Anatomy of a Scandal. Netflix (2022)
In this limited series (6 episodes), a British politician is accused of rape by his former mistress. The ensuing impact on his family and his career lead to a vicious trial.
The Mountain Detective. PBS passport (2020)
Alex Hugo, a former Marseilles policeman, moves to the Haute-Alps region seeking peace and quiet, but the Rural Police also face vicious crimes. Lots of impressive scenes of mountain climbing. 9 episodes, each 1-1/2 hours long.
How to Dance in Ohio. MAX. (2015)
The Gilded Age. HBO
This absorbing documentary traces the experiences of young adults dealing with autism. They attend classes targeting ways to cope with the challenge of social interaction, led by extremely supportive staff.
This series created by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) portrays life in New York City at the end of the 19th century. It is a little like Downton: the lives of the super rich and their below-stairs staff are important story lines. The character development, the issues raised, the inclusion of well-known celebrities and events, plus the excellent settings, make this a joy to binge! (2 seasons, 8 episodes each)
A fictional account of the career of Julia Child, but not merely about cooking. This series raises issues such misogyny, red-baiting, and bureaucracy in broadcasting in the 60s. It also traces the growth of WGBH. The excellent cast includes David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Lancashire, and Bebe Neuwirth. (2 seasons, 8 episodes each)
One Step from Heaven. PBS Passport
In this Italian series, a forest ranger arrives in the extraordinarily beautiful mountains of northern Italy. A missing woman, a strange cult, a visiting rock star, and other characters make this show both a mystery and a comedy. (One season, 10 episodes, subtitles)
Unforgotten (PBS Passport) 4 seasons
An award-winning cold case crime drama following veteran London detectives who uncover the truth behind tangled, complicated crimes of the past. The deeper the truth lies, the bigger the emotional turmoil for the suspects, the families left behind, and the detectives themselves.
Suits (Netflix) 9 seasons-2011-2019
On the run from a drug deal gone bad, brilliant college dropout Mike Ross finds a way to work with Harvey Spector, one of New York's best lawyers. Each episode requires guile, skill, and fast-talking. One of the best TV series ever.
The Silence of Water (PBS Passport) 2 seasons
When tragedy strikes a tiny Italian town by the sea, investigator Luisa Ferrari is sent in to assist the locals. Beneath the surface, idyllic Castel Marciano is seething with secrets. From Walter Presents, in Italian with English subtitles.
Note: Here is a list of many popular shows to stream from The Boston Globe - Thrillers, comedies, foreign imports, and British mysteries. The under-the-radar shows our readers love. Click here.
A Storm for Christmas - Netflix - 6 episodes.
At an Ohio airport, passengers are grounded by a snowstorm. The coffee shop and its manager foster a sense of community. Unexpected connections and events occur. This is NOT a typical romance!
Acquitted - PBS Passport - 2 seasons, total of 18 episodes.
A successful Norwegian businessman returns to his hometown 20 years after he had been acquitted of murdering his high school sweetheart. The townspeople still see him as guilty.
Two Sisters - PBS Passport -12 episodes.
A successful lawyer in Rome must return to her small hometown to care for her niece and nephews when her sister goes missing. A suspenseful mystery and family drama.
Movie of the Month
Forgotten Love - Netflix- In Polish with subtitles.
After his wife leaves him, taking his beloved little daughter, a famous brain surgeon is accosted and left with amnesia. He wanders the countryside, and finally, after many years, settles in a small village where he becomes the unofficial doctor. A satisfying old-fashioned melodrama.
The Nordic Murders - From Walter Presents at PBS Passport.
In this crime drama series that takes place on the otherwise peaceful island of Usedom in the Baltic Sea, a mother-daughter team of police investigators solve gruesome mysteries. 2 seasons, 5 episodes each.
Hope Street - PBS Passport
Detective Inspector Leila Husain joins the police force in the remote Irish town of Port Devine. Everyone wonders why she is there. It's complicated. 2 seasons 10 episodes each.
The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem - Netflix
Set in old Jerusalem under Ottoman and British rule this complex life drama gives a fascinating taste of the social, political and human context of the time through a beautifully written drama of love, death, family, sex and revolution. Also quite compelling to taste the Middle East of the past with glorious costumes and cinematography. 2 seasons, a total of 36 episodes
Movie of the Month
Fisherman's Friend - Kanopy
A cynical London entertainment producer is sent (as a prank) to a remote Cornish village to sign up a group of shanty-singing fishermen, What happens when they become a success? (2019)
The Tailor, Netflix
Based on a true story, this Turkish series is about a talented, famous fashion designer and a deeply-held family secret. Two seasons, total of 15 episodes.
Ridley, PBS Passport
Retired Detective Inspector Alex Ridley is called back to advise on a complex and compelling murder case by his replacement and former protege DI Carol Farman. One season, 8 episodes.
Under Suspicion, PBS Passport
Undercover agents are assigned to help find a missing girl. Posing as a married couple, they embed themselves into the town and follow numerous red herrings before the mystery is solved. In Spanish with subtitles.Two seasons, 18 total episodes.
Movie of the Month
Living (2022) Netflix
Bill Nighy stars as a rigid British bureaucrat who receives a dire prognosis...6 months to live. His icy reserve melts away and he strives to build a surprising legacy. A lovely, gentle movie.
The Restaurant (hoopla and also AMC+ (7-day free trial))
In May 1945, peace is proclaimed all over Europe. The Löwander family runs their old-fashioned restaurant in Stockholm, but the small number of patrons worries them. The eldest son, Gustaf, is willing to resort to unconventional methods to solve their problems. 2017, 10 episodes
Our Miracle Years (PBS Passport)
In post-war Germany, at a family-owned metalworks factory, the three daughters try to reinvent themselves but face questions about the factory's work during the war. 2020, 6 episodes
Rough Diamonds (Netflix)
Returning to Antwerp from his home in London to attend his Hasidic brother's funeral, a man becomes involved in trying to save his family's diamond business from international drug dealers. 2033, 8 episodes
Night Agent (Netflix)
Assigned to answer a secret phone that never rings in the basement of the White House, a CIA agent gets a call the leads to a devious plot against the president. 2020, 6 episodes
Marriage (PBS Passport)
A low-key series set in a suburb of London. This is the story of a middle aged couple facing daily challenges together. Nicole Walker stars. 2022, 4 episodes
Murder in Sweden (PBS Passport)
On a picturesque Swedish island, widowed detective Maria juggles solving terrible crimes with being a single mother, while trying to maintain her female perspective and approach to life. 8 episodes
Movie of the Month
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck star in this story of how Nike invented the Air Jordan basketball shoes. It's a very engrossing and well-developed movie.
From Scratch. Netflix
In Italy for an art program, Amy meets chef Lino, and they build a life together in Los Angeles until devastating news interrupts their plans. Based on a true story...get out your box of Kleenex! 8 episodes
The Diplomat. Netflix
After an attack on a British vessel, Kate is unexpectedly assigned to be the U.S. ambassador to England, a role that puts her skills and her marriage to the test. Great cast and sparkling dialog. 8 episodes
The Master Butcher. PBS Passport
After World War 1, Fidelis, a German butcher, and Delphine, a circus performer, follow their dream and emigrate to North Dakota, bringing along his dead comrade's friend Eva. He works as a butcher and also starts a singing club for fellow emigres. Then problems arise. Based on a Louise Erdrich novel. Four Parts
Movie of the Month
In the Heat of the Night. 1967. On Kanopy
This is a film worth seeing now. A Black police investigator from Philadelphia works with a small-town sheriff in the Deep South to solve a murder. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger star. Given the epidemic of gun violence, would a 2023 version of this story be possible?
(Note: on Kanopy, search for Sidney Poitier to locate this film.)
Crash Landing On You (Netflix)
A wealthy, beautiful South Korean corporate executive is paragliding for a tv commercial and inadvertently crash lands across the border into North Korea. A handsome North Korean soldier rescues her, and complications follow. A romantic, well-acted series. 16 episodes.
Alaska Daily (Hulu)
A recently disgraced reporter leaves her high-profile New York life behind to join a daily newspaper in Anchorage, Alaska, where she works on the case of a missing indigenous woman. Hilary Swank stars. 11 episodes. (Hulu is offering a free 30-day trial subscription.)
Luisa Spagnoli, Queen of Chocolate (PBS Passport)
Luisa Spagnoli was a trailblazer in 1920s Italy. She founded a fashion company and the Perugia chocolate company. She provided support for her workers in many ways, especially the women, providing a daycare center at the chocolate factory. A specialty chocolate, the Baci, has long been an international favorite.
Movie of the Month
Thousand Pieces of Gold (Kanopy)
Based on true events in the 1800s West, the story of a young Chinese woman whose desperately poor parents sold her into slavery and is eventually won in a poker game by a decent man who slowly earns her trust. (The director, Nancy Kelly, became a victim of prejudice against women directors within the American film industry and was never offered another movie to direct in spite of extraordinary reviews from critics, some of whom compared her talent to that of John Ford.)
(Note: Kanopy is a free streaming service of the Brookline Library. To use the app, go to kanopy.com and register with your library card. You may borrow up to 5 videos to stream per month. (No commercials!)
Bill Russell Legend
Station Eleven (HBO MAX)
This two-part documentary traces the impact of Bill Russell on the development of the Celtics winning record and his major role in campaigning for civil rights.
La Otra Mirada
(2018-19) PBS Passport
The story of Teresa, a mysterious woman, who joins the faculty of the first woman-run girl's academy in Seville, Spain, in the1920s, and helps the students learn to seek personal growth and power. All the characters and the plot are well-developed. Two seasons, 20 total episodes.
Movie of the Month
Instead of recommending a movie this month, we suggest that you take a look at the thousands of movies, documentaries, and TV series found on Kanopy, a free service of the Brookline Library. Go to kanopy.com
and register with your library card. You may borrow up to 5 videos to stream per month. (No commercials!)
An upbeat post-apocalyptic saga spanning multiple timelines, telling the stories of survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what's been lost. 2021 10 episodes
Little Women (Netflix)
An exciting story of three sisters with a close bond who grew up in poverty. They become embroiled in a major incident and face off against the wealthiest family in the nation. 12 episodes (In Korean with subtitles)
Nina (PBS Passport) Nina is a 39-year-old divorced woman who had dreamed of becoming a doctor but had to stay home with her ailing daughter and becomes a trained nurse. A serious comedy. 8 episodes. (In French with subtitles)
(Note: Nina is a show in the curated collection called Walter's Choice, available through PBS Passport. These are all international series, most not in English, with subtitles. To see the full collection, www.pbs/franchise/Walter's-choice Choose a show and then search for it on the PBS Passport app.
Movie of the Month
The Wonder (Netflix)
In the Irish Midlands in 1862, a young girl stops eating but remains miraculously alive and well. English nurse Lib Wright is brought to the tiny village to observe eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell. Tourists and pilgrims mass to witness the girl who is said to have survived without food for months. Is the village harboring a saint 'surviving on manna from heaven' or are there more ominous motives at work? 2022
Derry Girls (2018-2022)
Based on the real life experiences of the show's creator, this series centers on the often hilarious lives of five teenagers living in mid-1990s Derry, Northern Ireland, at the end of the Troubles, while attending Our Lady Immaculate College, a fictional girls' Catholic secondary school. Ironic scenes of teenagers and families trying to live normal lives in the constant presence of armed soldiers. Three seasons, 6 episodes each. Netflix
Three Pines (2022)
Loosely based on the novels of Louise Penny, this mystery series takes place in and around a tiny Québec village with unique inhabitants. The stories focus on missing Indigenous women, historic injustices, and Inspector Gamache's ability to sense deep secrets. Wonderful cast and scenery. One season, 8 episodes Amazon
Dopesick is based on the non-fiction book, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted Americans by Beth Macy. The series explores the epicenter of America's struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Purdue Pharma, to a distressed Virginia mining community and to the hallways of the DEA. One season, 8 episodes. Hulu (one month free trial available)
Movie of the Month
Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio (2022) A father's wish magically brings a wooden boy to life in Italy, giving him a chance to care for the child. However, the two of them have to struggle to find a place for themselves as Italy becomes embroiled in fascism. Netflix
Miss Scarlet and the Duke (PBS Passport)
When her father dies, Eliza Scarlet takes on the challenge of running his detective agency, which would be unthinkable for a respectable Victorian lady. Fortunately, she finds an unlikely partner in the unconventional Detective Inspector William Wellington of Scotland Yard, known as "The Duke," and the pair begin to tackle the crimes and mysteries of Victorian London together. Three seasons, 6 episodes each. (2021-2023)
The Bear (Hulu)
A young chef from the fine dining world comes home to Chicago to run his family sandwich shop after a heartbreaking death in his family. A world away from what he's used to, he must balance the soul-crushing realities of small business ownership, his strong-willed and recalcitrant kitchen staff and his strained familial relationships. 8 episodes (2022)
Detective Jimmy Perez and his team investigate crimes in the close-knit community of Shetland. Set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape, with compelling stories and uniquely resourceful policing procedures. 7 seasons, 6 episodes each. (2013-2023)
A note about streaming: there are dozens of sources for streaming movies and tv shows, including. Netflix, Hulu, HBO, apple+, Amazon Prime, Britbox, and PBS Passport. Subscribing to all of them would be costly. But they all offer free trial subscriptions. Also, Matthew Gilbert, the Boston Globe tv columnist, offers a suggestion: None of the streaming services requires a long-term contract. You can subscribe for a month or two and then cancel. So, he explains, if there are shows or movies that you want to see on a particular service, just subscribe for a month or two, watch them, and then cancel.
Movie of the Month
Astrid and Raphaelle. (2019-22)
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world. Academy-award winning documentary. (2022)
In this French series, Astrid, an autistic woman who works in the police library, joins forces with detective Raphaelle. With opposite person styles, they gradually learn to trust each other. Season 1 on PBS Passport and Amazon Prime. 9 episodes. (In French with subtitles)
Manifest (2018-22) 4 seasons
A commercial airliner suddenly reappears after being missing for five years. As those aboard reintegrate into society, they experience guiding voices and visions of events yet to occur, and soon a deeper mystery unfolds. Gripping personal relationships and story line. Netflix (50 episodes)
Rookie Historian (2019)
In this South Korean series set in 19th century Joeson, women gain a new opportunity to become intern palace historians. Goo Hae Ryung wants to fulfill her duties as a historian and prove that everyone is equal. Prince Lee Rim is not impressed. He has a secret of his own. Netflix (20 episodes with subtitles)
Movie of the Month
Christmas in Connecticut (1945) Another laugh-out-loud comedy from the 1940s. A food writer (Barbara Stanwyck) who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas. With Dennis Morgan and Sydney Greenstreet. On HBO Max.
New Amsterdam. (20018-2022)
Max Goodwin becomes medical director of New Amsterdam, a public hospital in Manhattan. Over 5 seasons, Max often breaks the rules to face every imaginable crisis. Well-developed subplots and excellent ensemble cast. On Peacock. (At Peacock website, click "pick a Plan" and choose the free option.)
Van Der Valk (2020-2022)
An enigmatic detective uses his street smarts to solve disturbing crimes in Amsterdam. Two seasons, 3 episodes each. PBS Passport
Rings of Power. (2022)
Epic drama set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. 8 episodes. Amazon Prime
Movie of the Month
The Wedding Singer. 1998
Here's a movie for escapists! Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore fans will enjoy this romantic comedy. The music will remind you of life in the 90s. Many delightful characters. HBO MAX
Annika (PBS Passport)
This British series focuses on a London divorce law firm run by the women of the Defoe family. They encounter challenges in their clients' lives and in their own relationships. Cast headed by Nicola Walker. 2018-2022. Three seasons, 6 episodes each. On Hulu (Note: Hulu offers a 30-day free trial membership.)
The King's Affection
Another epic historical series from South Korea, this is a story of switched identities, cultural traditions, revenge, and love. Beautifully filmed, with sweeping landscapes and realistic interiors. (2021) Twenty episodes for your bingeing pleasure! On Netflix
A new FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen, has her entire life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in and insists on speaking only to her. Each exciting episode reveals pieces of deep secrets about Reddington. (2013-2022) Eight seasons, 20 episodes each. On Netflix
Movie of the Month
It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947) A wacky comedy about an unsheltered man who (uninvited!) moves into a NYC mansion while the owners are away for the winter. Romance and belly laughs ensue. Starring Dan Defore, Ann Harding and Charles Ruggles. On HBO Max
Nicole Walker stars as the dry-witted skipper of Glasgow's Marine Homicide Unit. A new romance and a teen-age daughter round out Annika's daily challenges. (6 episodes)
Endeavor (PBS Passport)
In case you missed this series, here is an opportunity to binge all 8 seasons of this addictive show and learn about the first years of Inspector Morse's career. (35 thrilling episodes.)
The Extraordinary Attorney Woo (Netflix)
The title character is a brilliant, endearing young woman who is on the autistic spectrum. She boasts a high IQ, an impressive memory and a wonderfully creative thought process, but she struggles with everyday interactions.(1 season, 14 episodes)
Movie of the Month
5 to 7 (2014)
If you like sexy romances, this one's for you! A young NYC writer begins an affair with a married French woman. The title refers to cinq � sept a French term for the time for seeing a lover. Free on Kanopy (available via the Brookline Library website)
The Lincoln Lawyer. (Netflix) Recovering from professional and personal problems, a defense lawyer in Los Angeles is given a chance to redeem himself. A re-make of the series, this time with a multicultural cast and compelling story line. 10 episodes
Borgen: Power and Glory (Netflix) This is the fourth season of a highly addictive and relevant Danish political drama. International interest in drilling for oil in Greenland provokes a government crisis. 8 episodes
(Note: New to Borgen? Seasons 1-3 are also on Netflix.)
Hacks (HBO Max) Jean Smart stars in this hilarious series about an aging comedian who tries to re-boot her career with the help of an outcast, entitled 20-something writer. Two seasons, 18 episodes
Julia. This delightful series traces the beginning and first season of Julia Child's cooking show on WGBH. With great acting and settings, you will want to binge all 8 episodes asap! HBO Max
Grace and Frankie. Season 7 marks the end of this series, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston. It explores with dignity, laughter and tears, the rocky road of getting older. If you haven't watched the show, begin with the first season to get the full effect! Seven seasons, about 13 episodes each. Netflix
Ridley Road. This riveting series, based on true events, traces the adventures of a young hairdresser who joins an anti-fascist group in London in the early 1960s. Four episodes. PBS Passport
Movie of the Month
Benjamin Franklin (2022)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Based on the best-selling novel, the story of a London writer who bonds with the colorful residents of Guernsey as she learns about the book club they formed during the Nazi occupation. Netflix
This Ken Burns series shows Franklin with all his accomplishments as well as his flaws. His genius is displayed in his fund-raising for the American revolution, his impact on the Declaration of Independence, and his many inventions. Truly amazing! Two 2-hour episodes. PBS Passport
Jane, the Virgin (2019)
The life of Jane, a pious, hard-working Latina, is turned upside down when a doctor reveals that she was accidentally artificially inseminated during what was supposed to be a routine check-up. The telenovela develops hilariously from this premise, offering many hours of enjoyable bingeing. Five seasons, about 20 episodes per season. Netflix
Servant of the People (2015)
In this prescient comedy series, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the current president of Ukraine, stars as a popular history teacher who is elected president. Each hilarious episode highlights another of the challenges he faces, from family members to oligarchs trying to undermine his efforts at reform. 23 episodes. Netflix
This BBC series follows the work of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Office Briefing Room A staff as they confront extreme national emergencies. Season one portrays a nationwide breakdown of the electricity grid and mysterious drug overdoses. In season two, terrorist cyberattacks disrupt and shut down all web systems. Six episodes in each season. PBS Passport
Inventing Anna (2020-22)
Loosely based on the escapades of real-life Anna Sorokin, this series tells the story of a Russian woman from Germany who bilks banks, the New York social elite, and luxury hotels by claiming she has a trust fund that will allow her to bankroll a plan for an exclusive art club. She is finally caught. Nine episodes. Netflix
Movie of the Month
Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman star in this rom com about an American diplomat who claims to be married and a famous London actress who believes him until... Watch it free on Kanopy
Ugly Betty. (2006-2010) Despite her unique looks and independent spirit, Betty struggles to succeed in the cutthroat New York fashion world. With the help of her proud yet far-from-glamorous family from Queens, Betty will continue to have big dreams and deal with any obstacle in her own unique style. Four seasons, 85 episodes. Watch on Amazon Prime or borrow DVDs at the library.
Anxious People. (2021) A failed bank robber locks himself in a home, along with a real estate agent, two IKEA addicts, a pregnant woman, a suicidal millionaire and a rabbit. A gentle series from Sweden, with many well-developed sub-plots. Six episodes. Netflix
Ozark. (2017-2022) A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss. This Emmy-winning series gets better every year. Four seasons, 10 episodes per season. Netflix
Gentefied. (2020-2021) In Los Angeles, three Mexican American cousins chase the American Dream, even while that dream threatens the things they hold most dear, including their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather and the family-owned taco shop. Two seasons, 18 episodes. Netflix
Movie of the Month
Detective Story (1951) This classic noir drama features Kirk Douglas in his prime as troubled Detective McLeod in a local police precinct where a variety of lowlifes float through. Secrets about his wife's past stir up the drama. Many Academy Awards for this chilling film. Free on Kanopy
Vienna Blood, Season 2. (2021) Max Liebermann, a medical student and prot�g� of Sigmund Freud, helps Detective Rheinhardt in the investigation of a series of disturbing murders around 1900s Vienna. If you missed Season 1, start there! Each season, six episodes. PBS Passport.
The Girl from Oslo. (2021) Pia and two Israelis are kidnapped by terrorists in the Sinai desert and threatened with death if 12 prisoners are not released. This Norwegian-Israeli co-production places action in more than 100 locations throughout Israel, Egypt and Norway. Ten episodes. Netflix
Movie of the Month
Here's a classic movie about lovers to acknowledge Valentine's Day. This year
marks the 80th anniversary of Casablanca! Watch Bogie and Bergman and enjoy
again all the famous lines, including, "Here's looking at you, kid," and "Round up
the usual suspects." Rent on Amazon, or watch on HBO Max, or borrow the DVD
from the library.
Virgin River (2019->) In this medical/romantic series, nurse practitioner Melinda Monroe, seeking a fresh start, moves from Los Angeles to a remote Northern California town and is surprised by what and who she finds. Three seasons, with more coming. Netflix
The Club (2021->) A Turkish series, The Club is the story of a mother who served time in jail for murder and then reunites with her daughter after 17 years. But all sorts of external influences make that reunion fraught with danger and negative emotion. Part one, six episodes. Part two coming soon. Netflix
A "Double Feature!" The Brooklyn Bridge Part One, watch the Ken Burns documentary on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, available on PBS Passport, Kanopy, and on DVD from the library. Part Two, take a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge! Go to YouTube: https://youtu.be/w-wWx0phd_0
Movie of the Month The Shop Around the Corner (1940). Starring a young and handsome Jimmy Stewart. Watch on HBOMax or rent on Amazon for $2.99.
The Black List (2013-present)
Elizabeth Keen, new FBI recruit, has her life turned upside down when Raymond Remington, a long-sought master criminal, agrees to help the FBI, but will only work with Elizabeth. A crime thriller with many unpredictable turns. Netflix
RFDS: Royal Flying Doctors Service (2021) This fictional series centers on the lives and work of the workers in the RFDS, a real service in Australia. The challenges of helping patients spread over hundreds of miles of Outback and the fabulous photography are worth watching. 8 episodes PBSPassport
Movie of the Month
Pig A truffle hunter (Nicolas Cage) who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped. Rent for $4.99 on Amazon
Chef's Table (2015-2019)
This series goes inside the lives and kitchens of some of the world's most renowned international chefs. Each episode focuses on a single chef and their unique look at their lives, talents and passion from their piece of culinary heaven. Six seasons, six episodes each. Netflix
Seaside Hotel (2014-2019)
This Danish series features a resort hotel with the same visitors returning every year. Drama revolves around both the visitors and the hotel staff. Romance, scandal and mischief all combine to make this binge-worthy. Three seasons, 20 episodes. PBS Passport
In this series, a domestic abuse victim strives to free herself and her 3-year-old daughter. At every turn, she faces obstacles: her dysfunctional parents, a bureaucratic social services system, trying to keep her job as a maid, and her own emotional needs. Ten episodes. Netflix
Movie of the Month
Official Secrets. (2019)
Based on the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katherine Gun, who leaked a top-secret NASA memo exposing a joint US-UK conspiracy to force other UN countries to support the Iraq war. Netflix
Writers of the hit British tv series are hired to write a U.S. version. To their dismay, Matt LeBlanc is hired to star and the basis of the show is drastically changed. This dark comedy series displays the underbelly of tv production, Hollywood style. Five seasons. Netflix
The Indian Doctor 2010-2013
An upper caste Indian doctor and his wife think they are going to London but are placed in a Welsh mining town. The story of this mismatch, with culture and social clashes, reveals a touching human story. Excellent acting and subplots. Three short seasons. PBS Passport
Night Shift 2014-2017
An emergency room at a San Antonio hospital staff includes several veterans of the Afghanistan war. Their battlefield experience and associated trauma influence their work. Excellent acting and character development; many bloody operating room scenes. Four Seasons. Netflix
The Cook of Castamar. 2021
The Long Song
This compelling Spanish drama tells the tale of Clara, who takes a job as cook at Castamar while she tries to help her father, who has been unjustly imprisoned. She faces the challenges of being agoraphobic and of being strongly attracted to the Duke of Castamar. 12 episodes, Netflix
Mrs. Wilson. 2019
When Alison Wilson's husband dies, another woman claims to be his wife. Alison soon learns that he had even more secrets. Based on a true story. 3 episodes, PBS
To salvage her waning career, legendary comedian Deborah Vance is forced to team up with a brilliant, entitled outcast television writer. A dark, hilarious dramedy. 10 episodes, HBO
This three-part series depicts the end of slavery in Jamaica through the eyes of an indomitable enslaved woman, July, and her life serving a detestable mistress. Things get complicated with the arrival of the man who is to oversee the ending of slavery on their plantation. Some scenes are difficult to watch. 2021. PBS Passport.
After two decades away from solving crimes, a forensic psychiatrist finds herself called upon to help catch a sniper who has terrorized Melbourne and effectively shut down the city. Things get even more complicated when Jane's husband is shot and their college-age daughter leaves home, Eight hair-raising episodes. 2020. PBS Passport.
Master of None
An award-winning comedy following the personal and professional challenges that face a 30-year-old New York actor, whose trials range from the immigrant experience to what pasta he should eat for dinner. Three seasons, 25 episodes. 2015-present. Netflix.
The House of Flowers (2020)
A Mexican tv series about the de la Mora family, owners of a flower shop, and their sometimes wacky, sometimes outrageous behavior. Netflix, 13 episodes.
While visiting his daughter in Amsterdam, French Detective Julien Baptiste is drawn into a missing person case that may be connected to a human trafficking gang. Intense and well-acted. PBS Passport, 6 episodes.
Dr Finlay (1993)
Set in Scotland at the end of World War 2, this melodramatic series shows the work of small-town doctors and the effects of the major change in health care with the introduction of the National Health Service. Many well-developed characters and sub-plots. Amazon Prime, 4 seasons, total of 27 episodes.
Line of Separation (PBS Passport)
The Cold War of the 60s led to a dividing line that cut a small provincial German town in half: one side governed by the Americans, the other by the Russians. The consequences as seen in the lives of the residents. Two seasons, six episodes each. English subtitles. 2015
No Second Chance (PBS Passport)
A French thriller based on a novel by Harlan Coben. Dr. Alice Lambert awakes from a coma to learn that her husband was shot dead, and her baby daughter abducted. Kidnappers demanded �1 million, and no police. Six episodes. English subtitles. 2015
The One (Netflix)
Two friends start a match-making business based on DNA samples. Rebecca Ware, the CEO, thinks they have a gold mine, until a body turns up in the Thames and other complications raise some questions. Several sub-plots, a driven female lead, make this binge-able. Eight episodes. 2021.
A dark series featuring a taciturn aboriginal detective. Filmed in the wild areas of northwestern Australia. Mesmerizing. Two seasons, six episodes each. 2018-2020. On Hoopla, a free service on the Library website.
This Danish political drama traces the rise of a strong female prime minister and includes many relatable characters and subplots. Three seasons, ten episodes each. 2012. Netflix
A student of Sigmund Freud and an Austrian detective team up to solve some of the most mysterious and deadly cases in early 1900s Vienna. Officials disapprove of their approach. Three episodes. 2019. On PBS Passport (available to GBH contributors).
A funny, heartfelt series about the Kim family and their downtown Toronto convenience store, the family's interactions with each other, and also with their multicultural community. Four seasons, 13 episodes each. (2016-2020) Netflix
Call My Agent
A French comedy/melodrama with a terrific ensemble of characters who work as agents in the film industry. They all face temperamental clients as well as personal complications. Four seasons, 6 episodes each. (2015-2020) Netflix. (English subtitles)
A five-part World War I miniseries about an English aristocrat, his unfaithful socialite wife, and his torrid affair with a young suffragette. Based on the novels of Ford Maddox Ford adapted by Tom Stoppard. Five episodes. (2013) HBO
Halt and Catch Fire (Netflix)
Set in the 1980s, this series depicts a fictionalized insider's view of the personal computer revolution through the eyes of a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. (4 seasons, 10 episodes each, 20014-2017)
Scott and Bailey (Hoopla, HBOMax, and library DVDs)
Set in Manchester, this BBC series features two female detectives, one motherly, the other emotionally immature, who have varying levels of success applying their eccentric outlooks on life to their homicide cases and private lives. (5 seasons, a total of 33 episodes, 2011-2016).
In this French heist series, Assane Diop, a first-generation French-Senegalese man in contemporary Paris, is a "gentleman thief" who borrows robbery plans from a collection of stories, a gift from his father - whose undeserved fate Assane set himself to avenge in long-delayed, Count of Monte Cristo style. (Part 1, 5 episodes, 2021)
Note: Hoopla is a free service offered on the Brookline library website.
This Is Us is a 5-season series originally shown on NBC (2016-present). The Pearson family's generational story unfolds in emotional drama. In moments of joy and heartbreak, revelations emerge from parents Jack and Rebecca's past, while triplets Kate, Randall and Kevin discover deeper meaning in their present lives. (You'd have to pay to watch this on Amazon Prime, but you can check out the DVDs for free from the library.)
Thou shalt not kill is an Italian crime drama series with creative and intelligent plots and an excellent cast. Each crime story seems to point to different aspects of family and social life in Italy, both positive and negative. There is also an over-arching mystery concerning the death of the lead detective, Valerie Ferro, inspector of the Squadron Omicidi of Turin. 2 seasons, PBS Passport
A note about streaming: there are dozens of sources for streaming movies and tv shows, including. Netflix, Hulu, HBO, apple+, Amazon Prime, and PBS. Subscribing to all of them would be costly. Matthew Gilbert, the Boston Globe tv columnist, offers a suggestion: None of the streaming services requires a long-term contract. You can subscribe for a month or two and then cancel. So, he explains, if there are shows or movies that you want to see on a particular service, just subscribe for a month or two, watch them, and then cancel.
The Queen's Gambit
This seven-part series on Netflix tells the coming-of-age story of Beth, an orphan. It dramatically portrays her development from a withdrawn loner to a vibrant, confident chess champion.
Flesh and Blood
In this four-part series from PBS, a widow with three adult children falls for a charming doctor, marries and decides to sell her family home. Her long-term neighbor and her children raise objections, with terrible consequences.
A classic murder mystery on HBO. Life begins to unravel for a New York therapist when she discovers that her husband has been unfaithful. His lover is murdered, and he is charged with the crime. Did he do it? Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant star. Six episodes.
Astronauts representing five nations must learn to become a unit to survive a three-year journey to Mars. Many people associated with the mission - in space and back on Earth - experience, adjust to, and live with disabilities while striving to meet the personal and professional responsibilities that matter to them most. 1 season,10 episodes. Netflix
Last Tango in Halifax (2012-2020)
A British comedy/drama series, this is a story of second chances. A sixty-something couple meet by accident (literally), pursue a romance, and wed. Their daughters and extended family add complications. Wonderful cast. 5 seasons, total of 24 episodes. PBS and Netflix
Emily in Paris (2020)
Emily is sent to Paris to add "an American aspect" to a new branch of her company. A light comedy, panned by some critics, but it is very enjoyable and binge-able, and you do get to explore Paris! 10 episodes. Netflix
Sinatra: All or Nothing at All.
This two-part series traces Frank Sinatra's career in his own words and those of his closest associates. Whether or not you are a Sinatra fan, this series is worth watching for its review of U.S. history during tumultuous times. Each episode is about 2 hours long. (2015)
For those looking for an escape from current news, there is nothing like a Turkish soap opera for bingeing! A secret marriage unites two families - one wealthy and traditional, the other bankrupt and modern - and is threatened by the resulting conflicts. 105 episodes! (2005)
Dr. Foster (2017) In this British series, Doctor Foster discovers that her husband has been cheating on her. After that, things get disturbingly complicated! (2 seasons, total of 10 episodes)
Broadchurch (2017) This compelling British police procedural takes us through three seasons as the police investigate the disappearance of an 11-year-old boy. In a small town in southwestern England. (Total of 24 episodes)
Schitt's Creek (2019) A wealthy family is looted by an unscrupulous accountant and they have no place to live except a motel in the tiny town they had bought as a joke. Over the course of this addictive comedy series, the parents and adult son and daughter learn to be a caring loving family. (5 seasons on Netflix, 6th season not there yet, 13 episodes per season)
Da 5 Bloods, a Spike Lee movie. 2020.
Four African American veterans return to Vietnam decades after the war to find their squad leader's remains - -and a stash of buried gold. 2 hours, 35 minutes. (Netflix)
Finally, we can see this award-winning phenomenon! This show was filmed during a Broadway performance with the original cast. (Disney)
A wonderful Israeli television drama series about a fictional Jewish family living in Geula, Jerusalem. Great characters and realistic settings. Very addictive. Two seasons, a total of 24 episodes. (Netflix)
The English Game. 2020
This series was developed by Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, and it has the same wonderful qualities of script, acting, and cinematography. It's the story of how football grew in England from a pastime for gentlemen and miners to a world-wide sport. Six episodes. (Netflix)
Love Is In The Air - Toprak, who lost her baby, is hired as a wet nurse for wealthy Yusuf's motherless son. Yusuf is attracted to Toprak, but also to her scheming sister. His mother despises both women. This Turkish series offers a host of scheming and devious characters. Sure to keep you watching "just one more" episode.110 episodes. (2010)
American Son - Time passes and tension mounts in a Florida police station as an estranged interracial couple awaits news of their missing teenage son. This movie confronts today's major issue. (2019)
Note: From now on, this column may offer suggestions for movies and TV series on a variety of platforms. Two good sources of free movies are Hoopla and Kayak, both available on the Brookline Library website. PBS Passport offers all PBS shows in complete seasons, and requires membership in (and contributions) to PBS. Two other sources of series and movies are HBO and Amazon Prime, and these both require subscriptions. If you have suggestion for other sources for streaming movies and TV shows, please send them to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
We cannot travel right now, so let's get away to France in these two movies! Or time travel to 1743 Scotland!
The African Doctor 2016. Happily escaping a dictator, a Congolese doctor transplants his family in a small French village in Brittany. Culture shock sets in for everyone! 1 hr, 33 min. (English subtitles)
10 Jours en Or 2012. When a carefree bachelor (a traveling salesman) is unexpectedly left in charge of a young boy, the two embark on a road trip that will change both of their lives. 1hr, 36 min. (English subtitles)
Outlander. Even if you don't usually like shows that involve time travel, this well-done series should be an exception. Claire is on a second honeymoon in post World War II Scotland when she goes out for a walk and comes upon a circle of large stones. She hears a buzzing sound, touches one of the stones and finds herself in 1743 Scotland. Three seasons, (42 episodes) Seasons 4-6 available on Starz.
These two series take place in Berlin during vastly different times.
Unorthodox. This 4-episode series, set in the present, follows Esty as she leaves a New York Hasidim community and seeks a new life in Berlin. Be sure to watch the added feature about how the series was made.
Berlin Babylon. Now in its third season, this series is set in 1929. Detective Gereon Rath, newly assigned to the Berlin vice squad, came back from World War I with post-traumatic stress disorder and a morphine habit. He finds help from an aspiring cop, Charlotte Ritter, who works as a police typist (and sex worker after hours). (In German with subtitles).
Black Money Love 2014-2015
A Turkish series with 164 episodes, this addictive crime melodrama features beautiful people, misguided heroines, betrayal on a grand scale. Omer and Elif meet when his fiancee and her father are found together murdered. Great ensemble cast and many plot surprises.
Laughter is a great tension-reliever. Here is a link to suggestions for comedy shows you can stream https://www.nytimes.com/article/best-sitcoms-streaming.html?referringSource=articleShare. Not all of these shows are on Netflix.
From Ty Burr of the Boston Globe "On a related note, we may all be about to spend an inordinate amount of time at home, so we're fortunate, I guess, that video on-demand has advanced to the point where it feels like every movie ever made is there for the streaming." Remember you can view previous recommendation from this column at http://www.brooklinecan.org/netflix.html
"The Bonfire of Destiny" 2019
On a spring day in 1897 in Paris, socialites organize a grand charity bazaar, where a shocking tragedy unfolds. Satisfyingly complicated plot. 8 episodes
Five children go out to play in the woods. Jesse, a boy of about 5, disappears and is never found. Twenty years later, police find the boy's DNA at a murder scene. The other four friends work together to find out, Is Jesse still alive? This 10-episode thriller will keep you enthralled, sometimes scared, through a series of false leads. (2016)
This series is very highly recommended by several BrooklineCAN members. The Boston Globe's Mathew Gilbert rates it as one of 2019's top ten. He wrote, "Based on a true story, this strongly acted eight-episode procedural miniseries takes us inside a justice system that utterly fails rape victims. It's about a series of rapes in Washington and Colorado, and the dynamic detectives - played by Merritt Wever and Toni Collette - who join forces to investigate them."
This series is very highly recommended by several BrooklineCAN members. The Boston Globe's Mathew Gilbert rates it as one of 2019's top ten. He wrote, "Based on a true story, this strongly acted eight-episode procedural miniseries takes us inside a justice system that utterly fails rape victims. It's about a series of rapes in Washington and Colorado, and the dynamic detectives - played by Merritt Wever and Toni Collette - who join forces to investigate them
The Spy. (2019)
This is truly binge-worthy!! In the 1960s, Israeli clerk-turned-secret agent Eli Cohen goes deep undercover inside Syria on a perilous, years-long mission to spy for Mossad and infiltrates Syria's top leadership. Sacha Baron Cohen and Noah Emmerich star in this thriller inspired by true events.(6 episodes)
Intersection Our recommendation for this month is another spell-binding Turkish series, "Intersection." Naz who is a pediatrician loses her baby during pregnancy. Even though her husband wants another baby, she refuses to go through the same thing all over again. She goes to Italy for a conference and meets Ali Nejat there. Thus begins a melodrama with great love, ruthless greed, and betrayal. 3 seasons, total of 31 episodes. In Turkish with subtitles. (2016)
It's the 1920s and Spain has gotten its first national telephone company, located in Madrid. For four young women who get jobs there, its more than just work. It represents progress that is being made at the time as women are gaining more equality with men. This exciting, romantic drama series follows the ladies, known as "cable girls", who feel attached in different ways -- to their families, their partners, their memories, and to each other. Four seasons, 32 episodes. In Spanish with subtitles. (Be sure to begin with the first season) 2017-2019.
This month we have two suggestions. "Charite at War" is a fact-based German series about how the staff of a hospital in Berlin experienced the last years of the war. Six episodes. 2019
"Planet Earth" is an 11-episode BBC series beautifully filmed and narrated by David Attenborough. A poignant reminder of what we might be losing. 2006. Also available on DVD through the Brookline Library
Two suggestions to get you through the summer!
Ladybird. A Turkish series based on a beloved, classic 1920's novel, this family saga will keep you watching "just one more...." 72 episodes.
Tales of the City. A sequel to Armistead Maupin's earlier tales of gay life in San Francisco, this is an almost x-rated series with fabulous acting. (Laura Linney, Ellen Page, Olympia Dukakis, Vincent Garber ) 10 episodes.
"Jack Taylor," an Irish crime drama, follows an alcoholic Irish cop (Taylor) who loses his job because of the drink and stumbles into work as a Private Investigator. Jack is a womanizer but the show has no misogyny, unlike some American shows. The plots for each episode are seriously action packed, fully fleshed out and varied. 2010 (9 episodes)
Set in post-war Port Said, this melodrama from Egypt portrays the love story of Kariman and Farid, both unhappily married. Fleeing her abusive husband who has kidnapped her infant daughter, Kariman finds help from Farid and other new friends who accept her untruthful explanations. Many rich subplots and well-developed characters. In Arabic with subtitles. 30 episodes. (2018)
Here is a real binge-worthy series. "Grand Hotel" features lust, betrayals, evil characters you will love to hate, scheming villains, a twisting plot, and beautiful lovers, all in a sumptuous hotel in turn-of-the-20th-century Spain. In Spanish with subtitles, 66 (!) episodes.
This month's recommendation will keep you bingeing 'way past bedtime! After another terrorist attack in London, handsome, heroic Sgt. Budd is assigned to guard Home Secretary Julia Montague. Sparks fly! (6 episodes)
The Kominsky Method
Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin star as old friends in this series. An acting teacher/sometime actor and his longtime agent face the vicissitudes of old age with humor, bewilderment and love. 8 episodes.
(Note: Dear reader, Amazon, Hulu, and other sources of bingeing are available. Should we sample some of those in this newsletter? Let us know email@example.com.)
This month we suggest "Wanted," an Australian series. While waiting at a bus stop, accountant Chelsea and cashier Lola (unacquainted) witness a criminal exchange gone wrong and are kidnapped by one of the perpetrators. Follow their exciting, complicated adventures as the two try to evade first their captors and then the law. Great scenery of Australia. Two seasons, 6 episodes each. Third season coming in December
An addictive Korean series that traces the saga of the resistance to the Japanese conquest of Chosen in the early 1900s. A love story forms the basis of this beautifully filmed drama that exposes the dynamics of international politics, personal histories, and cultural differences. In Korean with subtitles.
Forsaking London for the rustic landscapes of Wales, a police detective with a troubled soul finds himself in a place with disturbing secrets. 2015. In English but you'll need subtitles. Three seasons. Total of 21 episodes.
is a Norwegian series based in the near future that seems eerily familiar. With a failing economy, the Norwegian prime minister signs an agreement with Russia that results in a gradual invasion. International political intrigue, resistance, and human passions abound! Two seasons, total of 18 episodes. English subtitles.
Experience life in Turkey in this month's recommendation. Winter Sun offers a tale of family life, intrigue, mistaken identity, passion and an opportunity to observe everyday life among families from two different social classes. Addictive! English subtitles. Fifty (yes 50!) episodes.
The Time In Between
This is the story of a dressmaker, Sira, who flees the turmoil of Madrid prior to the Civil War to join her lover in Tangier, where inadvertently she becomes part of an espionage scheme. (2013, 17 episodes, Spanish with English subtitles.)