Christmas shopping in ones pyjamas is a glorious unexpected benefit of the computer age. I am in sweats and a puffy jacket writing this and pondering great new shows to watch just by clicking.
It’s a beautiful thing that I can buy or stream my beloved English TV mysteries and series right here in at home. It’s important to remember that during you want to shop for others during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza season and that’s where Acorn’s latest Gift Sets come in.
Maybe you can get a little something for yourself at the same time. There are some incredible complete series available that you’ll want to give your friends, and yourself, if you’re very good.
New Midsomer Murders
You can go contemporary with the 25th series of the Midsomer Murders with D.C.I. John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and his new partner Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) as they investigate the latest outrages in what must be the most dangerous region in all of the UK.
Midsomer’s rural village murders are generally extraordinary and none but our Barnaby can solve them. The new series including the 100th episode is streaming now on Acornonline.com and the DVD set can be ordered for shipping January 5th.
Downton Abbey Season Five
The new Downton Abbey Season Five begins in a couple of weeks on PBS but ordering the Series 5 gift set brings you the entire series and conclusion a full month before TV viewers see it.
No spoilers here but expect heavy drama and an uncertain future for Anna relating to her brutal rape last season. Thomas will be hit hard and Violet’s past – indeed she has one – will rise up to haunt her. And someone will make Cora’s pulse race. (!!!)
Jeeves & Wooster
You could go old school with two fat, juicy sets – the “ultimate collection” of Upstairs, Downstairs featuring 20 hours of programming and another 25 of bonus material, and Jeeves & Wooster, the hysterically funny series that made comedy stars of Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.
Four series on eight discs follow the aristocratic developmentally delayed “layabout” narrator Bertie Wooster (Laurie) and his long suffering manservant but ingenious Jeeves (Fry) who miraculously and regularly hoists Bertie from the raging waters of disaster to the relative safety of his stately pile Blandings Castle.
Watch for a guest appearance by Martin Clunes of Doc Martin (That’s on Acorn too!) and for an episode of the wonderfully bizarre Jennifer Saunders and Timothy Spall 2014 series Blandings.
Upstairs, Downstairs, the show that launched our infatuation with all TV things British, oh so long ago – 1971 – is available in its entirety, the “ultimate” edition, five series plus a disc of the spin off Thomas and Sarah revealing the life of the chauffeur and parlour maid after the Bellamys.
Upstairs, Downstairs the creation of Jean Marsh who played a servant, was the original Downtown Abbey that explored the world and the often overlapping action between the privileged and those that serve in a stately home at 165 Eaton Place in London.
The series had North American glued to its TV sets every Sunday night and it went on to be made and remade and extended and extrapolated over the years.
It was revived in 2010 and I kid you not, yet another adaptation is in development. Anyone who saw the original series would be charmed to have this as a gift, as would anyone who enjoys the delicious yin and yang of Downton Abbey.
Agatha Christie’s Poirot
Or you could go solid-gold all the way! The King of British series, a murder mystery about a French detective is the giving season’s all time champ!
Weighting in at 3.25 lbs., Agatha Christie’s Poirot Complete Cases Collection features 33 discs covering 13 series is undoubtedly the most coveted series going.
David Suchet’s pitch perfect performance as the suave Hercule Poirot coupled with Christie’s riveting murder stories has put Poirot in the top ranks of television series, period.
Seventy episodes are on offer from the early Adventure of the Clapham Cook straight through to the series finale Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case which aired on television in November.
Besides 77 thrilling episodes, the set contains special features to delight fans, Being Poirot, a 62 minute interview with Suchet, Super Sleuths, a documentary on the show and its stars, David Suchet on the Orient Express, a travelogue and tour of the storied train and a behind –the-scenes documentary as well as character and episode guides, news articles and … a couple of spoilers that I can’t reveal!
Watch for Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Damian Lewis, Tim Curry, Emily Blunt and Peter Capaldi among many more guest stars.
Can you believe your luck that all these wonderful shows are there, merely a click or two away? www.acornonline.com