Primetime TV Review of “The Long Song”

TV Review!

"The Long Song" on PBS

“The Long Song” on PBS Review by Suzanne 2/6/21

This is a brilliant historical miniseries from PBS. It’s a little bit hard to watch at times because of the realistic depiction of slavery. July (Tamara Lawrance) is a slave in 1800’s Jamaica. She becomes the house maid for a spoiled white woman (Hayley Atwell) and her brother. The Christmas Rebellion, a slave uprising, causes problems for everyone. Then the king declares that slavery will be over soon, and a new young man comes to the plantation to improve conditions.

This is very well done, with lots of great music and drama. Although the slaves speak with heavy accents, it’s easy enough to understand them without the closed-captioning. It’s a bit heartbreaking, but you have to admire July’s spirit in the face of great odds. Although she suffers greatly, she perseveres and eventually finds some love, family and freedom. Don’t look for a completely happy ending, though, because this is not a particularly happy period in history.

MORE INFORMATION:

A tale of hope and endurance based on the bestselling novel by Andrea Levyon MASTERPIECE Sundays, January 31 – February 14, 2021 on PBS. Tamara Lawrance (King Charles III) stars as an indomitable house slave in Jamaica during the era of emancipation, with Hayley Atwell (The Avengers) as her demanding, capricious mistress, in The Long Song. Based on the award-winning novel by Andrea Levy, the miniseries airs in three parts on MASTERPIECE, Sundays, January 31 – February 14, 2021 at 10/9c on PBS.

The British press applauded the UK broadcast of The Long Song, with The Guardian calling it “a beautiful, moving, horrifying adaptation of Levy’s unsimple tale, that honors the source and its subject.” The Radio Times judged it “so finely-tuned and carefully-balanced that it’ll break your heart—and make you laugh at the same time.” And The Times opined, “What can a period slavery drama tell us that we don’t already know? Quite a bit.”Scripted by Sarah Williams (Flesh and Blood), who previously adapted Levy’s International Emmy® Award–winning Small Island for MASTERPIECE, The Long Song also stars Jack Lowden (Mary Queen of Scots), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One), Jordan Bolger (Peaky Blinders), Ayesha Antoine (Doctor Who), Gordon Brown (Only God Forgives), Leo Bill (The Living and the Dead), Madeleine Mantock (Into the Badlands), and the acclaimed comic, actor, and activist Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch). Andrea Levy, who died in 2019, was born in London to Jamaican parents and spent her writing career probing her heritage. Her numerous literary awards included the Walter Scott Prize for The Long Song (published in 2010), which was also a finalist for the English language’s most prestigious book award: the Man Booker Prize.The Long Song is framed by the reminiscences of July (played as a young woman by Lawrance), who grew up as a slave on a sugar plantation in Jamaica and is now looking back on her life. In extended flashbacks, she recounts her tumultuous story, which has been shaped by villains, heroes, and well-meaning people who are an unsettled mix of the two.

FUNDING FOR MASTERPIECE PROVIDED BYFirst there are July’s parents: Her mother, Kitty (Duncan-Brewster), is a stoic field slave. Her father is the brutal Scottish overseer of the plantation, Tam Dewar (Brown), who regularly rapes Kitty.As a young girl, July is callously taken from her mother at the whim of Caroline (Atwell), the sister of the plantation owner, John Howarth (Bill). Caroline wants July for a lady’s maid and bestows on her a more genteel name, Marguerite. July grows up catering to Caroline’s impulses, surrounded by other slaves, including the canny Godfrey (Henry), the spiteful Molly (Antoine), and the haughty Clara (Mantock). There is also the debonaire Nimrod (Bolger), who has bought his freedom and fancies July, promising her a fairy-tale life with him.A moment of truth arrives with the Christmas Rebellion of 1831, a slave uprising that heralds the end of official slavery in Jamaica and other English colonies—but at a great cost in lives, including some who are near and dear to July. In the aftermath, a handsome new overseer, Robert Goodwin (Lowden), rides into the story. He will set hearts aflutter, establish an enlightened tone with the emancipated slaves, and play a tragic role in the fates of all.The Long Song is a Heyday Television Production for BBC. It is based on the novel by Andrea Levy. The Executive Producers are David Heyman, Rosie Alison, Andrea Levy, Sarah Williams, and Tom Coan. Ben Irving is the Executive Producer for the BBC. The Producer is Roopesh Parekh. The writer is Sarah Williams. The Director is Mahalia Belo.

About MASTERPIECE Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys® and 18 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971. Susanne Simpson is the executive producer and Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer-at-large for the series. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking and Raymond James with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust. Produced for PBS by GBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is known for recent hits such as Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsythe Saga and Poldark.

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"The Long Song" on PBS

Primetime TV Review: “Miss Scarlet and the Duke”

TV Review!

Miss Scarlet and the Duke poster

“Miss Scarlet & The Duke” on PBS Review by Suzanne 1/21/21

This is a fun new mystery miniseries Sundays on PBS. I’m really enjoying it. It takes place in London, in Victorian England. Miss Eliza Scarlet (Kate Philips) is the daughter of a private detective (and former police officer). She wants to be a private detective, too. He trained her for many years as she was growing up. Her father goes missing and she has to handle a new client, and dealing with what happens to her father, among other things. Although she’s “a lady,” she’s not afraid and can defend herself. Her childhood friend is William Wellington, a police officer known as “The Duke” (Stuart Martin). Like most men of his time, he’s very chauvinistic. He doesn’t think young ladies should be involved in dead bodies and gruesome things like that. However, she’s a very good detective, so they work together.

I love most PBS mysteries, and especially ones that feature powerful women, and handsome men. Kate Philips is excellent in the role. She has just enough moxie to pull off the character while still seeming like someone who was raised in a genteel fashion. Stuart Martin reminds me a lot of Hugh Jackman. They make a great team. Eliza also has some household servants who are more like family, and there are other various characters (some unsavory). The ending of the first episode reminds me a little bit of “Remington Steele.”  Check this out.

MORE INFORMATION:

Go on the case with private eye Eliza Scarlet, Victorian England’s first-ever female sleuth, as she solves crimes – and sometimes flirts – with her partner and childhood friend, Detective Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington.

Miss Scarlet in the parlor with the dead man

Miss Scarlet & The Duke

Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin star in a new Victorian mystery series

on MASTERPIECE

Sundays, January 17 February 21, 2021 on PBS

Before Marple and Tennison, there was Scarlet—Miss Eliza Scarlet, private detective. Kate Phillips (Wolf Hall) stars as Victorian London’s brilliant, beautiful, and first-ever female sleuth, with Stuart Martin (Jamestown) as her friend and associate, Detective Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington. Celebrating MASTERPIECE’s 50th anniversary in 2021, Miss Scarlet & The Duke premieres with six thrilling episodes, Sundays, January 17 – February 21, 2021 at 8/7c on PBS.

Lighthearted yet gripping, the series features Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey) as Eliza’s father, Henry Scarlet, who is also her mentor in crime-solving.

Danny Midwinter (Casualty) plays the Duke’s profane but proficient sergeant, Frank Jenkins. And Ansu Kabia (World on Fire) is the shadowy underworld figure, Moses, whose motives keep the police guessing.

Also appearing are Andrew Gower (Poldark) as the companionable aristocrat Rupert Parker, who is living a double life; Cathy Belton (Philomena) as Eliza’s devoted housekeeper and former nursemaid, Ivy; and Nick Dunning (The Tudors) as the Duke’s insufferable boss, Superintendent Stirling.

Miss Scarlet & The Duke is set in London at the start of the Sherlock Holmes era, circa 1880. Eliza’s father, Henry, is a widowed retired police officer, currently a private detective running up bills and drinking through his occasional earnings. Nonetheless, he is a talented investigator, and he has taught his only child, Eliza, the trade since she was a girl. She is now determined to break into this male-only profession.

Fortunately, Eliza’s childhood friend happens to be a detective inspector at Scotland Yard: William “The Duke” Wellington. He gets his nickname from the most famous Englishman of the 19th century: the Duke of Wellington, victor over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Like that other Wellington, the Duke is cool and decisive in a scrape. And he is also a ladies’ man, which leads to interesting complications with Eliza.

Sometimes working together—but often at odds—Eliza and the Duke tackle a series of fascinating cases. On launching her business, Eliza’s initial chal- lenge is not criminals or clients so much as getting society to take a female detective seriously, even one who has mastered wounds, poisons, motives, and red herrings. But she forges ahead and sees her first commission—a simple search for an older gentleman’s lost niece—turn into something very sinister, which she resolves with the Duke’s help.

And with that her career, if not her income, is off and running. Eliza’s exploits range from an open-and-shut murder case that only she realizes is not so clear-cut, to a dastardly plot that will make history if it succeeds, to a client being harassed from beyond the grave. In her final investigation of the season, spanning Episodes 5 and 6, Eliza is pursuing the mystery of her father’s demise when she unwittingly lures the Duke into a deathtrap. Naturally, the ordeal is a bonding experience for the two quarrelsome but secretly affectionate crime-solvers.

Miss Scarlet & The Duke is an A+E NETWORKS INTERNATIONAL and ELEMENT 8 ENTERTAINMENT production co-produced with MASTERPIECE in association with Eighty Seven Films and Bandidos Yanquis. The writers are Rachael New (Episodes 1-3 & 6) and Ben Edwards (Episodes 4 & 5). The director is Declan O’Dwyer. The Executive Producers for A+E NETWORKS INTERNATIONAL are Melissa Madden, Moshe Laniado-Peleg, Hannah Dal Pozzo, Zalika Webley and Matthew Zagha.

About MASTERPIECE

Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys® and 18 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971. Susanne Simpson is the executive producer and Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer-at-large for the series. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking and Raymond James with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust.

Produced for PBS by GBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is known for recent hits such as Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.

FUNDING FOR MASTERPIECE PROVIDED BY

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Miss Scarlet and The Duke cast

 

Primetime TV Review: “All Creatures Great and Small”

TV Review!

"All Creatures Great and Small" on PBS

“All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS Review by Suzanne 1/10/21

This is your typical “Masterpiece” show, set in the past (the 1930s), with an intriguing story and good actors. It’s based on a series of autobiographical books written by James Herriot (the main character), a real-life vet. There was a “All Creatures Great and Small” film in 1975, and a successful series in 1978. The first book was first published in 1970 (50 years ago last week) , so they showed it in the UK last year for that anniversary. PBS is celebrating Masterpiece’s 50 anniversary this year, so that’s why we’re seeing this now.

James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) leaves Scotland for Yorkshire, England to interview for a job with a vet, Mr. Farnon (Samuel West). Herriot is young and green, and Farnon is an older man who seems gruff at first. Herriot has to prove himself and then experiences both the life as a vet and as a newcomer to Yorkshire. Diana Rigg plays Mrs. Pumphrey (her last performance). You’ll probably recognize other familiar faces as well.

The countryside scenery is beautiful, the actors do a fabulous job, and the story is intriguing. It’s not an epic series. It’s a nice little throwback to a simpler time. Viewers loved the one in the 70’s, so they’ll probably love this one, too. You should check it out because it’s enjoyable.

MORE INFORMATION:

MASTERPIECE: ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

Premieres Sundays, January 10 – February 21, 2021, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET

James Herriot’s adventures as a veterinarian in 1930’s Yorkshire get a glorious new adaptation in a seven-part series based on his beloved stories. Exciting newcomer Nicholas Ralph will make his television debut as the iconic vet who became renowned for his inspiring humor, compassion and love of life. The 1970s adaptation, which aired on public broadcasting, was a favorite of millions of viewers.
James Herriot’s first day as a Yorkshire veterinarian is full of surprises.
  • Airdate(s): 1/10/2021, 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET

Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys® and 16 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971 and is known for recent hits such as Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.

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"All Creatures Great and Small" on PBS

PBS DVD Guide

Page 1: PBS Shows!

Click on the title to get information about the DVD and to buy it from Amazon. com!

These make great gifts for your favorite TV or movie fan and helps out our site…

We hope you will consider the following DVDs from PBS Distribution for inclusion in your upcoming holiday gift giving. They include two DVDs from the ever loving and fondly remembered program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, with: “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s a Beautiful Day Collection” and “Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like,” critically acclaimed and highly successful “Victoria: Seasons 1 & 2,” the classic story of “Little Women,” and the adventures of “The Durrells in Corfu Seasons 1, 2 & 3.”

Victoria – Seasons 1 & 2 DVDVictoria Seasons 1 & 2

Queen Victoria is one of the most powerful women the world has ever known. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars as the young queen at the outset of her epic reign, which set the stage for an entire era that would be named in her honor. The run time of each season of Victoria is 480 minutes.

The Durrells in Corfu, Seasons 1, 2, and 3The Durrells in Corfu – Complete Seasons 1-3 DVD Set

In “The Durrells in Corfu,” Keeley Hawes (Upstairs Downstairs, Wives and Daughters) stars as an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary 1930s England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children, ages 11 to 21, in this adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels. The run time of Season 1 is approximately 292 minutes. The run time of Season 2 is approximately 280 minutes. The run time of Season 3 is approximately 384 minutes.

Little Women Blu-ray Little Women

Based on Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, and set against the background of a country divided, “Little Women” follows the four March sisters on their journey from childhood to adulthood while their father is away at war. Under the guidance of their mother, the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman. Starring Emily Watson, Michael Gambon, Angela Lansbury and Maya Hawke. The run time of the program is 180 minutes.

Mister Rogers Beautiful DayMister Rogers’ Neighborhood

It’s the year of Mister Rogers; both parents and children can share their love of everyone’s favorite neighbor by celebrating this holiday season with “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s a Beautiful Day Collection,” a special set of 32 memorable episodes and over 15 hours of content. In the DVD, Mister Rogers helps children learn the importance of being kind to others, appreciating what makes everyone unique, recycling and taking care of our planet, and much more in the classic series. The new release also includes a very special bonus episode – the series premiere, in original black-and-white!

Mister Rogers It's You I LikeMister Rogers: It’s You I Like” is a celebrity-filled special that celebrates the iconic and landmark series in the world of children’s television and beyond. Cast members from the groundbreaking series share their personal perspectives and insights in this new program, which pays tribute to television’s longest-running children’s series, still broadcast on many PBS stations today. The program also features interviews with numerous celebrities who have been influenced and inspired by the gentle man himself. It has a run time of approximately 60 minutes.

 

This holiday season, children can follow their favorite characters and experience new adventures as PBS Distribution and Public Media Distribution offer fun and heartwarming DVDs for gift giving. In “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt,” the adventure begins by travelling through rivers, forests and caves in search of a bear! In “Pinkalicious & Peterrific: Best Pink Present,” Pinkalicous and Peter learn the true meaning of gift-giving, while in “Nature Cat: Winter Dance Party,” the house cat Fred dances, sings and plays in the winter snow. In the three installments of the classic “         ,” pre-teen Anne flourishes into a young woman.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt!We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Based on the best-selling bedtime story book written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, the film follows siblings Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby, and Rufus the dog, who decide one day to go on an adventure through whirling snowstorms, oozing mud, and dark forests in search of bears!

Featuring the voices of Olivia Colman (The Night Manager, Broadchurch), Pam Ferris (Matilda, Call The Midwife), and Mark Williams (Harry Potter), this animated story is filled with stunning visuals sure to enchant viewers along with its story of perseverance, optimism, and love of nature.

WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT” has a run time of approximately 25 minutes.

Pinkalicious & Peterrific: Best Pink Present “Pinkalicious & Peterrific: Best Pink Present

Pinkalicious and her brother Peter celebrate different events that are happening in Pinkville. From making Daddy the perfect wrapping paper to creating the best way to celebrate everything with the Celebrator – it’s hard not to get “wrapped up” in the Pinkville festivities! Episodes included: “The Celebrator,” “Plantastically Pink,” and “The Glitterizer.”

PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC: BEST PINK PRESENT” has a run time of approximately 40 minutes.

Nature Cat: Winter Dance PartyNature Cat: Winter Dance Party

In NATURE CAT children follow Fred, a house cat who dreams of exploring the great outdoors. Once his family leaves for the day, Fred transforms into Nature Cat “a backyard explorer extraordinaire”. “Nature Cat: Winter Dance Party” celebrates the shortest day of the year, with a Winter Solstice Dance Party!

NATURE CAT: WINTER DANCE PARTY” has a run time of approximately 80 minutes.

  Anne of Green Gables Two Movie Collection Anne Of Green Gables, Installments 1-3

Based on the acclaimed best-selling series by L.M. Montgomery and starring Emmyâ and Golden Globe Award-winning Martin Sheen (“Apocalypse Now”, “The West Wing”), comes

the tale of Anne Shirley, a precocious young girl taken from an orphanage andAnne of Green Gables Fire and Dew placed in the care of the uptight Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew. The conservative Marilla has a profound effect on the adventurous Anne and creates a journey of learning and personal engagement that has resonated with generations since L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was first published in 1908.

Each installment of “ANNE OF GREEN GABLES” has a run time of approximately 90 minutes.

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