Acorn offers some of the best BBC and ITV series on DVD, catering to that segment of the U.S. populace who adores Brit-TV and wants more of it. Acorn’s catalog consists of more than just standard fare. Along with favorites such as Upstairs Downstairs and Miss Marple their releases range from comedy classics like Beyond the Fringe and A Bit of Fry and Laurie to dramatic series like The Norman Conquests and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
To illustrate the diversity and quality of Acorn Media’s offerings, here are four U.K. series that were recently released or will soon be available to the U.S. market:
Murphy’s Law: Complete Collection (August 30, 2011): Murphy's Law is the story of Tommy Murphy played by James Nesbitt (Waking Ned Devine, Match Point), an Irish cop who works undercover for London’s Metropolitan police force. Murphy is something of a charmer, and uses his wit and wiles to battle drug dealers, blackmailers and other ne’er do wells of the seedy London underworld.
The trouble is, Murphy is a broken man, haunted by the murder of his young daughter. His devastating loss causes him to take chances other cops might not to help keep London a safer place. This makes for some compelling storytelling and Nesbitt is perfect in the role of the emotionally ravaged, risk taking cop.
The Bretts: Complete Collection: The tale of the veddy, veddy British Brett family takes place in the late 1920s, where matinee idol and womanizer Charles Brett (Norman Rodway) and his wife Lydia have ruled the London stage since the 1880s. Now they must come to terms with the fact that times are changing; the threat of moving pictures hangs over them, which compels them to buy a West End theater to manage.
With their five playwright/actor children and a gaggle of servants, the Brett’s home life is as dramatic as the ones they live on stage. The series was co-created by Upstairs, Downstairs writer Rosemary Anne Sisson.
Prime Suspect: Series 1 and 2 (August 23, 2011): The award winning drama is a must-see if you enjoy thought-provoking, gritty crime stories. Dame Helen Mirren is masterful as Detective Jane Tennison, a woman who must battle sexism in the work place to prove herself worthy of heading up a murder investigation.
She is as competent and capable as any of her male colleagues but must go the extra mile to make them truly believe it. Even then she is resented and scorned, and her diligence and obsessiveness take a toll on her home life. With the American version premiering on NBC this fall (starring Maria Bello), the original is well-worth checking out first.
Reggie Perrin: Set 1: The updated version of the ‘70s black comedy The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, stars the brilliant Martin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly, Doc Martin) in the title role originated by the late Leonard Rossiter.
Perrin is a marketing executive going through a midlife crisis. His “Walter Mitty”-like flights of fancy usually land him in some sort of trouble but he usually finds a way to worm his way out. Co-written by David Nobbs, the original show’s creator, this is a sharply written, hilarious yet sad story of an everyday fellow being driven slowly into madness by his white collar existence.
You can check out the rest Acorn Media's catalog at their website.