Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for . . .

Netflix and New Tricks.

First, Netflix. Still a great deal, even after their P.R. snafu.

New Tricks is a BBC-TV/Acorn Media crime drama series that my husband and I get through Netflix. 

The ambitious Sondra Pullman (Amanda Redman) gets demoted to head up the cold-case unit (UCOS) of the London Metropolitan Police. UCOS consists of Pullman, whose officiousness only partially hides her insecurity, and three old codgers that prove, alas, that old dogs really cant be taught new tricks. No matter. They solve cases the old fashioned way: they’re resourceful, clever and, occasionally, underhanded.

The old dogs, all retired policemen, are: Alun Armstrong as an obsessive-compulsive with a photographic memory; James Bolam as a widower who talks to his wife at her backyard shrine; and Dennis Waterman as a hyper-sexed ladies man withappropriately—daughters by three different ex-wives. While youre feeling affectionate toward these odd characters and their sometimes hilarious interaction, you might not notice that the crime plots in a few episodes are contrived.  

You could do lots worse than this series if youre a writer looking for a tutorial on: (a) creating interesting characters; and/or (b) crafting plots that explore and develop your charactersidiosyncrasies. 

The acting is excellent too, but I recommend you mute the theme song.

My husband and I have watched Seasons 1-5 already and all but the last two episodes of Season 6. That should tell you what we think about its entertainment value. Since Season 7 won’t be available to us until June, we’re casting around for a new view from the BBC. Any suggestions, yall?

P.S. N is also for News. My first published article is now online here. Close or minimize the pop-ups and it will be easier to find.


  1. My absolute favorite from PBS it's available on Netflix is the Downton Abby Series ( masterpiece theater), have you heard of it?

    They've aired the first two seasons on tv so far and season third season is to come. British aristocratic family living during the period of 1912-1920.

    There's a fantastic cast of characters for the family, plus the entire cast of servants adds a whole entire layer to the show, excellent.

    I enjoyed it so much I purchased the DVD's.

  2. I do love Netflix and crime shows so I'll definitely have to check this one out.

  3. We have New Tricks on the main BBC station in the UK. It's one of the few programmes that we regularly watch together. I can forgive them the odd dodgy crime plot because, for me, it's about the four of them. They have all featured in long term series in the past and so I feel that I know them.
    A to Z of Nostalgia

  4. Never heard of New Tricks, but luckily I do have Netflix so I can check it out. I'm also a huge fan of the BBC. Have you ever watched Doc Martin?

  5. Congratulations on your article!

  6. I'm not familiar with New Tricks. Sounds great. I don't think we get it here in Australia though.