What We’re Watching Wednesday: The Short Season Shows, Part 1

Each Wednesday either my wife and/or I share what we are watching (either together or separately) in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week and next week, we are sharing our favorite short season shows (those shows with three or less seasons): me, this week; Kim next week.

The first one up for me is one that I’ve mentioned previously here: David & Olivia? Naked in Scotland. We saw a trailer for this and thought we definitely needed to watch this, so we did. We weren’t disappointed in the show itself, but unfortunately it’s only three episodes long. We almost wonder if the two creators, who also star in the show, aren’t hoping to sell the show to a larger network at some point. We sure hope someone picks it up, because it was, and is, really good. Edited one day later: Oops, the show just dropped a second season today on Amazon Prime Video. Edited one minute later (well, sort of, after looking at some reviews of the show online…not the show but on Amazon): There are two episodes missing of the second season. Looking up on IMDb, I see that’s true (averting eyes from seeing what the episodes are about…very, very carefully). Unfortunately, I still couldn’t find a trailer for this New Zealand show, but if you have Amazon Prime, definitely give the first season a try and we’ll hope Amazon Prime Video gets the last two episodes of the second season. Edited half an hour later: I did find this video that included clips of the show from the company, New Zealand Son Films, that produced the show.

The second one, Miranda, is both on Amazon Prime and Hulu. The show, only three seasons and 22 episodes, stars comedian Miranda Hart and is based on “her semi-autobiographical BBC Radio 2 comedy Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop (2008).” If you need joy, definitely try this one:

So how about you? Watching any good TV this past week? Movies you’d recommend?

What We’re Watching | Homicide: Life on the Street

Each Wednesday I share what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, it’s an oldie but a goodie Homicide: Life on the Street.

There is television, then there are those shows that are so far above what should be called “television.”  Examples include The Sopranos, of course, and Game of Thrones, but even before that, there were shows like Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere, but in my and my wife’s minds, the show that when you talk about “they don’t make television shows like that anymore” is, and always will be, Homicide: Life on the Street.

The show began in 1993 and ended in 1999 after seven seasons of often struggling to stay on TV, even though it was better than most anything on the air during that time. It was about a homicide unit in Baltimore and based on the book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon. Unlike many other shows, it wasn’t filmed in Hollywood, but in Baltimore — and the city was also a main character in the show. Not that the ensemble cast wasn’t brilliant, because it was, beginning with Andre Braugher as Detective Frank Pembleton. Others in the cast included Melissa Leo, Daniel Baldwin, Yaphet Kotto, Ned Beatty, Richard Belzer, Clark Johnson, and Kyle Secor.

Then there were the guest stars: Robin Williams, Wilford Brimley, Steve Buscemi, Vincent D’Onofrio, Moses Gunn, Bruno Kirby, J.K. Simmons, Lily Tomlin…I could just go on and on. They didn’t steal the show, but often showed the strengths of the established characters and actors, who at the time weren’t recognized as great as they were. Braugher and Leo are the most notable of the cast that went on to further fame: Braugher in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Leo in The Fighter for which she won a Best Actress Oscar in 2010.

Kim and I have been waiting to get this on DVD, literally for years. For the longest time, it was hard to find on DVD, with a complete collection costing up to $300. Finally, this past year, it was rereleased through Shout Factory for about $100 and this past Prime Day, we couldn’t pass up a deal to get it at half that price. Since then, we’ve been making our way through it slowly, because this is not the kind of show one wants to devour in a binge-watch. This is the kind of show one wants to savor which we are doing.

Kim says I have to share this clip with Buscemi, so here you go:

For you, what are those shows that shouldn’t really be classified as television because they’re that good?