “retired” under dubious circumstances, and some aren’t happy about those circumstances.
The show is a police procedural with a lot of character development. There is a lot of humor. The cases are actually pretty good. Best of all, the show ran for 15 seasons! – Though most of the original cast was gone by Season 13 or 14.
And it was on Britbox last I checked (when I was thinking of subscribing).
Hinterland, on Netflix. 3 seasons, 13 episodes. British police show set in Wales. There is some minor dialog in Welsh which would be captioned.
Collateral, on Netflix. Only 4 episodes. British investigation show.
Unbelievable, on Netflix. One season, 8 episodes. Based on a true story. A young woman is raped and the police don’t believe her. A different group of police eventually find a serial rapist in another city and link him back to her attack. Stars Toni Collette.
Mindhunter, on Netflix. 2 seasons, 19 episodes. Creation of the FBI Behavioral unit hunting serial killers.
Pine Gap, on Netflix. 8 episodes. Espionage and geopolitics at a joint US-Australian intelligence station.
Secret City, on Netflix. Two seasons, 12 episodes. Espionage and geopolitics in the Australian government. Stars Anna Torv (Fringe).
Luther, ???. 5 seasons, 21 episodes. “Luther: The Fallen Sun” movie was just released on Netflix. Idris Elba as a London police detective who bends the rules, Ruth Wilson as a psychopath who helps and hinders him.
Travelers, Netflix. 3 seasons, 34 episodes. People from a post-apocalyptic future are trying to change their past. Series lead is Eric McCormack from Will and Grace.
The Expanse, Amazon Prime. 6 seasons, 62 episodes. Earth, Mars, and the asteroid Belt encounter alien technology and have to figure out how to survive. Stars the sublime Shohreh Aghdashloo as a foul-mouthed political leader.
The Man in the High Castle, Amazon Prime, 4 seasons. Alternate history where Japan and Nazi Germany won WW2, with the US divided into zones. Multiple storylines.
Unforgotten, BBC but on Amazon Prime. 4 seasons, but 5th season coming soon. Nicola Walker leads a police “cold case” unit investigating decades-old crimes.
The Tunnel, ???. 3 seasons, 24 episodes. Adaptation of scandinoir “The Bridge”, only British and French police working together across the Chunnel. Stars Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon, GoT) and Clemence Poesy (Fleur Delacour, Harry Potter).
The Americans, 6 seasons, 75 episodes. Originally on FX, not sure where it is these days. Set in the 1980s where a pair of deep cover Soviet agents are juggling espionage and a family.
@Percysowner: Babylon 5 was brilliant
Enthusiastic seconds for: Vera, Shetland, Karen Pirie, Longmire, Endeavour,, Bosch, Unforgotten, Elementary, Battlestar Galactica (the remake), Babylon 5,
Additional suggestions: For All Mankind (Apple+) Alternate history starting in the 60s, centered around the space race. A lot of the fascination for me was catching the small twists that in this world led to far different outcomes alongside elements exactly the same as our world. I was able to watch the first two seasons before my free subscription ran out. Not sure if the 3rd held up….
Also: Martin Clunes’ Manhunt (Acorn) Two-season British procedural, apparently based on real cases. Focuses on the nitty-gritty of the investigation.
Another Acorn show: Loch Ness – Just one season, but a very good procedural set in a village on the Loch.
And yet another on Acorn: Mystery Road – Australian Aborigine detective sent in to solve murderrs – first season on a remote station (ranch), second season in a coastal town.
I’m enjoying The Brokenwood Mysteries, although it’s not quite compelling enough to get me on the treadmill just to see what happens next. I found the first two seasons of The Fall absorbing, but looking ahead at the 3rd season synopses I bowed out.
Lots of great ideas here for me to try, too!
All 12 seasons (not 15) on Hulu and BritBox.
It’s not a crime show but everyone should watch Bridget & Eamon on Prime. It’s a hilarious series from Ireland.
Has no one yet mentioned Justified?
Other more obscure drama/detective series that I have enjoyed recently are:
Tehran on Apple+ which is an engrossing drama about an Israeli hacker/spy in Iran. I don’t know how accurately it captures modern Iran. But it is quite good.
True Detective (especially the 1st season)
Bordertown (Finish detective series set on the border with Russia that is English dubbed so you don’t have to watch subtitles.)
The Bridge (US/Mexican drama about detectives on both sides of the border in El Paso who have to team up to solve a murder that happened on the bridge between the US and Mexico. Gets deep into the drug cartels, etc. but the leads are superb.
I’m partial to Nordic Noir and have watched most of the Nordic detective shows on all the streaming services. My favorite is probably Trapped which is set in Iceland. But I’m not sure which all have been dubbed.
And finally, Foyle’s War which is a BBC series about a British detective working during WW2. Superb. I see no one else has mentioned it.
Do you subscribe to MHz? Lots of Nordic noir on there.
ETA: Foyle’s War streaming on Acorn. Great series.
Also to add to the above, Rogue Heroes on Amazon which is a BBC war drama about the origins of the British SAS in north Africa during WW2. Excellent if you like war dramas.
@Steeplejack: Those are the best seasons, anyway. IMO.
@Steeplejack: Never heard of MHz. Is it a stand-alone service or can I add it to Amazon?
Since no one has mentioned it, Scott and Bailey on Britbox is great. Two women detectives in Manchester and their personal lives are a hot mess. I think 5 seasons so there is a lot to get into.
B5 TV series, oui. B5 movies, non. IMHO.
Sequel series, Entrapped, on Netflix.
This may have come up earlier, but if you want to keep your “L” streak going, Idris Elba in Luther S1-S4 is on Britbox and Luther: The Fallen Sun is on Netflix. The series is really dark, really gritty. Haven’t seen Fallen Sun yet. But it’s Idris Elba, so . . .
Shrinking, with Jason Segel and Harrison Ford, is on Apple+TV, and it is excellent. A group of psychiatrists/therapists who are not really in control of their own lives attempt to help their patients with a wide range of issues. The cast is great; in addition to Segel and Ford, Jessica Williams, Christa Miller, and Lukita Maxwell all create complex characters that pull you into their worlds. Luke Tennie is also powerful in his role as a vet with PTSD. Every one of the characters shows vulnerability and growth. Lots of cussing, for those who celebrate!
You can get MHz stand-alone or as a channel on Amazon. Browse here.
B5 TV series, oui. B5 movies, non. IMHO.
Sequel series, Entrapped, on Netflix.
MHz Choice (which I’ve occasionally positively mentioned here) offers a plethora of excellent European, eastern European and Scandinavian fare. Bonus is they do all the English subtitling in-house. Another bonus in my book is no sports or kids programming cluttering up the menus. Another similar service with different offerings is Topic.
Be aware that MHz through Prime and MHz through their own site/app are not interchangeable accounts, they are treated as separate subscriptions. Also too, the menu of program offerings on MHz Choice via Prime is more limited.
(Not just them; there are other subscription services via Prime that offer less menu choice than what is available as a stand-alone.)
@CaseyL: I really liked the first few years of New Tricks. I would say most of the original cast was gone by more like the 7th to 9th seasons
I’m liking Rabbit/Hole on Paramount+ so far. Kiefer Sutherland and Charles Dance is a fine combo, and it’s very damn twisty.
Is it a total ban on subtitles, or is a little ok? Because Three Pines (damn you, Amazon for cancelling it after one season!) was fantastic, but there is the occasional subtitle when characters briefly drop into French. It’s set primarily in rural Quebec, stars Alfred Molina, and it’s based on the Louise Penny novels.
I just binged through season 5 of Line of Duty; it just popped in to Prime for free. It’s really great.
I will second the rec’s on New Tricks, for something that’s often a bit lighter. It’s still mystery of the week, a Cold Case delve, but the crotchety old coppers semi-involuntarily retired that are the team are pretty funny.
Good grief. You’ve 149 recommendations already! Just started ‘Night Agent’ on Netflix. So far, so good. Finished ‘For All Mankind’ on Apple+ TV. It’s SciFi with the premise that the Soviet Union won the race to the Moon. And goes from there…
I know they’re not interchangeable. Thanks for the info that the Prime version is limited. I have been trying to answer that question for ages.
@NotMax: I’d forgotten about the movies. They were pretty dire
For those who are into science fiction with an edge, noting the joint Canadian-South African series Charlie Jade is currently streaming on the FilmRise channel. Single season of 20 episodes.
@way2blue: “The Night Agent” on Netflix was pretty good. Entertaining.
Second “Bordertown” on Netflix. It’s a Finnish show but dubbed into English. Great title song.
The Wallander series starring Kenneth Branagh were good. There are 12 episodes across 4 seasons, but each is 2 hours long. Set in Sweden but in English. There is also a Swedish Wallander series, which filmed around the same time.
DCI Banks, a BBC show. 32 episodes across 5 seasons. British detective show adapted from a series of novels.
I have been really enjoying Duty/Shame (Giri/Haji) on Netflix. A police/Yakuza drama taking place mainly in London with some action in Tokyo, lots of intersecting relationships and interesting characters. Mostly in English, with a few scenes in Japanese (those do have subtitles).
@VOR: The British Wallander …. man, they had some amazing director of cinematography! That series is like a fucking love poem to the Swedish countryside. Just beautiful scenery in every episode. Amazing stuff.
I have “Recipes…” on my watchlist. I’ll take a look and add “Darby and Joan”.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of the “not England” programming available on Acorn.
@Kelly: Didn’t know we had another Kelly
Cathie from Canada
Two other suggestions, if you can find them:
Crossing Lines (the first two seasons are better than the third) – set in Europe about investigators of the International Criminal Court – Donald Sutherland is their director, and they have detectives from the US, Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, etc They investigate crimes that cross borders. It was a pretty good series. I’m not sure if it is still available on a streaming service, or just as a DVD set.
The Musketeers – Not sure if this is available on streaming anywhere. It was a 3-season series about the French musketeers and was very well done – funny, great actors, good plots, etc.
@VOR: There is also a Young Wallender series now on Netflix that is pretty good. Set in the present but with Wallender as a young newly minted Swedish detective working in Malmo, across the bridge from Copenhagen, which I understand is the most “gritty” city in Sweden.
Currently, when the mood strikes, slowly going through the multiple seasons of the long running (and still running, AFAIK) Swedish detective series Beck on MHz Choice. A few unfortunately clunker episodes, interspersed with some edge of your seat outings.
With Paramount+, you have access to many long-running shows:
The Good Wife, The Good Fight, all of the NCISs, all of the CSIs, all of the FBIs, etc. If one episode = one day on the treadmill, then you will have over a year of viewing.
@PaulB: I liked Blacklist until they killed off my favorite character, and then I stopped watching.
@Steeplejack: Next time I do on of these, I will have to add no horror or serial killers to my list. :-)
@Percysowner: Cold Case was a great show. I remember being pissed because they cancelled it for some dumb reason that had nothing to do with how popular it was.
Same with the show about the math genius with the FBI brother. They actually announced that they thought it was a better show than the one they kept, but something-something, maybe the one they keep was cheaper to film or something. Infuriating!
@Sandia Blanca: That sounds really interesting.
@JML: Occasional subtitles is fine, but I like to look out the window while I am walking, so generally subtitles isn’t good.
May I suggest that whichever Kelly started commenting more recently add something to “Kelly” to help us know who’s who?
@Cathie from Canada: LOVE Crossing Lines – I have watched the whole series more than once, though season 3 is hard to come by. I have seasons 1-2 on my Tivo drive.
edit: Hey, the last 7 comments are mine, I think 6 was my old record! oh well.
Thanks to everyone for all the great recommendations!
@WaterGirl: Believe that show with the math/FBI brothers was Numb3rs. And yes, really good show that was cancelled too soon.
Slow Horses. Nothing better. 2 perfect seasons so far.
Burn Notice is a series about a spy whose identity was burned by the government. He teams up with a former Navy Seal, a gun expert friend and sometimes his mom, to be Robin Hood style fixer for people. The last season is sort of ridiculous, but the first season are fun. Has over 100 episodes, so would keep you going.
@CaseyL: Second New Tricks, at least seasons 1-6 or so. Fun fact, the Commander is given this punishment duty because she shot the mayor’s dog, IIRC. Good, seasoned cast that clicks, and good character development, though it lacks diversity.
@Jackie Ogburn: Burn Notice is underappreciated. It’s all kind of ridiculous, but the leads and main supporting characters are so strong that it sustains the crazy plots. Michael’s mom is the best.
@Jackie Ogburn: Really enjoyed Burn Notice for several seasons. Good casting work.
This recommendation brought to you by Yoplait. :)
@Burnspbesq: “It’s almost 30 years old now, but I keep coming back to Babylon 5.”
Same. Was it the “fixer” lady who always cleaned up after Reddington?
Also recommend New Tricks.
Inside Man on Netflix is only 4 episodes but very suspenseful. Definitely makes you want to find out what happens next. Stanley Tucci and David Tennant
Beck’s obnoxious partner/associate always drove me nuts. I wanted someone to kick him in the nuts. Good series, though, aside from that.
The Expanse, if only to hear Shohreh Aghdashloo drop F-bombs.
Invisible City on Netflix is a Brazilian fantasy, very engaging. It’s hard to explain what it’s about so let me just say that the police detective discovers that his father is a river dolphin. Very good dubbing.
Represent is a French series about a social worker who lives in the projects and runs for President. Dubbing is very good.
Someone mentioned Nordic shows: check out the first two seasons(third is on it’s way) of Ragnarok where a Norwegian teen is possessed by Thor and fights a big corporation run by Frost Giants. Dubbed.
And did I mention Babylon5??
The Night Agent on Netflix checks all of your boxes. Hope you enjoy it.
Well, late to the thread as usual: 19-2 is a Canadian cop show, 2 patrolmen in a cruiser, all the grittiness of The Wire but only 2 seasons, and one of the heart-stoppingest school-shooter episodes I’ve ever seen (you’ll want to stop the treadmill for that one). Believe it’s streaming on Amazon Prime and maybe Netflix, but I don’t stream so “unreliable narrator’ here. Can also recommend “Burn Notice,” seems to be on Hulu and Prime, about a blacklisted, dead broke CIA agent stuck in Miami with his super-hot ex-Irish terrorist girlfriend, a boozy ex-Navy SEAL, and the agent’s mom (Sharon Gless is absolutely dazzling)–lots of covert tips and gunfire, but with a nice wryness to it. Don’t know if you’ve seen The Bletchley Circle–4 girlfriends in postwar London who’d worked on cracking the German enigma code, putting their formidable intellects together to solve crimes the cops are indifferent toward (or wrong about). Amazon Prime and Justwatch. May add more to the list later if I think of anything–happy viewing!
I, too, have both BritBox and Acorn cuz each has great programs the other doesn’t. Really liked Foyle’s War and Broadchurch on BritBox. Also enjoy Australian and New Zealand offerings, particularly the Doctor Blake Mysteries (pathologist who solves mysteries) on BritBox, and City Homicide (Melbourne detective show) but it’s on TUBI, Pluto, and Prime. Thanks for the tips everyone!
@TaxesMyCredulity: Oops, Dr Blake is on Acorn.
If you liked The Wire, you might like The Deuce, a 2017 three-season series on HBO from the same team. Very much NSFW, and also not safe for home if you have kids; it’s about the rise of the porn industry in the ’70s into the mid-’80s. Am surprised it hasn’t gotten as much acclaim as The Wire. Unforgettable.
Lupin on Netflix. Two seasons, with a third on the way. In French, so, sorry, there are subtitles. So riveting you might find yourself suddenly understanding French.