With so many streaming services these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the flood of superheroes, reboots and original content. Viewers who favor slow-paced, character-driven stories that opt for sprawling vistas over special effects should add Acorn TV to their queue.
Specializing in programs “from Britain and beyond,” Acorn offers standards such as “Foyle’s War” and Agatha Christie’s Marple and Poirot series (the latter starring David Suchet). And it is the only place in the U.S. to stream the third series of “Detectorists.”
These are five must-watch series now airing on Acorn:
This is a languorous, offbeat comedy about Andy (Mackenzie Crook, who writes and directs as well) and Lance (Toby Jones), best mates who spend their free time metal detecting and take it oh-so seriously. The lush British countryside is a gorgeous co-star along with Rachael Stirling and Diana Rigg. Series 3 is available to stream now.
A dark, psychological and wholly unique export from Sweden’s Yellow Bird (also responsible for Swedish-language versions of Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy), here adapting Åsa Larsson’s books. The first two episodes set up the series when Rebecka (Ida Engvoll), a hotshot attorney in Stockholm, learns a childhood friend in her hometown — the far northern village of Kurravaara (pop. 57 in 2005) — has died.
Lèa Morel goes out with her friends the night before she turns 17, but never comes home in this French thriller. The male- gaze falls heavily on Lèa, leaving plenty of suspects, but the series is as much about the effect her vanishing has on her family. It doesn’t totally stick the landing, but it’s still hard to look away. Stella Trotonda (Lèa’s kid sister Zoé) is insanely charismatic, in a Drew Barrymore in “E.T.” scene-stealing way.
‘And Then There Were None’
Ten people on an island try to stay alive (literally, not in the “Survivor” sense) in this star-studded (Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson) three-part telling of the Agatha Christie classic.
Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) lives on wine and cigarettes and views customers to his bookshop as major inconveniences. Manny (Bill Bailey) is his de facto manservant and Fran (Tamsin Greig) his best friend. These three make the crew from “Seinfeld” look like humanists. Open a bottle and laugh a lot.