If you are anything like me, when you have the house to yourself for a day or two, you want to get some housework done, do some reading, and maybe find some time to plop down and enjoy a good program. This is a new era of television viewing, though. We can choose what to watch, when to watch it, and what device with which to stream it. Like you, my free time is precious to me and not to be wasted. So, how do I choose what to watch?
For me, it always comes down to choosing a “MASTERPIECE.” PBS’s MASTERPIECE is known for its high-quality adaptations of classics, mysteries, and contemporary literature. Knowing that when I spend my time watching a MASTERPIECE Mystery, I’ll be surrounded by memorable characters, smart storylines, and beautiful costuming and set designs, keeps me going back again and again. In 2011, MASTERPIECE celebrated its 40th Anniversary, making it the longest-running prime time drama in American television!
I’m guessing you might have already heard of award-winning MASTERPIECE programs like Downton Abbey and Sherlock! If you are looking to branch out, I’ll share my current obsession, a collection of three shows unified by characters, place, and crime, all courtesy of MASTERPIECE Mystery, of course.
- Inspector Morse — Based on a series of novels by Colin Dexter, Inspector Morse stars John Thaw as opera-loving Chief Inspector Morse, and Kevin Whately as his working-class partner, Sergeant Robert Lewis. As the duo solve murder cases in and around Oxford University as members of the Oxford City Police, Morse’s drinking and past relationship problems make him a bit of a tragic character. This series originally ran between 1987 and 2000. While the early episodes can feel a bit dated, they are worth re-watching.
- Inspector Lewis — In this sequel series to Inspector Morse, Kevin Whately is back as Inspector Robert (Robbie) Lewis and is assigned to work with the younger, cerebral Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox), after the death of Morse. These police procedurals feature Robbie’s ups and downs as he struggles with widowhood, his workaholic tendencies, and his attempts at new love. Hathaway is an interesting character as well, having left the seminary to pursue police work. This show will air its eighth season Sundays this October. You can be sure I will be watching.
- Endeavour — In this prequel to Inspector Morse, Shaun Evans portrays a young Endeavour Morse at the beginning his career as a Detective Constable with the Oxford City Police Criminal Investigation Department. Set in the early to mid-1960s, this show is a delectable period mystery series and reveals Endeavour Morse’s back-story (and his first name)! So far, this series has just two seasons, with a third in the works. I’m hooked!
Oh, now you want to watch them too? Great! You can find more information on these and other Masterpiece programs (and even watch some of them online) at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch-online/
You can stream several free seasons of Inspector Lewis and Inspector Morse through Hoopla here: https://www.hoopladigital.com/home;jsessionid=A128733F054F82E55E33C203451AE0F7 (use your RRPL library card number and an email address to create your free account).
Or, check them out in DVD format from Rocky River Public Library. Come take a look at our shelves or search our catalog for these and other MASTERPIECE shows here https://rrpl.sirsi.net
Stream wisely my friends.