Required Viewing as Winter Settles In

It’s cold.  Damn cold.  Might as well stay inside where it’s warm and settle in for some viewing…

Wentworth (2013 - )

This gritty Australian drama is set in a woman’s prison, but don’t start thinking this is some sort of Orange is the New Black rip-off.  This is quite superior. 

A re-imagining of a previous series called Prisoner (1979-86), Wentworth follows stuck-in-limbo new inmate Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) from her frightening introduction to the prison subculture to her rise to become ‘top dog’.

Brilliant writing given life by an amazing ensemble cast, Wentworth rarely crosses into maudlin territory.  With four series behind and an anticipated fifth, this show is far from stale.

Of note:  Governor-turned inmate Joan Ferguson (played by the outstanding Pamela Rabe) is the epitome of evil and demented.

Jack Taylor (2010 - )

Stereotypical?  Sure.  Old school?  Yep.  Cliché?  You bet.

Suspend your disbelief and jump into this cool show about a former Irish ‘Garda’ (national police) turned P.I. played by Iain Glen.  Set in Galway, Jack Taylor is based on the crime novels of Ken Bruen. 

As you would assume, the protagonist is aging and grizzled, and he drinks far too much.  But the cases he takes are never dull, are full of plot twists, and sometimes lead you where you never expected to go.  Taylor regularly gets help young Garda officer Kate Noonan (along with the standard ‘feelings for each other’ subplot).

The Irish flavour adds to the overall feel of the series, making it one of those shows where, if you watch the first one, you’re hooked.

Of note: Iain Glen is actually Scottish (to the dismay of Micks everywhere…)

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His Name Was Steven