Recommending entertainment options for others can be a dicey proposition. Most wisely skirt this issue. Excuse me for the audacity of taking it head-on.
There are lots of ways to spend hours doing things we enjoy. It could be in a group setting, like a night at the movies or playing cards — lots of things. It could be reading, doing a crossword puzzle, or something else we enjoy on our own. And there is the Big One: television. Your television stands at the ready 24/7 to fill its screen with entertainment and information in near-limitless variety. Every show will suit someone, while none will please everybody. You get to select the channel and the time.
But there is an alternative.
Your television can also deliver entertainment provided by companies like Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Disney Plus, and Hulu. Their shows come to you via the internet and all of them charge a fee. Each offers a wide variety of traditional and contemporary offerings.
In lieu of the aforementioned offerings, I want to tell you about a channel I find entertaining and worth watching, many of which are offered by PBS Masterpiece Theater of Boston. They feature original shows and some well-known classics, including British productions by the BBC and UK commercial television. I especially enjoy watching the detective series because they include excellent writing, superb acting, plot twists, and pleasing scenery. Each show is a complete story while the lives of the characters progress throughout the series. The series I have watched or know of include: Endeavor (29 episodes), Inspector Morse (33 episodes), Inspector Lewis (33 episodes), Foyles War (25 episodes), Midsomer Murders (100+ episodes). Each show is about one hour with no commercial interruptions.
A common feature of all these shows is the thoroughly developed and appealing character of one or more of the sustaining actors. Over a period, they almost become friends. They never let you down and remain true to the vagaries of the human spirit while happily coming out on top in nearly every instance.
You might ask if sitting in front of your TV for an hour watching somebody solve a murder or arrest a bloke who is guilty of sedition in wartime England is worth it. My answer is yes — if it provides a break in the day and leaves you satisfied and refreshed.
A bonus of each of these shows is the authentic scenery of rural England. The green meadows; narrow, hedge-lined roads; pubs; churches; and houses, both simple abodes and stately manors, present an enlightening travelogue. As a departure, three shows are filmed in Oxford. Anyone who has visited the town and university will enjoy the return trip and others will be introduced to it.
Life in the English pub plays a significant but unintrusive part in all the shows. Our friends enjoy their pint of warm beer and lively conversation. Speaking of conversation, you will miss some words. The actors, especially those locals who have small parts, use speech that is rapid and colloquial. If you miss something, it would only be color that you can figure out anyway. You will never lose track of the plot. Terms like “walking out” for going on a date and “cuppa” for having a cup of tea will almost become a part of your own vocabulary, and there are more.
For people living in a retirement community, setting up a regular time to meet in a group to watch one show a week can be a rewarding experience for the community and you personally. All it requires is a public area with a large-screen TV with a streaming box and stick for controlling. A list of shows I have watched with pleasure on Netflix include Endeavor, Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, Midsomer Murders, Mrs. Dalloway, Jane Eyre, Foyles War, Mr. Selfridge, Downton Abbey, Bleak House, and Poldark to name some favorites. The cost for basic Netflix is $8.99 a month, less than a movie ticket and the popcorn is cheaper! The other streaming services mentioned above must be ordered individually, but this list and many more titles you can find on Netflix will offer many hours of entertainment.
By Savvy Senior
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