TV series exclusives: The WCL Ratings Project #13

With this next update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have the latest season of historical Australian drama ‘A Place To Call Home’, adaptations of Joanne Fluke’s bestselling series of books with ‘Murder She Baked’, the Tina Fey produced hit comedy ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, crime thrillers ‘One Of Us’ & ‘The Level’ and the historical fashion & glamour of ‘The Collection’ & ‘The Halcyon’.

A place to call home. Season 4.
“Marta Dusseldorp leads the cast of this sweeping romantic drama set in 1950s rural Australia. The season follows the lives of the Blighs, a wealthy and complicated pastoralist family, who live in Inverness, NSW. With George now married to Regina, Sarah is seemingly separated from him forever but still they struggle to move on from the deep love that they feel for each other; Anna and Gino’s new marriage is tested again; jack tries to prove to Carolyn, full of self-doubt, that she’s worthy of him; and Elizabeth shocks the family with her new attitude to life.” (Syndetics Summary)

Murder, she baked : 4 movie collection.
“A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MYSTERY: When the milkman is found murdered behind her bakery, Hannah Swensen, the heroine of Joanne Fluke’s bestselling series of books, sets out to track down a killer. If she doesn’t watch her back, Hannah’s sweet life may get burned to a crisp. A PLUM PUDDING MYSTERY: This holiday season, Hannah Swensen is making plum pudding and trying to solve the murder of a man in his own office. A PEACH COBBLER MYSTERY: With The Cookie Jar, Hannah Swensen has a mouth-watering monopoly on the bakery business of Lake Eden, Minnesota. But when a rival store opens, and one of the owners is found shot to death in the store, Hannah is determined to prove that she wasn’t the only one who had an axe to grind with the Quinn sisters. A DEADLY RECIPE: Hannah discovers the body of Sheriff Grant–bludgeoned while holding one of her homemade fudge cupcakes.” (From Amazon.co.uk description)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Season one.
“Rescued after fifteen years in an underground doomsday cult, Kimmy decides to rebuild her life in New York City armed with only a fifth-grade education and a firm belief that truly anything is possible. She quickly finds a roommate, Titus Andromedon, a job working for a spoiled Manhattan mom, Jacqueline Voorhees, and a new beginning.” (Syndetics Summary)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Season two.
“She’s back, she’s only slightly more informed, and she’s ready to take life by storm! From the executive producers of 30 Rock (Tina Fey and Robert Carlock), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns for a second season that’s “as ridiculous and fun as ever” (Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter). As Kimmy (Primetime Emmy nominee Ellie Kemper) continues to learn the ways of New York City, she’s got her roommate Titus (Primetime Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess) and socialite Jacqueline (Primetime Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski) by her side to tackle all social matters that are hashbrown: relevant.” (Description from Amazon.com)

Rectify. Season four.
“In the fourth and final season, Daniel has moved away from his hometown in Georgia and is beginning his new life at a halfway house in Nashville. Separated from his family, Daniel continues his struggle to manage life after prison. The family that he left behind is fractured, but not completely broken. Can they find ways to move forward?” (Syndetics Summary)

The collection.
“A gripping entrepreneurial fable set in France just after the Second World War. An ambitious designer is tasked to restore Paris’ supremacy as the haute couture capital. His fresh vision will usher in a new romantic era lifting the post-war gloom and paving the way for optimism and romance. But can this business, spearheaded by two clashing brothers survive meteoric success? The staff of the atelier survived one devastating war, but another looms, where personal battles and passionate love stories set family against family and the past against the future.” (Syndetics summary)

Rizzoli & Isles. The complete sixth season.
“Best friends and work colleagues Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Isles use the best of their expert skills and unique personalities to solve Boston’s deadliest crimes. Hundreds of threatening emails. Credit accounts hacked. Her apartment burned. A death message found inside a murder victim. Someone has it out for Detective Jane Rizzoli in Season Six, and she’s consumed with finding out who. As clues keep coming and Jane is assigned a bodyguard, Boston’s finest are put on the case in a race against time…until medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles disappears, victim of a possible kidnapping. As the investigation grows more dangerous and more puzzling, it will take everything the two women have to get themselves out of trouble and back into the arms of friends and family.” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)

One of us.
“Grace Douglas and Adam Elliot grew up side by side in remote rural Scotland. Recently married, they are full of hope for the future – until their young lives are cut short by a brutal murder. The Douglases and Elliots are fiercely different families, split by old rifts but forced together in rage and grief when the man who killed Grace and Adam crashes into their lives, they face a choice that will have dark consequences for all of them. As they stumble down the path they have chosen, truth and morality become obscured. The death of Grace and Adam is just the start of this dangerous journey, one that will twist and turn until its devastating end…” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)

The Level.
“Nancy’s exemplary police career masks a covert attachment to shady businessman and drugs trafficker, Frank Le Saux. Inextricably linked to Frank from childhood as the father of her best friend, Hayley and the father figure she herself craved, Nancy has been playing a dangerous game – ensuring that Frank always remains off the police radar. When Frank is murdered Nancy finds herself at the centre of an investigation which will put her at risk of exposure and see her stalked by a killer intent on destroying her…” (Syndetics summary)

My mother & other strangers.
“Moybeg is home to Englishwoman Rose, her Irish husband Michael Coyne and their three children: Emma, Francis and Kate. With her English accent and her London ways, Rose is the only ‘stranger’ in the community. That is until 4,000 American servicemen and women arrive along with the handsome Captain Dreyfuss. As Rose finds herself acting as peacekeeper between the disgruntled locals and the airbase, she is also drawn to the engaging young captain”… (Syndetics summary)

The Halcyon. Season one.
“The Halcyon is the story of a bustling and glamorous five star hotel at the center of London society and a world at war. Set in 1940, series shows London life through the prism of war and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across every social strata–set to a soundtrack of the music of the era”… (Syndetics Summary)

TV series exclusives: The WCL Ratings Project #12

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have the 3rd season of popular Australian historical drama ‘A Place To Call Home’; the last of our seasons of quirky US crime show ‘Psych’; the sequel to the health documentary ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’; the latest season of ‘Parenthood’; and the last 2 seasons of the ever popular Brenda Blethyn as DCI Stanhope in ‘Vera’…

Cover imageA place to call home. Season 3.
“A Place to Call Home is a sweeping romantic drama set in 1950s rural Australia following the lives of nurse Sarah Adams and the Blighs, a wealthy and complicated Pastoralist family living in Inverness, New South Wales. As Australia faces internal and external threats to its way of life so too do the people of Inverness, and previous alliances and relationships are tested: Sarah’s dilemma between her feelings for George and her duty to her husband Rene is exacerbated by a heart breaking secret; James and Olivia’s relationship is under pressure by the desire for physical fulfilment, while the true parentage of Baby George is threatened with exposure; Elizabeth Bligh’s decision to leave Ash Park to explore a life of her own proves more difficult than she thought and the difference between Anna and Gino’s fairytale romance and the reality of married life threatens to tear them apart. This DVD set contains all 10 episodes of series 3 and a bonus alternative series two finale…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imagePsych. The complete sixth season.
“The world’s most dynamic and oddball, detective duo get more than they bargained for when they take on con-artists, masked vigilantes and Darth Vader collectibles in the wild sixth season of Psych. Fake “psychic detective” Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best bud, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill), go undercover, behind the scenes and over the top to solve some of the most off the wall crimes imaginable. But how long can these super sleuths keep their psychic secret safe? Guest starring William Shatner, Cary Elwes, Molly Ringwald and Danny Glover, relive the laughs, thrills and mind-boggling mysteries uninterrupted and back-to-back in all 16 episodes of the totally unique and unpredictable series that will keep you guessing just whodunit…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageVera. Series five.
“Mulit-award winning actress Brenda Blethyn returns as DCI Stanhope in the critically acclaimed crime drama, Vera. The indomitable DCI Vera Stanhope returns to face a number of daunting cases. Aided by troubled new recruit DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty), they investigate a deadly blaze at a coastal caravan park, unearth a thirty-year-old mystery in an old mining community, delve into the tragic last months of a young man found floating in a farm slurry pit and uncover a life of secrets and lies when a well-loved family man plummets to his death from a multi-storey car park. Each enthralling episode is set against the breathtaking Northumberland countryside and is enhanced by the captivating performance of Brenda Blethyn as this shambolic yet brilliant detective…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageRectify. Season three.
“In season three of Rectify, once again a convicted murderer, Daniel (Aden Young, Mao’s Last Dancer) must cope with probation officer meetings, while Janet (J. Smith Cameron, True Blood) prepares for his looming banishment and Amantha (Abigail Spencer, True Detective) tries to build a life around something other than her brother’s innocence. Even DA Sondra Person (Sharon Conley, The Good Lie) harbors lingering doubts about Daniel’s guilt – until George Melton’s corpse turns up, raising new and troubling questions about the night Hanna died. Ultimately, Daniel takes his first tentative steps towards fully embracing his complicated new freedom, leaving in his wake a family struggling to find their way forward and a community that still wonders if justice was truly served…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe Moodys.
“From the creators of the AFI award-winning Review with Myles Barlow and following the success of A Moody Christmas, this new series sees Dan (Ian Meadows) and Cora (Jane Harber) return home to Australia to set up house together. Now they are back Down Under, everything in their lives is topsy turvy. As they struggle to make ends meet, the Moody family home is up for sale; Sean’s funeral fireworks business is going great guns’ literally; Maree and Kevin test the freewheeling lifestyle of the grey nomads; Bridget and Roger find out if there’s friendship after divorce; and Uncle Terry is in a tangled love affair with Yvonne (Sacha Horler), a one-woman force of nature…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageFat, sick & nearly dead. 2.
“The second documentary reconnects Joe with his followers from the first film to catch viewers up on how the impact of juicing has changed their lives. With help from friends, family and the medical community, he not only shows viewers were he is now, but also continues to educate viewers about the critical role that family and community support play in maintaining this healthy lifestyle…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageParenthood. Season 5.
“As Kristina and Adam reevaluate their lives after her fight against cancer, Sarah finds a career she loves and a possible new romance. Crosby and Jasmine adapt to life as a family with an infant in the house, while Camille and Zeek decide what their “Act 3″ is going to be now that they have an empty nest. And though most challenges bring the relations closer together, Joel and Julia find their marriage crumbling apart in ways they never expected…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imagePsych. The complete seventh season.
“Killer secrets are kept, broken and dramatically revealed in the seventh sensational season of Psych. Its business as unusual for “psychic” crime fighter Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and best pal Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill) as they track down Bigfoot, go undercover as wacky radio DJs, and solve the ultimate murder mystery. And, Gus finally gets the girl. Catch every episode back-to-back and uninterrupted of the laugh-out-loud whodunit series…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover iamgeVera. Series six.
Set amid the wild beauty of the Northumberland landscape, DCI Vera Stanhope investigates chilling crimes only she can solve. In the sixth series, Vera and her team are called into action to tackle a number of challenging cases; from unravelling the mystery of a woman found murdered on the bleak Northumberland moors (Dark Road), piecing together the tragic downfall of a young man whose body is discovered hidden in a cave (Tuesdays Child), solving a mysterious double murder in a remote country house (The Moth Catcher), to delving into a dark secret at the heart of a struggling fishing community (The Sea Glass), each enthralling story is enhanced by captivating performances, beautifully shot landscapes and high production values…” (From Syndetics summary)

TV series exclusives: The WCL Ratings Project #11

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have the final Season’s of ‘Warehouse 13’, ‘Psych’ & ‘Covert Affairs’; historical drama with ‘Home Fires’ & the return of the ladies from ‘The Paradise’; and plenty of criminal behaviour with seasons 3 & 4 of ‘DCI Banks’, new ITV drama ‘Chasing Shadows’, & the latest Australian crime series with Rebecca Gibney.

Cover imagePsych. The eighth & final season.
“Case-cracking “psychic” detective Shawn Spencer and his best friend Burton “Gus” Guster have their hands full getting to the bottom of crime-filled conundrums around Santa Barbara. From a prestigious paranormal police consultant convention to zombie nightmares, Shawn and Gus need all the help they can get as new hijinks and tests arise for your favorite sleuths in this eighth and final season of Psych. Witness every episode back-to-back and uninterrupted of the final hilarious season featuring a gaggle of guest stars including Mira Sorvino, Tom Arnold, Loretta Devine, and Bruce Campbell.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageA Moody Christmas.
“From the creators of the AFI award-winning Review with Myles Barlow comes A MOODY CHRISTMAS a comedy series that follows the Moody family as they come together to share the universally celebrated holiday. Stuffed full of fun, fights, bad gifts, boring uncles, overbearing in-laws, shocking family secrets and bizarre eccentricities…any family who has experienced the melting pot of Christmas Day will relate! While in theory Christmas is a time for family to share and celebrate, in practice its often a day spent with relatives you hardly know, where dirty laundry is aired, family rifts resurface, strangers are forced to act like family, and celebratory drinks can disintegrate into drunken rows and it all happens at the Moodys!…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageCovert affairs. Season four.
“Danger, scandal and smoking guns are no match for resourceful CIA operative Annie Walker, who proves herself as astute as ever in season four of Covert Affairs. When Annie and Auggie, her blind lover and colleague, mix business with pleasure on a trip to Colombia, they ruffle the feathers of local CIA station chief Calder Michaels, whose seemingly fleeting allegiance has major implications for the future of the Domestic Protection Division. Complicating matters, Arthur reveals a “covert affair” of his own, while Henry’s ulterior motives are brought to light. Venture across South America, Europe, and Asia with Annie in all 16 thrilling episodes, back-to-back and uninterrupted.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageCovert affairs. Season five.
“It’s been several months since the team took down Henry in Hong Kong, and change is afoot. Auggie is back at the DPD, Arthur is offered a job in the private sector working for McQuaid Security, and Joan is returning from maternity leave to find that she’s been passed over for the job of DCS in favor of Calder. And after mysteriously going off the grid for months, Annie has resurfaced, anxious to get back to work at the CIA and harboring a secret that could jeopardize everything. Sent to Chicago to investigate a purported terror plot, she soon discovers that the threat is very real, and much greater than anyone has anticipated.” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageThe syndicate. Series 3.
“All six episodes of the third series of this BBC drama written by Kay Mellor. In this series, the syndicate belongs to the staff working at Hazelwood Manor, a run-down stately home owned by Lord and Lady Hazelwood. When the workers, mother and daughter maids Dawn and Amy Stevenson, cook Julie Travers and her manageress daughter Sarah, gardener Godfrey Watson and handyman Sean McGary, find out that they have won 14 million pounds on the lottery, the tables are turned as the employees suddenly have more money than their employers. Will the members of the syndicate pool their money to save the manor or will other aspirations split the group?” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe Paradise. Series two.
“The ladies of The Paradise are back. The popular series, adapted from the much-loved classic French novel by Emile Zola, follows the smart, ambitious and big-hearted Denise Lovett played by Joanna Vanderham, who arrives in the city to find work. The second series sees The Paradise reopen its doors a year after the dramatic events of Series 1. We see old and new faces battling for control of the business alongside the complicated love triangle of Moray, Denise and Catherine…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageWinter. Season 1; + The killing field.
“Detective Sergeant Eve Winter (Rebecca Gibney) is in charge of the task force investigating the murder of 23-year-old mother Karly Johansson in a picturesque fishing town south of Sydney. Eve goes head to head with Jake Harris (Matt Nable), an agent with the Federal police who is investigating the attempted homicide of wild child, Kings Cross girl Indiana Hope, as she suspects the two cases are linked. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Lachlan McKenzie (Peter O’Brien) is running a parallel investigation into his own case – school Counsellor Janet Pagent was found murdered in the same location eight years ago. What is the connection between Indiana and Karly? And how are these two connected to Lachlan’s cold case?” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageChasing shadows.
Chasing Shadows is a thrilling, new four-part ITV drama, set in a missing persons unit that hunts serial killers. Reece Shearsmith plays DS Sean Stone and his partner, Ruth Hattersley is played by Alex Kingston, whilst Noel Clarke takes on the role of DI Carl Prior. Sean’s new caseload is overwhelming – up to 300,000 people go missing in the UK each year–but his brilliant mind turns out to be perfectly adapted to his new role. Sean spots patterns that lead to victims… and their killers. Ruth is the analyst from the Missing Persons Bureau tasked with working alongside Sean. She puts people first, but Sean pushes even her patience to breaking point. DI Prior has ambitions and a clear plan for rising up the ranks. But all this is jeopardised when DS Stone becomes his responsibility.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageWarehouse 13. Season five.
“Warehouse 13 may be closing its doors but our team is going out with a bang as they tackle earth-shattering missions with supernatural artifacts, wild paranormal activity and history-changing time travel. But whatever the future holds for the team, one thing is certain: they’ll always be family.” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageDCI Banks. Series 3.
“Stephen Tompkinson returns as the tenacious and stubborn Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks in three gripping crime stories based on the novels by award winning writer Peter Robinson. WEDNESDAY’S CHILD: When a mother reports her child as having been abducted by a man and a woman masquerading as social workers. Banks is drawn into a strange and unsettling search for the missing young boy. PIECE OF MY HEART: Following the death of a journalist, Banks and his team discover connections to a suspicious death in the eighties involving the surviving members of a pop band. BAD BOY: A terrible chain of events is set in motion when an old neighbour of Banks’ finds a loaded gun in her daughter’s bedroom.” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageDCI Banks. Series 4.
“English detective, DCI Alan Banks, returns in this fourth series of the popular crime drama based on Peter Robinson’s novels with three new, original stories set against the striking backdrop of rural and urban Yorkshire. In What Will Survive, DCI Banks struggles to cope with the sudden death of his mother, as he investigates the murder of a young Estonian woman and the disappearance of her drug-dependent sister. During the second story, Buried, Banks must navigate difficult emotional territory when the body of an eminent lawyer is washed up in an underground river and he suspects a member of her grieving family is responsible for her death. In Ghosts, when the body of a university student is found dumped in a ravine, his friends claim he was a model undergraduate. But officers Annie and Ken soon discover that he had a double life manufacturing ecstasy. Helen’s world is turned upside down when she realises her former lover, an undercover police officer, is following their main suspect…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageHome fires. Series one.
“Acclaimed actresses Francesca Annis and Samantha Bond lead an impressive ensemble cast in a new six-part drama for ITV. Home Fires follows a group of inspirational women in a rural Cheshire community where the shadow of World War II is casting a dark cloud over their lives. The isolated village couldn’t feel further away from the impending bloodshed and battlefields and yet it is not immune from the effects of war. As the conflict takes hold, and separates the women from their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers, the women find themselves under increasing and extraordinary pressures in a rapidly fragmenting world.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

TV series exclusives: The WCL Ratings Project #10

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have the latest season’s of dramas ‘The Good Wife’, ‘House of Cards’, and turn-of-the-century Toronto ‘Murdoch mysteries’; as well as two adaptations of novels by popular romance novelist Rosamunde Pilcher.

Cover imageThe good wife. The sixth season.
“Alicia Florrick ( Julianna Margulies) stood by her husband (Chris Noth) on his tumultuous path to the governor’s office, but now she’s entering the world of politics on her own terms by running for state’s attorney. As Election Day approaches, Alicia must balance the demands of her firm and campaign as she supports her partner Cary (Matt Czuchry) during shocking developments that could end his career… and life as he knows it. Julianna Margulies returns in the role that earned her two Primetime Emmy Awards*, and stars with Archie Panjabi, Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming and a roster of stellar guests in Season Six of the gripping series that is critically lauded as “…TV’s best drama” (Slate)…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageMurdoch mysteries. Complete series 8.
“In Season 8 of this delightful detective show, joy and heartbreak await Detective William Murdoch and his friends in turn-of-the-century Toronto. After his brutal beating by the dockyard gang, Inspector Brackenreid’s future remains uncertain. Constable Crabtree faces life-altering changes, including a new romance, while Dr. Emily Grace and Dr. Julia Ogden join the women’s suffrage movement. And in the show’s 100th episode, wedding bells ring as Murdoch and Julia finally walk down the aisle. Along the way, Murdoch encounters notables like W.C. Fields, Thomas Edison, and President Theodore Roosevelt. Guest stars include Peter Keleghan (The Newsroom), Patrick McKenna (The Red Green Show), and Peter Outerbridge (Orphan Black), the original Detective Murdoch from the TV movies that preceded the series…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageHouse of cards. The complete third season.
“All 13 episodes from the third season of the award-winning political drama starring Kevin Spacey. Based on the novel by Michael Dobbs and the subsequent BBC adaptation of the book, the show follows Francis Underwood (Spacey), a politician whose sense of ambition is matched and encouraged by his wife Claire (Robin Wright). Armed with an arsenal of political secrets to equal anyone in Washington, Francis is more than willing to scheme and blackmail his way to the top. In this season, Francis’s approval ratings plummet, a devastating hurricane hits the East Coast and Claire makes plans to run for Ambassador to the U.N…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe other wife.
“Rupert Everett and John Hannah star in this two-part drama based on the novel by Rosamunde Pilcher. When Rebecca Kendall (Natalia Worner) waves goodbye to her husband Robert (Hannah) as he departs on one of his regular business trips to Canada she feels a twinge of uneasiness for the first time. What Rebecca does not know is that her devoted husband has been leading a double life for the last five years with another wife and child in Canada. When Robert’s plane crashes en route back to England both of his families seek comfort in the fact that their finances were well protected. As Robert’s brother Martin (Everett) reveals however, his late brother had invested all of his money into a Canadian goldmine, there is very little left for the wives to fight over…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageUnknown heart.
“Carolina Vera and Gedeon Burkhard star in Giles Foster’s adaptation of the novel by Rosamunde Pilcher. When Elizabeth Lancaster (Vera), a terminally ill 40-year-old heiress to her family’s cider farm, gets a phone call from the hospital with the news of the heart transplant she has been waiting for, she feels like all her dreams have come true. After the operation Elizabeth is unable to connect to her family and instead finds herself drawn to a place she has never known: the home of the woman whose heart now beats in her chest. As she meets her donor’s widow, Andrew Shaw (Burkhard) she immediately feels an unexplainable connection and the tormented pair begin a passionate affair. Will their love be enough to keep them together or will more hearts be broken along the way?…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

TV series exclusives: The WCL Ratings Project #9

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have US medical comedy ‘Royal Pains’, new seasons of the popular US crime shows ‘Blue Bloods’ & ‘White Collar’, and the latest episodes of glamorous lady detective, The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher…

Cover imageRoyal pains. Season one.
“Now it can be told: the mega-rich get sick and hurt too. It’s just that their illnesses, injuries, and conditions are a lot weirder and more exotic than those suffered by mere mortals. At least that’s the message delivered in Royal Pains, USA Network’s medical-comedy series offered here with all 12 first-season episodes (plus bonus features) on three discs. Mark Feuerstein plays Hank Lawson, a Manhattan physician who unfairly loses his hospital job, and soon thereafter his gold-digging fiancée, when a powerful trustee dies on his watch. Enter younger brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo), a nerdy accountant and shameless social climber, who enlists Hank to help him crash a fancy soiree in the Hamptons; Hank saves the life of a partygoer, which leads to more and more work, and all of a sudden he’s a “concierge” doc at the service of people whose wealth is matched only by their vanity and acquisitiveness…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageRoyal pains. Season two.
“Spend your summer with Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein): where the tides are high, bank account balances are higher and the patients are just high maintenance. Because of his strong convictions and straight-shooting style, the “concierge doctor’s” practice is growing… and with the return of his estranged father (special guest star Henry Winkler), so is his family. With puzzling cases involving a faithful cop with an STD, a winemaker with a troubled palate and a reality show where all the contestants are stricken ill, Hank needs his own innovative talents and the support of his fast-talking brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo) more than ever. Featuring all 18 episodes from the acclaimed second season and special guest stars that include Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), Erinn Hayes (Parenthood), Peter Jacobson (House, M.D.), Michael Rapaport (True Romance) and Bill Bellamy (The Brothers), Royal Pains is the smart and original comedy that Entertainment Weekly hails as “whimsical fun.”…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageWhite collar. The complete fourth season.
“Matt Bomer excels again as charming con man Neal Caffrey in another engaging season of crime solving and high-stakes heists! Facing the uncertain future of his partnership with FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), Neal sheds his tracking anklet and disappears into thin air. But the Feds aren’t done with him and Neal is hardly ready for retirement. Back in action, Neal ponders the future as Season Four delves deeper into the stunning secrets of his mysterious past. Packed with seduction, intrigue, and more of everything you love about TV’s sexiest show, White Collar will have you glued to the edge of your seat. Let the games begin!…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageWhite collar. The complete fifth season.
“In season five, $1.8 million in gold coins is missing, an elusive precious diamond is about to be found, and Neal Caffrey has a new handler, and a new love interest. But all is fair in love and crime, and the closer Neal gets to the mysterious Rebecca Lowe, the greater the danger for everyone in his life…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageWhite collar. The complete sixth season.
“Experience the thrills, one last time, with Season 6 of television’s slickest, most seductive crime drama – White Collar. The tension has never been greater as Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) re-teams with FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) in their most ambitious sting operation yet – infiltrating a sophisticated gang of deadly thieves. With Elizabeth Burke (Tiffani Thiessen) pregnant, Neal desperate for his freedom and amidst pressure from Mozzie (Willie Garson) for Neal to cut ties with the FBI, the scheme unfolds, culminating in the series’ most shocking plot twist of all. Also, only on DVD, join the cast and crew as they discuss their favourite moments from the show’s six seasons in the moving retrospective White Collar: Case Closed…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageBlue bloods. The fourth season.
“The Reagan family dynamics continue to shift as they deal with everything from gambling and drugs to kidnapping and murder: Jamie (Will Estes) wrestles with his feelings for his new partner; Erin and Jack work to figure out their personal relationship; and Danny and Frank clash over an internal investigation of Danny’s techniques. As the Reagans faces off against the FBI, the mob, and other officers who don’t follow their ethical code, the family bond will both serve and protect them…” (From Syndetics summary)

RatingsProjectDVDs7Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries. Series 3, Volume 1.
“The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher continues to solve crimes with the help of her household cohorts, all the while delighting in her playful partnership with the suave and dedicated Detective Jack Robinson. When Phryne’s estranged father, Lord Henry George Fisher, arrives unannounced in Australia after selling up the family estate in England, he does his best to ingratiate himself with Dot, Bert, Cec and Mr Butler, though his roguish charm is lost on his own daughter. When Phryne recalls a secret encounter that she witnessed during the War, between her father and the cousin from whom the Fishers inherited their title, she begins to suspect that her ancestor is still alive and could be out to exact his revenge…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageMiss Fisher’s murder mysteries. Series 3, Volume 2.
“In the third series of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, stylish lady detective the honourable Miss Phryne Fisher continues her unconventional antics, solving crimes with the help of her ensemble of household cohorts and the suave, dedicated detective Jack Robinson, with whom she shares a playful partnership. In the second volume of Series Three, Phryne’s Aunt Prudence takes on more than she bargained for when she opens her home to psychiatrist and natural healer, Hayden Samuels. And when Phryne hosts a tennis tournament to raise money for female tennis players, the practice partner of a rising tennis star is fatally bitten by a funnel-web spider, sparking a murder investigation that reveals Phryne’s hidden fear. Includes episodes 5 – 8 from Series 3…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

TV series exclusives: The WCL Ratings Project #8

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have new seasons of the hugely popular ‘Foyle’s War’, the 4th season of the fun ‘Warehouse 13’, new seasons of ‘Haven’, ‘Silk’ and period mystery series ‘The Murdoch mysteries’, as well as the American version of ‘Broadchurch’…

Cover imageHaven. The complete fourth season.
“The thrilling Haven is back and life may never be the same again for the town s supernatural residents… Picking up six months after Audrey s disappearance at the end of Season 3, a lot has changed in Haven with the town in disarray and overrun with paranormal phenomena. With Audrey nowhere to be found Nathan and Duke will have to work together in order to find her and bring the town s afflictions under control before it s too late…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageWarehouse 13. Season four.
“At the end of season three of Warehouse 13, the titular structure, an enormous facility in South Dakota also known as “America’s attic” and “the world’s junk drawer,” was blown to smithereens, taking with it the mass of strange and wondrous artifacts that had been housed there. Since these objects are the SyFy series’ raison d’être, something must be done to remedy this disaster–and sure enough, we’re not even finished with the first of the 20 episodes included in the five-disc season-four boxed set before Special Agent in Charge Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) has managed to turn back time by 24 hours and prevent the explosion. But Warehouse agents aren’t supposed to use artifacts for their own ends–on the contrary, their job is to make sure they stay out of the hands of anyone who seeks to exploit them, whether by design or by accident–and the one he chooses is an astrolabe, a navigation device that once belonged to Ferdinand Magellan and now visits some very bad, season-long mojo on Artie and the others…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageSilk. Series 3.
“Martha is now an experienced QC at the height of her powers and should be enjoying the high-profile cases and media attention that implies. But as her cases become ever more morally complex Martha questions whether her role as a defence barrister is enough. Her close relationships are put to the test when her ambitious colleague and rival Clive Reader finally becomes QC, challenging her to confront her feelings for him. As Head Clerk Billy Lamb struggles to keep the huge secret he?s been concealing he makes plans to secure the future of Chambers, with or without him. Effective new Practice Manager Harriet has other ideas and wants chambers to prosecute more and defend less potentially isolating Martha. As she struggles with her conscience her faith in the justice system is tested to breaking point. Where does she really belong?…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageFoyle’s War. Series nine, The Cold War files.
“Michael Kitchen returns to the screen as Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle, a man of scrupulous integrity who has survived the First World War, solved crime wherever it led him during the Second World War, and now finds himself called into duty at the risk of a possible Third. The second World War may be over but a new one is beginning, less explosive but no less deadly a Cold War. Foyle finds himself drawn into complex webs of security and counter security where the loyalties of even those closest to him are brought into question as he joins, somewhat unwillingly at first, the ranks of MI5…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageGracepoint.
“When a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach, a major police investigation gets underway in the small California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. Soon deemed a homicide, the case sparks a media frenzy, which throws the boys family into further turmoil and upends the lives of all of the towns residents. Welcome to ‘Gracepoint’, a new 10-episode event series based on ‘Broadchurch’, the U.Ks critically acclaimed hit crime drama. Gracepoint is an expansion of the original series, introducing new characters, identifying new suspects and threading new storylines through the gripping narrative…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageMayday / created by Ben Court & Caroline Ip.
“Mayday is a gripping new crime-story set against the picture-perfect backdrop of a traditional town, one that is thrown into a sinister and paranoid world as its community discover the gruesome murder of a young girl. When the towns community comes together to celebrate Mayday, the yearly pagan public holiday, the horrific murder will unfold through the eyes of four characters. Each who suspect that the murder of the young-girl was by someone they know and trust; but they must keep silent…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageMurdoch mysteries. Complete series 7.
“As Series Seven of the internationally acclaimed series begins on the first-ever Victoria Day, Murdoch is reunited with his beloved Julia aboard an opulent passenger ship on its maiden voyage. Their time is short-lived, however, when the daughter of the ship’s owner appears to have been pushed overboard. Among the intricate investigations this season, Murdoch must contend with killer spiders, a sea monster, the mysterious death of a cyclist and facing down a zombie army. Sherlock Holmes (Andrew Gower) also returns to assist Murdoch when a nanny disappears and her young charge is convinced the only person who can find her is Sherlock himself…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageAtlantis. The legend begins.
“When Jason set out to find his father, he could never have anticipated where his journey would lead… Far from home and desperate for answers, Jason washes up on the shores of an ancient land. A mysterious place; a world of bull leaping, of snake haired goddesses and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants–this is the lost city of Atlantis. But beneath the surface of this enticing place is a dark and simmering past, a complicated web of treachery and deceit, in which Jason himself now seems inexplicably bound. He soon finds himself embroiled in a perilous game of politics and power from which there is no escape. Aided by the studious young Pythagoras and the overweight, overbearing Hercules, Jason embarks on a voyage of discovery, which sees him brush shoulders with Medusa, come face to face with the Minotaur and even do battle with the dead…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThai street food / with David Thompson.
“Squid fishing after midnight in the Gulf of Thailand. Searching for the perfect cut of meat at a Phetchaburi market well before dawn. Finding out the secrets behind that spicy homemade Sriracha sauce and cooking Thailand’s best known street food dishes at scenic sites across the country.Over 13 episodes, renowned chef David Thompson does all of this and much more as he explores Thai Street Food in his own comprehensive, imitable sharing 30 years’ experience the scene.From morning until night, Thompson showcases it all: the markets, curries, lunches, desserts and how Thailand has held onto its traditions while transforming itself into a one of a kind, modern country. It’s a spectacular street savvy feast for the senses…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.au)

Cover imageMade in Italy / with Silvia Colloca.
“Silvia Colloca visits three regions of Italy that are close to her heart – Abruzzo, Le Marche and Molise, to re-discover authentic ‘cucina povera’, making healthy, heart-warming food accessible to everyone. Every episode sees Silvia meeting locals, cooking in their kitchens and allowing viewers a peek inside the true Italian secret of la dolce vita. Silvia meets chefs and cooks, who share their culinary delights and takes us back to meet her own family to live, breathe and eat the food culture of everyday Italians.With picture postcard backdrops of piazzas, Roman ruins, villages perched on mountains to the ancient traditions of seaside fishermen, Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca is not just a cooking show; it’s a visual feast for any armchair traveller…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.au)

ratings

TV series exclusives: Lewis, Judge John Deed, The Hollow Crown & more – The WCL Ratings Project #7

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have the final season of Judge John Deed, the latest season of Lewis, new Australian comedy Please Like Me, acclaimed Shakespearean drama with The Hollow Crown, along with some other comedy & crime favourites.

Cover imageJudge John Deed. Series six.
“In the sixth and final season of the BBC series, Judge John Deed (George Gently’s Martin Shaw) takes on complementary cases involving Iraq War veterans. For the first two-part episode, “War Crimes,” he travels to the Hague’s International Criminal Court to decide the fate of Private Clark (Neil Grainger), whose attempt to stop a terrorist caused the deaths of 11 civilians. In the second episode, “Evidence of Harm,” Deed returns home for a case concerning a soldier suffering neurological damage after a regimen of required vaccinations contributed to two deaths, including his own…Both episodes raise important questions about the way governments and corporations treat those who put themselves in harm’s way for the greater good…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageRuth Rendell mysteries. Inspector Wexford’s Simisola ; Lake of darkness.
“The international best-selling author Ruth Rendell and a raft of stars ensure intrigue and suspense at every turn in these self-contained stories. SIMISOIA: A young Nigerian girl goes missing and shortly afterwards a woman is strangled in her bed. Then another body is found. As the body count increases with the local job centre as the only common link, Wexford’s suspicions fall on a local burglar. LAKE OF DARKNESS: Unassuming accountant, Martin Urban wins a substantial amount of money on the lottery. He is determined to give some of it away to deserving causes but things take a turn for the worse when he meets Francesca, who is not what she seems…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageRuth Rendell mysteries. Inspector Wexford’s Road rage & Harm done.
“The international best-selling author Ruth Rendell and a raft of stars ensure intrigue and suspense at every turn in these self-contained stories. ROAD RAGE: AN INSPECTOR WEXFORD MYSTERY. A young girl is found brutally murdered in the woods and the investigation team uncovers a connection to a local firm. As Wexford fights for more resources, his own family gets caught up with the events as his wife goes missing. HARM DONE: AN INSPECTOR WEXFORD MYSTERY. A 16-year-old girl goes missing – then returns with an incredible story of kidnapping. Meanwhile, a toddler also goes missing. Wexford delves deeper into the case and the tension explodes into bloody violence…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageAgatha Christie Poirot. 8.
“Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, nest-ce pas? Enigmatic, eccentric and extremely intelligent, Hercule Poirot cracks the toughest cases with brainpower alone, endearing himself to thinkers everywhere. Epitomising Agatha Christie’s Poirot, David Suchet stars as the dapper and debonair Belgian detective with an eye for deadly detail, outsmarting both the criminals and his cohorts in and around elegant upper-crust London. Titles include: FIVE LITTLE PIGS, SAD CYPRESS, DEATH ON THE NILE, THE HOLLOW…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageAgatha Christie Poirot. 9.
“Episodes include: CARDS ON THE TABLE: Poirot joins forces with three other noted sleuths when a murder is committed; MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN: Poirot is pressed into service to help solve the murder of heiress Ruth Kettering; AFTER THE FUNERAL: Poirot is entangled in a dangerous web of wealth, deceit and murderous intent; TAKEN AT THE FLOOD: A 23-year-old widowed for the second time, and a vast inheritance at stake…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.au)

Cover imageAgatha Christie Poirot. 12.
“Episodes include: ELEPHANTS CAN REMEMBER: Poirot is pre-occupied with the strange and gruesome murder, and is joined by his old friend, crime writer Ariadne Oliver who has her own case to solve; THE BIG FOUR; DEAD MAN’S FOLLY: Commissioned to stage a fictional murder, Ariadne Oliver’s intuition tells her a real one is about to happen, but Poirot is unable to stop it even after she warns him; THE LABOURS OF HERCULES; CURTAIN: POIROT’S LAST CASE: Set ten years after the other films, an immobilised Poirot calls on his old friend Captain Hastings for assistance as they return to the scene of their first case, Styles Court, to try to prevent an imminent murder…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageMonarch of the Glen. The complete series 5-7.
“Monarch of The Glen follows the loves, conflicts and schemes of the MacDonald family, their neighbours and employees in one of the most popular dramas ever screened on British television. As Archie begins to look for a life beyond Glenbogle, along comes Paul, a half-brother the Laird never knew existed. As Golly explains his heritage and the traditions of his new-found Highland background, Paul comes to understand that Glenbogle is worth fighting for especially when Donald MacDonald, Hectors long-lost brother, appears after a forty year absence… For all at Glenbogle, however, a catastrophe is approaching. The estates financial standing becomes increasingly perilous and as creditors and hostile buyers close in, the unthinkable seems inevitable: is this the end of life at Glenbogle for the MacDonald family?…” (Abridged from Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imagePlease like me. The complete first season.
“Josh’s life is turned upside down when he’s dumped by his girlfriend, finds a weird new boyfriend and has to move back in with his mother after she overdoses on painkillers. Inspired by the award-winning standup comedy of Josh Thomas, PLEASE LIKE ME is a charming and bittersweet comedy/drama about cavoodles, custard tarts, boyfriends and girlfriends. Mostly though, it’s about growing up quickly and realizing that your parents are not heroes, but big dopes with no idea what’s going on – just like you…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imagePlease like me. The complete second season / by Josh Thomas
“After being praised by critics in Australia and the USA, where it was hailed as this falls best new comedy, the award-winning comedy/drama ‘Please Like Me’ is back for a second season, again inspired by the stand-up comedy of Josh Thomas. This season continues to explore the themes of duty, responsibility, family, friendship, normality, mental health, sexuality and death, all through the eyes of a unique twenty-something with low self-esteem, a charming dog, and a preternaturally impressive collection of kitchenware…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageThe secret of Crickley Hall.
“Joe Ahearne writes and directs this three-part TV adaptation of James Herbert’s ghostly novel. A year after their young son Cabe goes missing without trace, Eve (Suranne Jones) and Gabe (Tom Ellis) Caleigh decide a change of scene would help, and set out with their daughters for what they hope will be the rustic delights of Crickley Hall. Shortly after arriving in the Devonshire village of Devil’s Cleave, however, the family start to experience strange paranormal events, which somehow seem to be linked to the disappearance of their son. As the story continues to unfold, both in the past and the present day, the Caleigh’s soon come to realise that the darkly gothic mansion possesses a secret evil from which they can’t escape…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe code. Season one.
“Stretching from the spectacular red desert of Australia’s outback to the cool corridors of power in Canberra, this series tells the story of two very different brothers who unearth information those at the highest levels of political power will kill to keep secret. Ned and Jesse Banks – one, a young internet journalist, the other a troubled hacker – are gifted a poisoned chalice when a phone video of an outback accident arrives in their inbox. The decision to dig deeper drags the brothers into the darkest heart of politics, and the web of black marketer’s and the international agencies who monitor and manipulate them. The question is just how far those in authority will go to keep their explosive secret safe. And just how far the two brothers will go to reveal the truth…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageMoody and Pegg. The complete first series.
“All six episodes from the first series of the 1970s ITV sitcom starring Judy Cornwell and Derek Waring. Bolton lass Daphne Pegg (Cornwell) and newly-divorced antiques dealer Roland Moody (Waring) both buy the same flat from a dodgy estate agent who absconds with both lots of money, leaving them to battle it out as to who has legal ownership. With all their money gone, the two strangers both move into ‘their’ flat…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageMoody and Pegg. The complete second series.
“Moody and Pegg chronicles the fraught yet occasionally mutually beneficial relationship between two very different people trying to live under the same roof after a rogue estate agent leases the same flat to both of them. Series Two is again scripted by noted screenwriters Julia Jones and Donald Churchill. Disillusioned civil servant Daphne and recently divorced antiques dealer Roland find themselves thrown together once more, following a quarrel that had almost put paid to their unorthodox flat-sharing arrangement. With both their romances having gone sour, they have decided to bury the hatchet. But you can t keep a good hatchet down…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageLewis. Series seven.
“Episodes include: Down Among the Fearful. When psychologist Reuben Beatty is murdered while moonlighting as a psychic Lewis and Hathaway struggle to unpick his baffling double life. The Ramblin’ Boy. Chief Superintendent Martin Cornish goes missing and a recently embalmed body is discovered by an isolated farm track – could there be a link? Hathaway goes on sabbatical and Lewis takes an awkward young constable under his wing. Intelligent Design. After seven years of ducking the question, Lewis and Hobson are embarking on a relationship. Meanwhile an elderly don is murdered on the night of his release from prison…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageSecret state.
“Secret State is a four-part political thriller inspired by Chris Mullin’s novel A Very British Coup, delving into the relationship between a democratically elected government, the military and the markets. In the run up to a general election, an accident on Teesside raises awkward questions about the safety procedures of a US petrochemical company, PetroFex. The Prime Minister claims to have secured a compensation package from them, but on his return from PetroFex HQ, his plane crashes in the Atlantic under mysterious circumstances. Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) takes the reins and during his quest to find justice and the truth for the victims on Teesside, he uncovers a conspiracy at the heart of the political system. How will he deal with the powers at play? And can he remain that rare thing: a decent, honest man in politics?…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe hollow crown / by William Shakespeare.
“The latest show to close the gap between the production values of the big screen and television, The Hollow Crown is a sumptuous piece of work, filling the screen with simply glorious visuals, and real period detail. It pulls together and reimagines four of William Shakespeare’s plays: Richard II, Henry V and both parts of Henry IV. The cast boasts the likes of Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart and Tom Hiddleston, acting heavyweights who make much of the already strong material. The end result is something very special indeed. The Hollow Crown is an accessible yet deep look at three different kings and their differences. Of course, that leaves ample room for politics, power struggles, family and conflict, and the sheer ambition of what’s on the screen is refreshing and engrossing.” (Abridged from Amazon.co.uk review)

TV series exclusives: ‘The Good Wife’ season 5, ‘Suits’ season 3, & more – The WCL Ratings Project #6

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have Season 5 of the excellent legal drama The Good Wife, the latest season of Suits, and some popular Australian shows, with the period series The Doctor Blake Mysteries, and the comedy House Husbands.

Cover imageThe good wife. The fifth season.
“Alicia Florrick and Cary join forces to launch their own law firm. As they sever ties with Lockhart/Gardner, tensions escalate and explode as the new rivals go into attack mode, battling each other both in and out of court. Alicia’s new venture leads her to volatile showdowns, altering every major relationship she’s cultivated. Season five witnesses Alicia’s complete transformation from a good wife to a legal powerhouse…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageSuits. Season three.
“Power is shifting and lines are crossed in the gripping third season. Following the firm’s merger with a prestigious British business, loyalties are tested between high-powered counsel Harvey Specter, legal prodigy Mike Ross, and their boss, managing partner Jessica Pearson…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageThe Doctor Blake mysteries. Season 1.
“The Doctor Blake Mysteries is an original, period murder mystery series, starring one of Australias favourite, most versatile actors Craig McLachlan as the maverick town doctor Lucien Blake a risk-taker, hes impulsive and not afraid to upset the status quo. Dr. Lucien Blake left Ballarat as a young man. But now, he finds himself returning, to take over his dead fathers medical practice. And one of the unwanted duties his father left him is the on-call role of police surgeon. Set in the old gothic gold rush town of Ballarat in 1959. The wealth that built its grand architecture long gone but not the mysteries, murder and deceit that linger beneath the surface of its faded glory…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageThe Doctor Blake mysteries. Season 2.
“This season in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Doctor Lucien Blake returns to Ballarat after an attempt to reunite with his long lost daughter. But itʾs no longer the safe haven he left behind: Danny has been transferred to Melbourne, replaced by a new Senior Constable who seems hell bent on making Blakeʾs job as police surgeon as difficult as possible. Blakeʾs old nemesis Patrick Tyneman has called in the help of some powerful men to keep an eye on Blake. And of course there are the strange and baffling murders that come his way, there are mysteries seeping out of every corner – from political corridors and church vestries, to, art galleries and rockʾnʾroll halls…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageHouse husbands. Season two.
“This warm-hearted and funny drama follows the chaotic lives of four modern families with one thing in common – the men are in charge of raising the kids. The four husbands are completely different, as are their wives, partners and family arrangements. What bonds them are the challenges of their relationships, friendships and careers… and getting the kids to school on time. In Season Two the husbands build a home, prepare for the arrival of a foster child, narrowly escape a vasectomy, argue over the going tooth fairy rate, bury a possum, get lost in the bush, organise the school disco and face an unexpected tragedy. Despite what life throws at them, the four men and their families come up fighting, even if they are running late for the school bell…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageHouse husbands. Season three.
“Over Season Three our House Husbands will accidentally buy a struggling pub and transform it into a thriving, family friendly business, form a footy team and perform at their kids’ ballet recital, go shopping for crop tops, accidentally break the Assistant Principal’s tooth, negotiate the politics of dealing with friends who have split up, have their nude portrait painted and get chased down the street by a pack of cricket hat-wielding thugs. Despite what life throws at them, the four men and their families will come up fighting, even if they struggle to pull off a ballet bun…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

TV series exclusives: George Gently, Dalziel & Pascoe & more – The WCL Ratings Project #5

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project  we complete our run of ‘Blue Bloods’, ‘George Gently’ & ‘Dalziel & Pascoe’ as well as the latest season of top Australian drama ‘A place to call home’… We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions!

Cover imageBlue bloods. The first season.
“If the television menu has a section for comfort food, then Blue Bloods definitely belongs there. ..Blue Bloods isn’t edgy; it doesn’t have “a look.” What it offers instead is a simpler, more old-fashioned form of entertainment. Meat and potatoes, you might call it, served with a side order of easily digestible family values. That family is the Reagans: Frank (Tom Selleck, solid and likable as always), the police commissioner, a job previously held by his father (Len Cariou); eldest son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), a detective, Iraq war vet, and something of a rule-bender; daughter Erin (Bridget Moynahan), a district attorney; and younger son Jamie (Will Estes), a Harvard Law grad who chose the life of a rookie beat cop instead. (A third son, Joe, died at the hands of a group of dirty cops known as the Blue Templars; the series’ sole continuing story line follows the Reagans’ efforts to bring these rogues to justice.) Under Frank’s “plain and honest” leadership, these and other characters (Jennifer Esposito and NYPD Blue alum Nicholas Turturro play Danny and Jamie’s partners, respectively) pursue a variety of bad guys…Unlike the dysfunctional units seen so often on screens both big and small these days, this is a smart, admirable bunch who have dinner together seemingly every night; they might disagree or argue, but they always have each other’s backs, and it’s this wholesome, solid family element that gives Blue Bloods its pulse…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageBlue bloods. The second season.
“BLUE BLOODS is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan is the New York Police Commissioner and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as commissioner. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son Danny, a seasoned detective, family man, and Iraqi War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases. The sole Reagan woman in the family, Erin, is a N.Y. Assistant D.A. and newly single parent, who also serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father. Jamie is the youngest Reagan, fresh out of Harvard Law and the family’s “golden boy;” however, unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie decided to give up a lucrative future in law and is now a newly minted cop. Jamie’s life takes an abrupt turn when he’s asked to…” (Publisher’s description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageGeorge Gently. Series 6.
“It’s 1969, one year on from the harrowing shootings at Durham Cathedral that nearly claimed both Gently’s and Bacchus’s lives. Having pushed himself to full fitness, Gently has returned to duty while Bacchus is still recovering in a police convalescent home. Shocked to receive his sergeant’s resignation, Gently insists Bacchus works his one month’s notice. He then sets about trying to change Bacchus’s mind and help him overcome the barriers, both real and imagined. Following a death in custody, Gently resolves to find the man’s identity and uncover the mystery of his existence. With a police officer in hospital, Gently’s investigation is surrounded by anger, hatred, violence and fear. In a time when police officers’ roles and attitudes towards them are rapidly changing, Gently struggles to gain the trust of either the public or the other police officers. Amidst colourful social change, Gently investigates a murder at the Bluebird Holiday Camp, unveiling a seedy undercurrent within the more permissive of society; he is forced to dig deep within himself when entering the cloak and dagger world of military clinical trials, facing strong ethical questions; he also explores how the closure of the collieries can rip apart tight knit communities when a mysterious death in the mine leads to infighting and betrayal…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageDalziel & Pascoe. Series seven.
“Poor Peter Pascoe (played with glum determination by Colin Buchanan). Not only is his dogged, slow-but-steady police work consistently outshined by the piercing insights of his partner, Andy Dalziel (the eternally surly Warren Clarke), but his personal life keeps getting caught up in woeful crimes: When he attends a wedding as best man in “The Unwanted” or plays squash with an old friend in “Dialogues of the Dead,” murder crops up posthaste. And when he tries to date… well, it doesn’t work out well in “Mens Sana.” Not that Dalziel is much luckier; his only sister turns out to have a surprising connection with an investigation in “Sins of the Fathers.” “For Love Nor Money” doesn’t involve their personal lives, but it does implicate almost their entire police department in illicit activity. It’s suspicious, really, just how often Dalziel and Pascoe are intimately connected to the crimes they investigate…Such implausibilities aside, Dalziel & Pascoe is an intelligent detective series, more focused on character than many such shows. The leads have complex personalities and an even more complex relationship, while the recurring detectives (like the stoic and understated Wield, played by David Royle, and eager newbie Harris, played by Keeley Forsyth) routinely get moments where their individuality shines through…the other episodes are solid and engaging tales of greed getting out of hand, bitterness too long repressed, and secrets that can’t be kept any more…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageA place to call home. Season 2.
“Last year’s epic finale saw the lives of the Bligh family imploding. After paying off Bert to keep him quiet about his son James’ sexuality, George was furious when he attempted to extort more money from him. Shortly afterwards, Bert’s body was seen floating on the surface of the river. Who killed him? The first few minutes of season two will continue to keep everyone guessing. A seemingly typical morning at Ash Park is revealed to be something else entirely… Sarah moves into Ash Park and works to prove herself a fitting wife-to-be for George, while his mother Elizabeth plays a devious waiting game to see what Regina will unearth about Sarah’s past in Europe. Little does Sarah know, Elizabeth will uncover information that blows life as Sarah knows it sky-high. Which secrets will come out? And which secrets will be buried?…” (From Syndetics summary)

The Wellington City Libraries Ratings Project #4

Why does it take so long for things to be released on DVD? Why are some TV shows not released here at all, even though they are available in Australia?

New Zealand has its own ratings system that is different than Australia’s. Films & TV Shows that are rated ‘M’ in Australia can be cross-rated here at the same rating level. However anything that is rated an ‘M+’ in Australia has to be submitted to the Office of Film and Literature Classification for re-classification for the NZ market. Unfortunately since New Zealand’s DVD zone is at the end of the release market for a lot of material and, faced with such a small market, procedural costs then often become prohibitive to warrant general release by a commercial distributor.

We love TV shows at Wellington City Libraries, and we know you do too. Which is why we have initiated ‘The Ratings Project’, an ongoing mission to bring you the shows that you want to watch by submitting titles to the Film & Video Labeling Body, and the OFLC for classification.

With ‘The Ratings Project’ we aim to give you the complete ‘TV’ experience, whether we provide you with full run of your favourite TV shows, or surprise you with something new & different. We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions…

The majority of this month’s titles have not yet screened on NZ Television…

Cover imageWhite collar. The complete third season.
With his high cheekbones and piercing blue eyes, Matt Bomer plays con man Neal Caffrey with a smooth, handsome gloss. White Collar follows Caffrey’s adventures as a sort of indentured servant to the FBI, under the watchful eye of Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). At the end of the previous season, Caffrey found himself in possession of a trove of classical art recovered from a sunken Nazi U-boat. His moral quandary–whether or not to sell the art and run–is the thread woven throughout the season, tying together assorted single-episode high jinks about stolen objects like an Egyptian scarab amulet or a Stradivarius violin, a forged will that turns out to be a treasure map, and speed dating with a possible black widow murderess. Another element recurring over the course of the season: Both Peter and Neal are deviled by figures from their respective pasts–Peter’s former mentor (Beau Bridges) and Neal’s former partner (Ross McCall). Lies, false identities, and shifting allegiances are the bread and butter for White Collar…(Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageRake. The complete third series.
“The bar has been lowered … again. Criminal barrister, Cleaver Greene, is back, as reckless, brilliant, self destructive, funny and bloody minded as ever – and that’s just his private life. In Series Three, Cleaver languishes in prison, facing the consequences of his crimes and misbehaviours, while he awaits the outcome of his appeal. When the conviction is quashed at last, he discovers his world has grown even more chaotic in his absence. The proliferation of Royal Commissions, inquiries and corruption trials requires so many barristers, even Cleaver can find work. Over the series, Cleaver Greene finds himself inadvertently at the heart of a billion dollar moral, political and criminal dilemma…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageBlue bloods. The third season.
“All 23 episodes from the third season of the US drama following a family of New York cops headed by Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck). As well as the head of the family, Frank is the New York City Police Commissioner, following in the footsteps of his father, Henry (Len Cariou). Frank’s children also share his passion for law and order: Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is an NYC detective whose enthusiasm for justice often sees him bend the law himself, while Erin (Bridget Moynahan) works in the District Attorney’s office. Frank’s youngest child Jamie (Will Estes) is perhaps his favourite, but when Jamie enters the law and finds himself working on an investigation so secret even his father knows little about it, the celebrated name of the family in New York law and order circles could be threatened…” (Publishers’ description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover image
Winners & losers. Season 3.
“In season 3, the girls struggle to come to grips with the life-changing events that have befallen them. Bec must deal with the painful reality of Matt’s death, Frances’s sense of security is deeply affected following a terrifying episode, Jenny is adjusting to a new life in the wake of a bombshell secret shaking the Gross family to the core, and Sophie discovers her feelings for Doug re-emerging after she returns from a traumatic trip to Nairobi…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageBurn notice. Season seven.
“It all comes down to this—the thrilling final season of one of television’s hottest shows, where everything is finally revealed. Separated from his friends and family, and on the verge of losing it all, Michael Westen goes deep undercover, joining forces with a mysterious woman and infiltrating a sinister terrorist network. With time running out, Michael must do whatever it takes to stay alive and protect his loved ones; but now, he may be forced to go too far. Packed with explosive action and exciting plot twists, Burn Notice Season Seven comes fully equipped with exclusive bonus features available only on DVD…” (Publishers’ description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe adventures of Merlin. Series five.
“The fifth season of The Adventures of Merlin brings this spin on the Arthurian mythos to a richly satisfying conclusion. Previous seasons have sometimes veered toward portentousness or camp, but these 13 episodes hit the right note of gravitas without too much pomp, and the final episode is genuinely moving–with particular kudos to Bradley James as Arthur, whose portrait of an arrogant snob becoming a gracious and just king culminates in this last season. Merlin (Colin Morgan, still gawkily handsome) continues to keep his magic powers hidden while using them to bring Arthur’s vision of Camelot to fruition; Morgana (Katie McGrath, still lusciously imperious) burns more furiously with hatred and lust for revenge after having been imprisoned and tormented; Guinevere (Angel Coulby, striking a nice balance of regal and down-to-earth) is now the queen but undergoes her own dark trials. The fifth season achieves an epic sweep thanks to the dense storylines and the CGI-enhanced landscape, packed with gorgeously designed castles and ominous forests…Fortunately, the writers and directors have taken care to balance these big-picture elements with human details and intimacy…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageCase histories. Series 2.
“Jackson Brodie (Jason Isaacs – The Patriot; Harry Potter; Awake) returns with his unique brand of detective work in three new episodes of Case Histories set in the historic city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Based on Kate Atkinson’s fourth novel Started Early, Took My Dog, Jackson Brodie delves into more dark tragedies of the past that continue to resonate in the present, as he brings optimism and resolution to the lost and bereaved. In this series, Jackson’s life doesn’t get any simpler. Unable to turn down anyone in distress but also dealing with problems in his own life, Brodie struggles with his assistant playing detective; his complicated relationship with DI Louise Monroe; a surprising new girlfriend; and coping with being a father to a growing young woman. Series 2 also sees the return of Case Histories regulars Amanda Abbington (Open Doors, Being Human), Millie Innes (Single Father) and Zawe Ashton (Misfits)…” (Publishers’ description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe Dresden files. The complete series.
“The Dresden Files is about a wizard named Harry. “Good marketing,” a cynical observer notes in one episode from the Sci-Fi Channel’s one-season wonder based on the books by Jim Butcher. “Couldn’t you come up with something a little more original?” Actually, this series manages to be plenty original despite echoes of The X-Files and the 1970s cult classic The Night Stalker. Paul Blackthorne stars as Harry Dresden, a scruffy Chicago private eye whose gift comes in handy for children menaced by skinwalkers, or for offering Lt. Murphy (Valerie Cruz) of the Chicago police “an unconventional point of view” concerning grisly, bizarre cases involving werewolves, vampires, and other decidedly unfriendly spirits. The Dresden Files is a paranormal noir (para-noir?) that deftly balances genuine scares, hard-boiled moxie, and tongue-in-cheek humor, delivered with panache by “Bob” (Terrance Mann), an ancient English spirit who resides in a skull and gives.Harry supernatural assistance. Harry’s backstory–magician father, wizard mother, treacherous uncle–is revealed over the course of these 12 episodes…But even those who are unfamiliar with Butcher’s books or are not on the Sci-Fi Channel’s wavelength will be charmed…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageHu$tle. Series five.
“One of the BBC’s most enduring and rightly-popular drama series, it’s to the credit of the writing team of Hustle that they continue to generate so many intriguing set-ups for its team of confidence tricksters to tackle. The core set-up of Hustle is the same as before. There’s a gang of con artists, who continually get tempted by new scams and tricks, and are willing to travel the world to tackle them. Led by the likes of Adrian Lester (who returns after missing series four), Robert Glenister, the wonderful Robert Vaughn and new addition Kelly Adams, the Hustle crew also attract some welcome guest stars this time round. Bill Bailey, Tim McInnerny and Patrick Bergin are among the familiar faces that pop up. The real stars of Hustle, though, are the tightly-plotted scams themselves, and there are some corkers in series five. We get, for instance, some malarkey with an MP, a bullion heist, a spider’s web and the weaker entry, involving a diamond necklace. For the bulk of the series, though, it’s great fun waiting for the rug to be pulled, and the run ends on a terrific high to lead us neatly towards the already-commissioned sixth season. Given the standards that Hustle predominantly maintains for series five, of which all six episodes are on this disc, that’s a very good thing…” (From Amazon.co.uk review)