December 2016


Australian. Jack Irish, stars Guy Pearce as a former criminal lawyer’s life implodes after the death of his wife. Based on Peter Temple’s novels.

(2012-2014) 3 Episodes

Available on Acorn TV, Netflix

Gamefiends’ Amy’s review:

Jack Irish hasn’t been lucky in a long time. Once a promising young criminal defense lawyer, Jack’s life took a turn for the worse when a disgruntled client murdered Jack’s wife before taking his own life. Now, over a decade later, Jack is a lawyer no more, earning a living collecting debts and betting on horses. But a call from a convicted former client takes Jack’s life off course once again, as guilt and a sense of responsibility gets Jack back to investigating – even if it may be too late for a whole lot of people.

And so begins the first episode of Jack Irish, an Australian television series that is long on intrigue and dark humor. MORE…


November 2016


An ITV British police procedural centered on identity theft. The television series starred Aidan Gillen and Keeley Hawes. (2010)

1 Season, 6 Episodes

Available on Acorn, Netflix

The Guardian’s Sam Wollaston’s review:

Time to call in Keeley Hawes and her crack new police unit, the stars of Identity (ITV1). Poor Keeley, she’s only just been killed off as one TV rozzer, now she’s immediately reborn as another. She seems destined to fight crime, for ever. Helping her this time is Aidan Gillen, the mayor of Baltimore from The Wire. Keeley and Aidan wouldn’t mind a little piece of each other’s identities, if you know what I’m saying. They’re constantly pouting at each other, and raising eyebrows flirtatiously. “Who’s that, your girlfriend?” asks Keeley, after Aidan takes a call. MORE…


October 2016


Mehmet Kurtulus stars as an undercover agent with the State Bureau of Investigation (LKA) in Hamburg. He works a wide variety of cases ranging from industrial espionage to terror cells. In German with English subtitles. (2014)

1 Season, 5 Episodes
The Euro TV Place’s Linda Jew’s review:

Meet Cenk Batu. An undercover agent for the Landeskriminalamt (LKA), the state police in Germany. A loner with a false identity for each case, he takes viewers into the dark sides of Hamburg. Cenk Batu, Undercover Agent, now screening in the US on MHz Worldview, is one of the series in the Tatort franchise, the longest-running crime drama TV series in Germany.

Mehmet Kurtulus stars are the titular Cenk Batu, a chess-playing, multi-lingual German native of Turkish ancestry whose ability to take on different personas serves him well as an undercover agent working cases that range from fraud to espionage. MORE


September 2016


British TV police drama takes place primarily in 1965 Oxford.  Shaun Evans stars as the rookie detective Endeavour Morse, guided by D.I. Thursday (Roger Allum) in this prequel to the Inspector Morse series created by Colin Dexter. 

(2012 -Present) Pilot + 2 Seasons to date. 9 Episodes

Available on PBS, ITV, Netflix, Amazon

Wall Street Journal’s Nancy deWolf Smith‘s review:

The time is 1965, in Oxford, England, and Detective Constable Endeavour Morse has just been detailed to the Oxfordshire police department and an investigation into the disappearance of a teenage girl. Morse (played by Shaun Evans, and fascinating to watch) studied classics at Oxford and reveals erudition on many subjects as the story unfolds. Yet he is the son of a taxi driver, we learn (and a prim teetotaler at this point), who now seems to fit into no particular milieu.

Although Morse is largely brushed off by other officers, he finds a mentor in his boss, Detective Inspector Thursday, who shows him the ropes over a pint of pub ale (there are many such clues to Morse’s future behavior) and has the sense to let his charge dig around on his own. MORE…


August 2016


ITV. Trials of expert British hostage negotiator Dominic King (Trevor Eve).

(2011 – 2012) 2 Seasons, 6 Episodes

Available on Acorn TV Netflix, Netflix Streaming

DVDTalk.com’s Jeremy Biltz’s review:

Instead of the normal police detective or private investigator, Kidnap and Ransom revolves around the exploits of a team of hostage negotiators, led by the indefatigable Dominic King (Trevor Eve). Along with his business partner Angela (Helen Baxendale) and assistant Carrie (Amara Karan), Dominic eschews involvement with the police, and does his best to get kidnap victims returned to their families unharmed. Though his relationship with his wife Sophie and daughter Tess (Natasha Little and Laura Greenwood) suffers at times because of it, Dominic is fiercely devoted to his job and his clients. MORE…


July 2016


Crime drama television series starring Marton Csokas as Chief Inspector Javier Falcón, set in Seville Spain. Created by author Robert Wilson.

(2012) 1 Seasons. 2 Episodes

Available on Acorn Streaming

Blog Critic’s Richard Marcus’  in-depth review:

The troubled cop with a mysterious past and a serious drinking/drug problem has become so commonplace in television shows and movies the character can be cliche. It takes a script of incredible quality and an exceptionally talented actor to make both the role and the program work. Audiences are no longer going to be satisfied with being shocked by the sight of a cop snorting cocaine; there has to be something more to the it than just his or her addictions or troubles.

For those looking for that little bit extra, they need look no further than Falcon, a new release from Acorn Media. Each of the two DVDs in this set contains a full-length, 90-minute movie set in Seville Spain following Detective Jefe Javier Falcon (Marton Csokas) as he delves into two very delicate murder investigations. While Csokas’ character definitely has his problems (he buys mysterious packets of white powder in back alleys and ingests them by mixing their contents into glasses of water and drinking them down), the show doesn’t make a big deal out of his drug use. Normally a show will make it furtive and ugly, but here it’s all sort of matter of fact. He buys his drugs, goes home, mixes it up and drinks it down. MORE…


June 2016


Jason Isaacs is private investigator Jackson Brodie in the British drama television series based on the detective novels by Kate Atkinson.  

(2011-2013) 2 seasons, 9 episodes

Available on Netflix DVD, PBS, Amazon Streaming, BBC

Mail Online’s Tim Oglethorp’s review:

Reluctant sleuth… Jason Isaacs was adamant he would never play a detective, so what made him agree to a BBC six-part crime series?

Here’s a conundrum for you. Jason Isaacs doesn’t like TV detectives, has turned down the chance to play them on several occasions, yet stars as marathon-running private eye Jackson Brodie in the six-part Case Histories, starting on BBC1 on Sunday.

An explanation is required and Jason, who turns 48 on Monday and is best known as evil, blond Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, soon obliges. ‘Case Histories isn’t a detective drama,’ he says.

‘Each of the Kate Atkinson novels, which feature Jackson Brodie, are character studies that just happen to involve crime and a private detective. I remember thinking, when I was voicing the audio books for the novels a while back, it would be wrong to file them under “crime” because they simply aren’t.’ MORE…



May 2016


BBC production. Italian police drama stars Rufus Sewell and Caterina Murino as Italian police detectives. Based on the Aurelio Zen novels by Michael Dibdin. 

(2011) 1 Season, 3 Episodes

Available on Netflix, PBS Streaming, Amazon

New York Post’s Linda Stasi’s review:

Who is that dashing Venetian detective working in Rome? The one who’s so cool he’s sizzling, so smart it’s scary and so sexy he makes it all positively captivating?

Aurelio Zen (short for “Zeno”), that’s who, and he’s the best, hottest foreign detective to play America since James Bond showed up all those decades ago.

Played to perfection by Rufus Sewell, Zen is an honest cop who still knows how to play the game — seemingly doing the bidding of pols, prosecutors and police brass while figuring out how to solve a case without destroying the powerful who may be behind the messes.

Complex? You bet. In fact, the cases are as complex as the winding streets and crazy piazzas of Rome — and just as much fun to traverse. MORE…



April 2016


Classic British TV spy drama, starring Edward Woodward as Callan, a reluctant top assassin.(1967 – 1972) 4 Seasons, 44 Episodes

Available on ITV, Netflix, Amazon

The Guardian’s Caroyn Reese‘s review:

He painted model soldiers, unlocked the sink, and shot enemy agents: Edward Woodward’s chippy, moody secret service assassin may have been TV’s first anti-hero.

Played with controlled intensity by Edward Woodward, David Callan is a working-class loner, reluctantly yet ruthlessly stitching up or shutting up Eastern Bloc agents, ex-Nazis and possible security risks, all at the behest of a murky section of British intelligence. “All the rotten jobs,” as he puts it.

With just three TV channels to choose from, an evening’s viewing in the late 1960s was somewhat limited. But even if there had been more, Callan would still have led the field: in a time before video recorders, this seminal spy series from ITV – with its iconic swinging-lightbulb title sequence, its sharp scripts and cracking characters – was stay-in TV.

The show turned the James Bond image on its head. Callan, possibly TV’s first antihero, is the section’s top killer, addicted to his own deadliness. Unlike Bond, he is unglamorous, insecure, has no love of Queen and country, and lives in a dingy flat where we occasionally find him making model soldiers (his colleagues goad him by calling them toy soldiers) and unblocking the sink. But he is the show’s moral compass, such as it is, displaying a sensitivity lacking in his fellow agents: posh Meres (Anthony Valentine) and cocky Cross (Patrick Mower). This he does by constantly questioning the orders of his boss, Hunter, and helping the section’s unwitting victims.  MORE…



March 2016


British TV police drama. London’s Whitechapel district detectives deal with murders replicating historical crimes,  including Jack the Ripper. Rupert Penry-Jones stars as D.I. Joseph Chandler a wealthy up-and-comer saddled with a defiant homicide squad egged on by Sergeant Miles (Phil Davis).

(2009 -2013) 4 Seasons. 18 Episodes

Available on Amazon Prime Streaming, Amazon

RedEye Chicago’s Curt Wagner’s review:

The stylish “Whitechapel” (9 p.m. Oct. 26, BBC America; 3 stars) tells the story of a copycat killer, but the series itself does a whole lot of copying from past crime shows. It’s a wonder it manages to be so riveting.

The six-part drama follows rookie detective inspector Joseph Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones), an ambitious young officer who is being groomed for a cushy job at police HQ. To get there, though, he has to spend some time in the trenches with an unruly homicide squad led by veteran Detective Sergeant Miles (Phil Davis), who immediately challenges his new boss. “Another fast tracker,” he scoffs. 

Chandler doesn’t do himself any favors with the guys. A neat freak who wears expensive tailored suits, he scolds Miles and the disheveled staff about their appearance, their work ethic and their body odor. (“Haven’t you heard of showers?” he asks.) MORE…