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Viewing Report

MurdochMany of you Americans may be feeling the early stages of drama withdrawal. Sure, The Wire is happening and yes, there are still a few trickles of American excellence on the networks, like Friday Night Lights. But it’s dwindling and very soon it won’t be enough to get you through the night.

You may want to explore means other than your cable feed for getting hold of TV drama. If you know a teenager who can hook you up, the internet may help you find the drama fix you need to get you through the hard times.

Diary 2I know you guys are on strike, but at the end of a long day on the picket line, I’m sure you want to relax with a good show. And what I’m talking about here are dramas written under legitimate collective agreements. Plus, the delivery system that you’d be end running isn’t working for you right now anyway — hence the strike.

I’m not advocating that you do anything immoral or illegal. I am after all somebody’s mother and an upstanding, law abiding citizen. But I’m also a TV junkie and I’ve come across some stuff that you may want to check out and some other stuff I can suggest you avoid.

So here is my current international viewing report:

US Network PreAir Pilots

Canturbury Law looks like it could be watchable series. The pilot offers an hour’s worth of entertainment. It’s a bit of watered down Damages with one more of this season’s female antiheroes.

Babylon Fields: The premise is that dead people in the town get up out of their graves and start to live again. Now you know everything that happens in the pilot and you don’t need to watch. One hour, one beat.

Eli Stone is going to air starting at the end of the month. It’s a lawyer meets superpowers show. The superpower in question is that Eli has visions and a spiritual bent. Also he can summon George Michaels. I’ll watch a second episode.

New Amersterdam is a cop meets superpowers show. Homicide detective John Amersterdam can’t die until he meets his soul mate and since he wants to die, he is searching for the one woman he is meant to be with. Or something. I thought it was a pretty lame pilot with a few too many flashbacks.

Leaving the borders of the US, you could try out some of the new Canadian fare

The borderThe Border is worth checking out. Start with episode 103, it’ll make you want to watch the rest of the season. The series focuses on the agency that polices the Canadian border, it’s fast paced, has lots of action and the story keeps turning with every new act.

Murdoch 2Murdoch Mysteries: This series airs premieres this week. I’ve seen a couple, enjoyed them both immensely. Murdoch is a detective working in Toronto in the late 1800s. He rides a bike and uses science to solve his cases. It’s funny, charming and has some great mysteries.

Leaving the continent, you can check out some of what the Brits have on offer

Oliver TwistOliver Twist 2007: If you haven’t seen it yet, this British miniseries is easy to devour in a couple of evenings. It clips along, looks dynamite and is much closer to the Dickens than any of the adaptations you remember.

DiarySecret Diary of a Call Girl: omg, you haven’t seen it yet? Do yourself a favour, get hold of the whole first season, lock the door, take the phone off the hook and enjoy. Remember to stay hydrated.

I’ve got a whack of new British and Canadian series to make my through and I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of drama to get us through the strike. I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Cunningham wrote:

    Oh Miss Piper, behave!!!

    Good coffee.
    Breakfast in bed.
    Marathon DVD session with SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 9:53 am | Permalink
  2. Robbo wrote:

    Okay – first off – I’m hot for anything that has British chicks snogging together. That is totally hot – totally Shakespeare! The Oliver Twist adaptation I’m really curious about – where the fuck is it playing? And by the way – I like the look of your blog now. Be sure to post info on how to reach the material yer talkin about or else you have to put up with obnoxious comments like this asking to see street kids and lipstick lezzies.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
  3. admin wrote:

    For streamed versions of Secret Diary and other Brit series, you can check

    I d%^#@*$ded Oliver Twist. is the source for every new show that becomes available. You can subscribe and find out every morning which new shows are available.

    Another handy dandy site for the torrent buff is They have a little widget that allows you to subscribe to a series. It will automatically begin the illegal activity on your computer.

    And the final item in my toolbox is a virtual personal network (VPN) which provides an IP address with no geographic footprint, the better to watch streamed programming outside my own borders. Try

    If anyone knows how we can push past Canada, the US and Britain to watch shows produced in Australia, New Zealand, and other places beyond our borders, I would love to hear.

    Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 7:37 am | Permalink
  4. Jane wrote:

    Don’t forget JPod, based on the novel by Douglas Coupland. It’s more a dramedy than a straight drama. Judging by the first three episodes, it shows promise.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink