By Kay Gardiner
May 7, 2017

Leave a Comment

  • I do so love it when you catch up with our UK tv shows! Rather more serious but terrific is Line of Duty, if any channels are showing that over there. What US shows would you recommend for overseas viewers?

  • Oh I love Vera too! Don’t know what I’ll do when I finish season 6. I watch it on Acorn – only $5/no, no commercials, and a great rotating selection of Britain’s best!

  • Vera is wonderful. Acorn TV has six seasons of Vera. Line of Duty is on Acorn TV also. I agree with Linda-it is terrific.

    • Where can you shop dresses like Vera wears?

  • Vera is everything. I love how she will just be nattering on to the suspect and then suddenly turn and say “Aye, pet, and is that when ye strangled him?”

    • Hahahahahahah! I can’t stop giggling. That is exactly something she would say.

  • A recent gem of a find for me was SHETLAND– streaming on Netflix. Apparently based on a series of books, I’ve got it bad for the grey, wet, rocks and sea that are the Shetland Islands — as long as detective Jimmy Perez is in the mix!! Trust me. I almost hate to share him. Lol.

    • Me, too!! I just started watching this show, and I can’t get enough of it.

      • Make that three of us!

        • Both Vera and Shetland are based on books by the same author, Ann Cleeves! Love both of them.

    • I adore Shetland!! I originally tried it on “knit-watch,” but though it only sports the occasional hat, it has many other charms.

    • Love Shetland as well! It gives me a little thrill when Jimmy says he’s from Fair Isle!

  • Also recommend Blethyn’s best-of-all-the-Mrs. Bennetts in the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice movie, distracted and flaky with worry, but not hysterical and shrill like the A&E/BBC TV version.

    • She was wonderful! I think of her Mrs Bennet every time I buy little potatoes…

  • Vera is also based on a terrific series of books by the wonderful writer Ann Cleeves. The kind of books you can’t stop reading and look forward to getting back to once you start. Kind of like knitting. And good for lazy Sundays too! The Shetland books with Jimmy Perez, lead detective are also great, I think. Always lots of good knit wear. And visuals that make you want to knit. thanks for the where to watch tips!

    • What Ellen said!
      I started watching Vera and listening to the Shetland series (coincidentally if you can believe it) at the same time. I watched a couple Shetland episodes but have decided to listen to more of the books before watching any more—I started feeling like I was time traveling.

    • Thank you for crediting Ann Cleeves! I read an interview with her somewhere where the interviewer asked her, “Now that Brenda is playing Vera on TV, do you write for her?” And she said no, that her mind’s eye Vera was much less attractive than Brenda Blethyn on her worst day. However, she said that now, as she writes the Vera books, she hears Brenda Blethyn’s voice speaking Vera’s words!

  • I do like Vera but have recently gotten hooked on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Gorgeous clothes and a clever heroine with a history of a personal loss and fascinating glimpses of her past. A tasty morsel of a police inspector adds to the fun….

  • With one final ep of Scott & Bailey left I’ll be really happy to start Vera. Thanks!

  • How do you watch Hulu? I have a smart TV and tried the free trial, but I canceled it after three days because it kept freezing during the commercial breaks. What is the secret of getting it to work?

  • I am COMPLETELY hooked on Vera! Just like I was on Father Brown. I love the British dramas.

  • I enjoy Vera as much as George Gently, and Foyle’s War and Rosemary and Thyme and Inspector Lewis and on and on. The Brits know how to do great detective shows.

    • Agree, and not as disgustingly bloody as some other series.

  • I am devoted to Vera – I’m on my third run through the available seasons now. I believe that if my Nan had been a detective, she would have been Vera!

  • The Vera and Shetlands tv series are both based in books by Anne Cleeves. If you want more of Vera’s background, it’s in the books.

  • I loved all the Vera books – (Ann Cleeves) another trilogy set in Outer Hebrides is the Lewis Trilogy. I heard it was optioned by BBC, but haven’t seen it show up anywhere.

  • I love Vera! This show exemplifies everything I love about British drama: emphasis on character, roles for older women, and fewer of the supermodel/plastic people that seem to populate even the best of American television series. Who knew that physical perfection could become so boring?

    • Say it! Supermodel/plastic people indeed, barely believable in stories set in Hollywood and laughably unbelievable in anything else.

  • Thanks for the recommendation, always appreciate your picks. Any one watching the Durrells of Corfu? It was a PBS Masterpiece theatre but is now playing on Netflix streaming. It is based on the book My Family and Other Animals. Very British. Loved Shetland especially for the sweaters and caps.

    • I read that book years ago and loved it. Reread more recently and found it was still memorable.

  • Love Vera! And Shetland!

  • @ninianshetland posted a snap of the next season of Shetland being filmed in town. I squealed like a 12 year old. Love the books and the series.

  • Vera! Yes! She is like a favorite auntie. My husband wisely bought me all six seasons on DVD. Lovely rainy day knitting.

  • One of the many (many!) things I love about MDK is the experience of having “found my people”, as they say, when it comes to taste in TV. As we’re perusing the streaming services in search of something to watch of an evening, my spouse has taken to asking me, “So what does the knitting blog recommend?”

  • You may just have sold me on Hulu. I love Brenda Blethyn! She’s so good she can play an American character to perfection too — check out the comedy “Lovely and Amazing”.
    I also have a book recommendation: Patti Smith’s “M Train”, where she meditates, among other things, on her obsession with European crime shows. Not a fun read exactly, but a lovely, moving book.

  • Love VERA! Hope they make another season! Was thrilled to read in comments there is a new season for SHETLAND. WALLANDER is another great series. All good to do needlework with especially on reruns.

  • I love Vera!! Loved her 1st sidekick, too, but the second not so much.

  • Oh, how I love Vera. The latest season just played on PBS here and I was glued to my television.

  • If you love Brenda Blethyn, you have to watch the 2000 movie “Saving Grace”. It also stars Craig Ferguson and Martin Clunes. (This was the very beginnings of his Doc Martin character.)
    “Saving Grace” is absolutely hysterical and includes a pair of sisters sporting crochet items on steroids.
    I’m not sure where you can find it, but please try-you won’t be disappointed.

    • Saving Grace is the best – I always thought they ruined the Doc Martin character when making the show – he seems very different in the movie… An ‘Absolute Classic’ indeed.

  • I LOVE VERA! I watched all of the available episodes on the Acorn portion of Amazon Prime (extra subscription, unfortunately, but still…no commercial breaks, just pure, unadulterated Vera). She does seem to come back with some “innocent” question as she leaves the scene, doesn’t she?

  • Love her.

  • I’ve watched all 6 series. wished there were more. watched Shetland too. Maybe I’ll try line of duty when i get back from my cruise at the end of May. Will have a lot of mdk emails waiting for me 🙂

  • I love Vera, too. Check out some other tv/books authored by Ann Cleeves.
    The tv series Shetland takes you to those islands- home of J&S yarns and other things wooly.
    PS The fifth season of Bailey & Scott is quite ‘dramatic’!

  • I absolutely love British TV but they get you hooked on programs such as Vera and then start spoon feeding you. One tiny bit at a time. Hate it! Want to cry! Vera is worth waiting for but why do you make me wait? Soooo many dramas!! So good!


  • I pay another $4/month for Hulu’s ad-free option, and I think it’s worth every penny, especially for something I plan to binge-watch. So now I have 4-5 more shows to add to my watchlist, which now crosses Netflix, Hulu, Britbox, and Amazon Prime. And I haven’t even added Starz yet for American Gods — catching up on that is on this week’s to-do list.

  • If you’re not interested in subscribing to watch Vera, check out your local library. I just reserved Seasons 1-5 from mine! Whoot whoot!!

  • Season 5 of DCI Banks has left me momentarily heartbroken.

    • I love this show. DCI Banks is WONDERFUL.

    • Ah DCI Banks! Great! I began my first crochet huge granny square blanket while watching it – the memories!

  • We love Vera in our house! We’ve finished the 6 seasons available and are waiting for season 7 to be available.

  • I love Vera too! your comments are spot on there, pet. If you like Vera, the author of the books they are based on also wrote a series about detective Jimmy Perez. I hear the books are good, but I am sure that the tv show is awesome – such stunning vistas of the Shetland Isles – and it gets one in the knitting mood 🙂

  • You have got to check out Poldark…………….might drop a stitch or two, so be warned !

    • Super spicy!

  • Vera is an old favourite. Happy Valley is good too – I missed the first series so binge watched on iplayer before watching the second series as it played over the weeks- fabulous.