From the time I was 8 years old, when I found late night British comedies on PBS, I was hooked on foreign television. The humor was so different from America and I fell in love with it. From that point on I made it a goal to find T.V. shows from other countries. Thanks now to video streaming and the internet you can experience the joy of T.V. shows from all over the world. Below are four that are favorites of mine and hopefully will be yours as well. As of this date all of these shows can be found on Netflix.
1. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries-Australia
There are so many reasons why I fell in love with this show. Firstly, we get an unmarried by choice, feminist heroine who seems to be in her 30’s or 40’s (its’ about we get a lead with a bit of experience under her belt instead of the usual 20 something), it’s set in the 1920’s with incredible costuming, scenery, cars, planes, loveable characters, and it’s full of adventure. This isn’t a show just for women either. I can say without a doubt my husband has watched this series from start to finish several times and I’m guessing he might have a bit of a crush on her. No worries honey, I adore her too!
Phryne Fisher as the leading character, is a wealthy aristocrat, turned lady-detective living in Melbourne. With her sweet and very helpful maid, her adoring butler, and her rag-tag taxi-drivers she gets any job done. Of course let us not forget the handsome and charming Jack Robinson, chief detective who steps in when someone gets in her way. If there is a rule to be broken, whether it be to solve a mystery, help a friend, or just live the life she chooses, she will. She is bold, aggressive and very charming. With her gold pearl-handled pistol she shimmies up a drainpipes or poses as someone else to get the clues she needs and she certainly isn’t afraid of her sexuality. What is there not to love about this show?
Oh, and it seems a movie is now in the works as well. Miss Fisher will hook you from the first episode and you’ll see why millions all over the world love her as much as I do.
2. Doc Martin-U.K.
What things can I say about why I love the show Doc Martin when there is so much to choose from? Let me give it a try. Dr. Martin Ellingham, a London-based surgeon who, out of the blue, acquires an aversion to blood, decides to relocate to the beautiful seaside village of Portwenn, where he is hired as the towns general practitioner.
He quickly meets many of the towns country locals who are eccentric, oblivious, and in his mind down-right ignorant. Not helping matters is his complete lack of bedside manner and impatience, which bewilders and angers the resident’s in hilarious ways. Not only is he grumpy, abrupt and intolerant, when it comes to his job, but life in general, as he lacks social skills of any kind. However, even with all of that, many of the town’s people look up to him and rely on him. Somehow he even gains the interest of the beautiful and intelligent Louisa Glasson, who is the schools head-mistress.
This show is sweet and oh-so-funny, with dramatic moments which will make you think. You will laugh at the shenanigans of the resident’s and Martin’s social and medical struggles and the scenery and music is charming and beautiful.
Doc Martin’s season 8 is in the works, which will be it’s last of the series.
3. Murdoch Mysteries-Canada
From the first episode of Murdoch Mysteries I was definitely entertained but it wasn’t until a few in when I decided that I was hooked. As I continued with the series I got to know the characters better and I found I was enjoying each episode more than the last.
Set in the 1890s, William Murdoch uses, unusual-for-it’s-time forensic techniques which include fingerprinting, trace evidence and testing scenarios, which you might find on an episode of Myth Busters in order to solve murders. Detective Murdoch is assisted by three other characters who help him solve his cases. There is Inspector Brackenreid, who is gruff and old-fashioned and always skeptical of the unique ways Murdoch does things, however, he’s grudgingly supportive. Then there is Doctor Julia Ogden the brilliant and modern feminist, which Murdoch can’t help but be attracted to. Lastly, we have Constable George Crabtree who wants to be a novelist and comes up with inventive ideas, always assisting Murdoch to the end.
Detective Murdoch deals not only with more modern ways of doing forensics but also letting go of old-fashioned and out-dated societal ways as he moves forward into the new modern world. He can be staunch but also open-minded and allows himself to “let his hair down” so to speak. The mysteries are interesting and his relationship with the other characters are thought-provoking and fun to watch. All in all I can’t get enough of Murdoch Mysteries.
I’m happy to report, this show is still going strong. It has been renewed for a season 10.
4. The Almighty Johnsons-New Zealand
When I first watched The Almighty Johnsons I was thinking to myself, what exactly am I watching here and why should I continue watching? Well, I’m so happy I continued on and found out why this show is already a bit of a cult hit even though it lasted only 3 seasons.
This series is a comedy-drama about four brothers, raised in heartland New Zealand, who also happen to be the living incarnations of Norse Gods. At the age of 21 they each learn which god they are and even come with their own god-like powers. Well, to be honest, they aren’t all that powerful, but now that the youngest brother has learned he is Odin, the god of the gods, things are about to change.
Here we bring in some Goddesses who aren’t too happy about the change and although these feisty, strong and intelligent women start out as enemies of the brothers, they all soon find common ground. This show is funny and exciting with twists and turns that will leave you smiling and wondering what will happen next.
After I finished season 3 I was truly sad and longed for more. So what did I do? I started it over and watched it all again!
If you’ve watched any of these shows, tell us your thoughts in the comments below..