You know those TV series that get so under your skin that you spend an inordinate amount of time watching them and then talking about the plot lines with anybody else you can find who’s seen them too? We’re thinking The Wire, 24, and Mad Men to name but a few. Well, here are our latest addictions. First up, The Killing series 2 started recently on BBC4 (see the trailer here, you can buy the whole of series 2 on Amazon from December 19th). We’re talking the original (and the best in our view) Danish version and if you haven’t seen the first series, you must, must, must. It isn’t gory like many detective series (even Midsomer Murders has a serious body count these days) but is really well acted with a cracking script, and, of course, the best array of Nordic woolly jumpers. We’re very happy to welcome it back (even if at 12 episodes, it is half the length of the last one). We hear that BBC4 has recently bought another Danish detective series called Borgen, about the political rise of a Prime Minister. Made by the same production company as The Killing, it also features a ballsy female lead, has won quite a few awards and it’s due to come to our TV screens next year. If you can’t wait that long, then we recommend that you upload an American series called Breaking Bad. When we heard that Zadie Smith was obsessed, our curiosity was piqued. We’ve watched two of the first series so far and are gripped. Don’t be put off by the story line – it’s about a chemical teacher who learns he has terminal lung cancer so turns to making crystal meth – for it’s a truly dark, comic series that makes you laugh and gasp in turn.
Tickets for The Children’s Hour starring Keira Knightley and Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men’s Peggy Olsen) have just gone on sale. Directed by Ian Rickson (former Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre and director of 2009′s wonderful Jerusalem starring Mark Rylance), it is the follow up for Knightley of her star performance in The Misanthrope and the West End Debut for Ms Moss. About a girl who runs away from boarding school and whose web of lies threaten to bring both the school and it’s teachers into disrepute, you’ll have to hurry if you want tickets, as they are selling out fast.
Unfortunately for us, we have to wait until September for the the fourth series of Mad Men—which has just premiered to great acclaim in the US—to appear on BBC4. In the meantime, however, we are going to remind ourselves of Don Draper’s charms by ordering the previous three seasons on Amazon where they going for less than half-price.
There is lots of good TV coming up – always welcome in January and awful February:
Mad Men: In case you haven’t heard, though how could you not, the new series – series 3 – begins on Wednesday on BBC4 at 10pm.
The Good Wife, which stars ER‘s Julianna Marguiles, and which has had great reviews in the USA, is worth trying too. (The bad husband of the story was apparently inspired by Elliot Spitzer. Remember him? The former Governor of New York who was felled by a big prostitute scandal). Starts Monday, 10pm on Channel Four.