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Streaming Is the New Entertainment Option: Miss Fisher/Shakespeare & Hathaway

IN THE December 28 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andKathleen Costa,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Kathleen Costa

AcornTV was the first streaming option I explored, first as a free trial, then membership with a reasonable monthly fee, and I’ve not regretted a penny of it! Over the past two years, I have been able to watch and rewatch at my convenience iconic detective dramas like the twenty-one seasons of Midsomer Murders, twelve seasons of Murdoch Mysteries with season 13 airing Dec. 25, and first four seasons of Vera, along with Agatha Raisin, George Gently, and Kingdom. However, the best part is the continued introduction to vintage and current dramas, mysteries, dramadies, documentaries, and sit-coms that have quickly become favorites. I love it!

AcornTV
Check out 7-day free trial offer.
Monthly Fee $4.99
Annual Fee $49.99

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery ends with an “Ahhhh!”
The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) has been a thorn, however helpful the niggling, in Detective Jack Robinson’s (Nathan Page) side as she continues to insert her private investigator nose into the various murders and often needing to be rescued by her gold-plated revolver or, better yet, by Jack himself. From a magic show beheading to a woman found dead at the RAAF base, from Italian gangs to street urchins, from sanitariums to hotels, from competitors to rivals, Phryne and Jack along with Hugh and Dot make a very successful collaboration. However, mayhem, murder, and the unrequited passion between Phryne and Jack are the least of their problems now that Phryne’s “questionably motived” father, the Baron of Richmond Henry Fisher (Pip Miller), has arrived…unannounced. She has had a lifetime of his antics, and now ingratiating himself into her life and pocketbook, Phryne’s response is fraught with suspicion, opposition, and hopes he returns to England soon. A highlight is Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and Dorothy “Dot” Williams’s (Ashleigh Cummings) highly anticipated nuptials, but even they have their own flavor of conflict trying to navigate strict Catholic and Protestant backgrounds. But, in the final scene, the final passionate embrace, and the final words…“Come after me, Jack Robinson!” was the perfect “ahhhh!” moment.Acorn

It’s mid 1920s Melbourne, and Miss Fisher is the best image for glamorous fashions, strong female independence, and a jazzy lifestyle, but this third season, first airing in 2015 and shortened to eight episodes, is extremely bittersweet. Based on Kerry Greenwood’s books the mysteries and personalities are engaging and entertaining, but it is the cast that has made this series a personal and worldwide favorite. When it was announced the series would end, a sweep of online opposition was spurred, and crowdsourcing of a feature-length movie was in play. Production finished in late 2018 for Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, a stand-alone adventure that begins where season three ended, with the main cast of Essie Davis and Nathan Page returning with guest stars Rupert Penry-Jones, Daniel Lapaine, and Jacqueline McKenzie. I am on the search and have sent an email to AcornTV pleading for the movie to be picked up.

The first two seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery series was reviewed and posted in the Kings River Life 05/14/16 Issue, so is the spinoff AcornTV picked up. The Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery spinoff, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries (reviewed in KRL News 5/18/19 Issue), leaps into the mid-sixties era with Phyrne’s niece, Peregrine Fisher (Geraldine Hakewill), with her own style as a private detective and member of “The Adventuresses’ Club.” With new mod fashion, racy automobiles, and rock ‘n roll nightlife, a new Miss Fisher is in town!

* * * * *

BritBox is another popular streaming option for which I have a membership and giving me full coverage of all things British. My introduction came with the discovery of Cadfael, a twelfth-century monk/detective starring Derek Jacobi. One day later, I finalized a membership, now enjoying, at my leisure, several detective shows (Shetland), dramas (Kavanagh QC), sit-coms (Are You Being Served Again), mysteries (Jonathan Creek), and documentaries (Nigellissima) that have kept me an eager fan…and finding favorite actors in “unknown to me” series has been exciting: John Thaw (Morse) in 70s The Sweeney, Geraldine McEwan (Miss Marple) in 80s Mapp and Lucia, Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter) and in 90s Cracker. It’s marvelous entertainment!

BritBox
Monthly fee $6.99
Annual Option $69.99

Shakespeare & Hathaway Reprises Humor and Mayhem in Stratford-upon-Avon!
Shakespeare & Hathaway Investigations is back on the trail with Luella “Lu” Shakespeare (Jo Joyner) and Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton) barely in the black and willing to take on any investigation to pay the bills: from a missing millionaire canine to missing husbands, from a fantasy re-enactment club to a poultry farm, from sister psychics to an amnesiac, from secrets to blackmail to death threats. Lu and Frank are still at odds with DI Christina Marlowe (Amber Aga), once Frank’s partner, but there are a few favors, pointing in the right direction, and exchanges of information, but lots of “We’ll take it from here, Frank,” too. Detective Sergeant Keeler (Tomos Eames), of course, would just as soon put them both in jail for interfering with ongoing police investigations, but he just might need a bit of enlightenment or taken down a peg or two. However, this conflict doesn’t slow the partners down as they often go head on into some perilous situations, but Frank’s DI instincts, Lu’s female intuition, and Sebastian’s (Patrick Walshe McBride) disguised undercover skill still put them delightfully ahead of the game.

Season two, ten episodes, was an absolute delight…I am a huge fan! It’s a true cozy, with clever episode titles twisted from Shakespearean plays, occasional Shakespearean quotes, and Stratford-Upon-Avon sites, focusing on the friendships between the characters who seem so different. Frank, an ex-DI, holds the PI license under which the business works, and he tries to keep things professional with himself in charge, not always listening to the other’s input, and definitely in need of a fashion makeover. Lu sees themselves as friends, partners, maybe even family, with her smart look, red Cooper Mini for “crowded” surveillance gigs, a bit of fun teasing of Frank, and a desire to make her role more official, more legitimate. Sebastian is at the bottom of the office hierarchy relegated to answering phones, making tea, and when covert interaction is needed, he pulls out all his disguises, accents, and acting training. Together, it’s a delightful “Three Musketeers” romp…all for one, one for all! It’s always been curious why DI Marlowe gives Frank such respect beyond once working together, but this curious connection finally gets some clarification.

Check out the review of season one in the Kings River Life 3/23/19 Issue. And…Alert! Fans will be thrilled to learn season three and four, ten episodes each, have been contracted for 2020 and beyond. I am so excited!

* * * * *

Streaming is not for the meek, or mild, or those comfortable with cable! For me, I’ve broken free and ventured beyond the traditional U.S. networks. The broadcasts on both AcornTV and BritBox are of excellent video and audio quality on my iPad and iPhone, and I can watch anywhere…I am not tethered to cable! I can boldly claim myself an enlightened Anglophile well versed in the lingo, police procedures, Cotswold hangouts, and the proper way to make tea. I love it!

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also check our our new mystery podcast! A new episode goes up on New Year’s Day.

Opens to author website

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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Libby Dodd December 29, 2019 at 5:46pm

We love the Miss Fisher Mysteries and are eagerly awaiting the full length movie.
The “up dated” Miss Fisher was a huge disappointment. The scrip relies on easy jokes with minimal character development.
We watched one episode and quit. It was so disappointing after the quality of the original.

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