AcornTV Streaming Murdoch Mysteries & Rebus

Aug 6, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze, TV

by Kathleen Costa

AcornTV is a favorite streaming service that does not disappoint with access to a vast library at a reasonable membership fee (monthly $6.99; annual special $59.99). I, personally, have enjoyed hours and hours of classic programming and every month new and returning comedies, dramas, and all the detective shows I can handle, like Murdoch Mysteries and Rebus. Having the freedom to watch anytime, anywhere, on any device, and as often as one wants is the biggest plus to the membership.

Murdoch Mysteries, Canadian detective drama, first aired in 2008, and fifteen seasons and 240+ episodes later, it is as popular, entertaining, and clever as ever. Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and his wife Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy) still enjoy wedded bliss and the occasional murder investigation, but this season life imitates art or visa versa. The actress Hélène Joy actually was pregnant (delivering a healthy daughter in December), so while some of her increasing size was hidden behind costumes and props, it was finally written into the script…William Murdoch and Julia Ogden excitedly announce they are expecting a little Murdoch! However, Murdoch’s nemesis reappears in a kidnapping scheme and then in the final cliffhanger.

Station 4 is still intact. Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) is still in charge and enjoying his whisky, but the disappearance, better yet escape from justice, of his son Bobby is causing great distress, especially for Margaret Brackenreid (Arwen Humphries) who actively sets out to find her son. Their other son, John (Charles Vandervaart), who left his police career to explore life as an actor, reemerges as a member of troupe that includes Mary Pickford. George Crabtree (Jonny Harris) and Effie Newsome (Clare McConnell) are still together, planning nuptials, but George’s “Misery” has returned and a final confrontation remains elusive. Although, he does find his future father-in-law one of his own mind. Detective Llewelyn Watts (Daniel Maslany) continues to struggle with his sexuality and once again is disappointed in his attempts to find a loving relationship. Constable Henry Higgins (Lachlan Murdoch) still provides some comic relief, but he has his moments of bravery and cleverness. Violet Hart (Shanice A. Banton), the city’s coroner, has her own issues to manage from her addict husband and the return of her father threatening to expose her secret and one connected to Brackenreid. All in all, station four is intact but filled with drama, suspense, a portal, some aliens, and quite a few incriminating cases.

My Favorite of Season 15!
This fifteenth season was expanded to twenty-four episodes filled with a few laughs, lots of clever banter, holidays, a few murder investigations, and a baby! I loved the few giggles I had over ideas, mostly from Constable Crabtree, used as inside jokes, dismissing the real possibility of something that is our reality: computers? internet? Wikipedia? aliens? It is fascinating how several contemporary, even controversial, topics were addressed through an early 1900s lens: women’s role, poverty, racism, homelessness, a living wage, sexuality, Historical figures always had cameo appearances, sometimes as the target, other times a person of interest: silent screen star Mary Pickford, basketball inventor James Naismith, Drs. Freud, Jung, and other notable colleagues, and civil rights activists W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. It was definitely an entertaining season!

Ep. 1-2 What We Do For Love
Off season things happen, producers or networks re-evaluate, actors make career changes, so when a popular show returns for a new season, it is a great relief, especially when there are cliffhangers needing to be resolved. Effie’s been kidnapped, George’s psychotic admirer is back, Murdoch’s former lover and their son Henry are missing, and the Brackenreid’s worry their son Booby is responsible for two deaths. Of course, resolution is relative and season fifteen is primed for the challenge.

Ep. 6 I Know What You Did Last Autumn
Halloween? A crazed clown stalking high schoolers? Murder? Steven King would be proud of this creepy tale, and as a fan of the macabre, I enjoyed this one…only don’t watch it before you go to bed or you’ll be sleeping with the lights on. Believe me!

Ep. 7 The Incorrigible Dr. Ogden
Wayward women, pregnant out of wedlock, or those who others think do not conform, could find themselves institutionalized, but a murder of one of the inmates needs a special investigation plan. Julia goes undercover, witnessing the cruelty and the unfair nature of women without rights. What a comment on today!

Ep. 11 The Night Before Christmas
I love Christmas specials! With no heirs, Julia inherited a valuable estate, and everyone’s invited for Christmas. The big house, however, is absent any Christmas cheer since it’s tragic history included the death of the owner’s young daughter years ago on Christmas. The group join together to remedy the situation, but instead there’s blown fuses, creepy happenings, odd staff, and a murder. Back in Toronto, Watts, Violet, and three orphans search for “PJ” whose Christmas puppy was found wandering the snowy road. Endearing!

Ep. 20 Pendrick’s Planetary Parlour
I always get a kick out of George’s oddball ideas and James Pendrick’s inventions that make contemporary references no one believes could ever be real. James Pendrick is back with his newest invention…a computer? This internet? Face Space? Of course, Crabtree’s visions can’t be overlooked with Quikpedia and an off-site data storage for chicken soup recipes. There’s online scams, porn, hacking, and a murder. Interesting comments about issues people deal with today.

Ep. 23-24 Pay the Piper; Close Encounters
Every season has its season-ending nail biters, and this season is no different as the past invades the present with murderous intent. The Murdochs may have uncovered the “devil” with whom William had once made a deal, but is it over? The secrets that could destroy both Violet Hart and Thomas Brackenreid may have been permanently buried, but nothing stays gone forever, and how is Lewellyn Watts going to handle his complicity? Of course, the Crabtree/Newsome wedding is a highlight, but when reaching the part “if anyone here has just cause…”, the chapel door opens, and the bride and groom turn, shocked, and in unison say, ”You?!”

Season 16? Of course!

Rebus (2006-2007) is a Scottish police drama adapted from the Inspector Rebus novels by Scottish author Ian Rankin. The series first aired 2000-2004 with four telemovies, and even though the original cast decided to end its participation, the producers decided to recast the main roles, rework some of the interactions, and continue. Ken Stott took over as Rebus, a bit more grizzled and, for me, a bit less romantic appeal. Claire Price is cast as DS Siobhan Clarke, whose role is less behind the scenes and more an equal partner in the field. Jennifer Black is DCI Gil Templer who is a former romantic interest which adds a bit of angst to their professional relationship. I have seen the first season and it was very good, but in my opinion, the author’s vision was better served with the new cast.

DI John Rebus is a single, divorced, demanding curmudgeon who relies heavily on his partner DS Siobhan Clarke who does her job well and takes orders despite the absence a please or thank you, but she isn’t a pushover and will stand up for what’s in the book and what’s not. The cases are intense with revenge, greed, and various criminal enterprises from trafficking to drugs at the top of the motive list. Rebus doesn’t give up, including putting his own safety at risk dealing with stalkers, racial tensions, cold cases, mass shootings, political conflicts, and having the tables turned on him as a suspect. There is a romantic side, sort of, but his job is his life making relationships temporary.

The acting was excellent. The stories intense with justice in some form served. The team’s interactions and personal side gives depth to the characters. Earns 5/5 Drams of Whisky…Excellent, Intense Detective Drama!

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.


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