From the makers of Broadchurch and Humans and based on John Lanchester’s best-selling novel, Capital is a witty, colorful and sharply observed drama about the interconnected lives of a diverse group of characters linked to a fictional street. The 4-episode miniseries stars Toby Jones (Detectorists, Wayward Pines), Gemma Jones (Harry Potter films, Sense & Sensibility), and Rachael Stirling (Detectorists, The Bletchley Circle).
Called “better than Orange is the New Black” by TV Guide, WENTWORTH, Season 1 is a modern adaptation of Prisoner contemporizing legendary characters and their stories for today’s audience. The viewer is taken inside to an uncompromising environment that explores the politics of women in a world without men, and how such a threatening experience both challenges and often changes those confined and working behind the razor wire. Starring Danielle Cormack (Xena: Warrior Princess), the set features more than two hours of bonus features.
With “Shades of Downton and Agatha Christie” (The Daily Telegraph), the BBC One and Acorn TV drama THE SYNDICATE: All or Nothing follows the downstairs staff at a crumbling stately home winning the lottery. The stellar ensemble features Lenny Henry (Broadchurch, Othello), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey), Anthony Andrews (Brideshead Revisited), Alice Krige (Tyrant, Thor: The Dark World), and Richard Rankin (The Crimson Field).
What We Thought:
Acorn puts out some of the best foreign series I’ve never seen before and overall I enjoy most of them. This latest batch is no different. All three get recommended especially if you are tired of American television.
First we have Capital. Toby Jones is an underrated actor in my book and the rest of the cast is also quite good. It’s a really smart drama that keeps you guessing. It’s only 4 episodes long so it packs in all they can and works because of it. The residents of one London street get a postcard saying “We want what you have” and no one knows if it’s a threat, a joke or anything in between. I’ve been trying to word this paragraph carefully because I want to avoid spoilers because you really want to know as little as possible. It’s tense and if you aren’t hooked right away and ready to binge the next three episodes then something is wrong with you.
Next is Wentworth Season 1. A friend of mine watched this show online so I was happy to see it come my way. The obvious comparison is to Orange is the New Black, but I didn’t think much of the first season of that show so I never watched beyond. I’ll keep watching Wentworth though. I like the characters in this better especially the lead. I didn’t care about Piper in OITNB because she did a crime and eventually got caught. Bea in Wentworth you feel bad for because of scenes showing her husband being abusive. If you are a fan of OITNB, you’ll love this too. Danielle Cormack is fantastic in the role and it feels much more realistic and not just fake, scripted drama for TV.
Last is The Syndicate. This is a fun series about servants winning the lottery and the clash between social classes. It’s supremely well acted and written. It’s funny in a snarky way. Each character is fleshed out and have their own issues. I’ve never watched Downton Abbey so I can’t compare it to that like others seem to. There’s somethings I did see coming, but there’s more surprises than not. The production value is through the roof. I loved the look and feel of the show and thought it was all really smart.
If you are a fan of British programming, especially well written dramas, I recommended all 3 collections. Wentworth might be my favorite of the three and will be checking out other seasons now. All 3 are well made and well acted as you expect. Pick them up today.