Thursday, February 22, 2007

I've been enjoying some terrific DVD's lately. I started a Netflix subscription over a year ago, and while it has its glitches, (movies that get hung up in the mail, scratched or damaged movies, the futile attempts to contact a living person in customer service, etc.) you can't beat the variety of entertainment they provide. While I'd rather support a local video store, I know that there's no way they can stock the kind of quirky things I've been renting. It's kind of sad to see the end of the neighborhood video place. They've gone through many changes over the past 20 years, but I doubt that they can adapt to this.

But back to what I've been watching.

One way or another I came upon this series, The Duchess of Duke Street:
I'm completely taken with this program, which was produced in the mid-1970's. Here's a blurb from

The Duchess of Duke Street is the story of the rise of Louisa Leyton (Gemma Jones) from kitchen maid to the most famous cook in England. Her hotel, the Bentinck on Duke Street, is the turn of the century setting for her affair with Charlie Tyrell (Christopher Cazenove), her run-ins with family members, the activities of her high society guests and the lives of her faithful staff. Over two series this BBC Production tells an interesting and eventful twenty year story which also provides a fascinating insight into life in the early 20th century.

The acting is phenomenal, and is enhanced by the wonderful writing. And the sets...oh my....the sets. The sets pay attention to every little detail in a Victorian household, and the costumes are incredible. Apart from the acting and stories, from time to time several cooking scenes are part of an episode. Cooking was quite an art in those kitchens and those scenes are fascinating.

I've been enjoying another program, called Foyle's War. They are detective stories, set in a seaside town in England during World War II. This is another series with great writing and story lines. From PBS: World War II has just begun and England looks all but doomed in the face of an inevitable German invasion. Still, someone has to fight crime on the home front. And I'm in love with Inspector Foyle, a quiet, unassuming and intellegent character.

And at the other end of the spectrum, Dave and I have started watching Season 2 of "24". No quiet, subtle story lines here. Lots of banging and shoot-em up, and sometimes really silly with how serious it takes itself, but entertaining none the less.

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