Staff Picks: Cozy Up to a Great TV Series this Winter

Posted by Aaron on

The library’s DVD collection is a hot spot for patrons, but if you’re not a frequent visitor, you may not know that tucked in among the action movies and comedies are many TV series that are perfect for binge watching during winter months. From book adaptations to mysteries, there’s something on the shelf for everyone. Read on to learn about some of our favorites.

For many viewers (like me), Downton Abbey was the phenomenon that turned them onto BBC TV productions, and for good reason. Set in the early 20th century, this addictive British drama retells history through the eyes of the aristocratic Crawley family members and their servants in fascinating (and somewhat soapy) form during the changing times of World War I and its aftermath. The cast, the costumes, the characters – everything clicks in this exceptional award winner.

~Emily, Library Clerk, Warrenton central library

I found A Place to Call Home very engaging and similar to “Downton Abbey,” only set in Australia in the 1950s.  The family is wealthy and has all the soapy problems of “Downton,” but the story is updated to the time period, with an overbearing mother, a gay son, pregnancy, loose lifestyle, etc. Women’s issues are prominent and the scenery is beautiful as well.

~Muriel, Library Associate, Warrenton central library

Call the Midwife depicts midwifery and family life in 1950s East London. As each story unfolds you become engrossed in the joy of new life, the pain of loss and the struggle of remarkable choices. Each episode includes insight into the lives of the midwives, their patients, the community and the nuns who help mentor and guide the young women.  The most recent seasons of this series take on deep controversial issues and prejudices of the time.

~Kathie, Library Clerk, Warrenton central library

BBC dramatizations of the works of Charles Dickens are generally well done but one I think is exceptionally great is the 2005 production of Bleak House. Everything about it is superb: the acting, the costumes, and of course the incomparable story-telling of Dickens. If you have about 8 hours to indulge in great British drama, I would highly recommend this three-disc set.

~Ellie, Library Associate, Warrenton central library

Sherlock is the 21st century version of some of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, written in the late 1860s through the early part of the 20th century. The inventive writing and filming of this series, which features gadgets and technology available to this contemporary Sherlock, results in a fast-paced, visually beautiful, and entertaining mystery series. The ensemble of actors is truly terrific, including Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, and Rupert Graves as DI Lestrade. The much-anticipated fourth season has just hit the screen, so come in and check out Seasons 1-3 to get caught up.

~Cheryl, Library Clerk, Warrenton central library

I highly recommend the hit mystery drama series Broadchurch. One of my favorites, Season 1, will grab your attention in the first 5 minutes and never let go! When the body of 11-year-old Danny Latimer is found on the beach along the coast of Dorset, police detectives (played compellingly by David Tennant and Olivia Colman) are called to investigate. Amid  the town’s visual beauty, suspicions mount, the mystery deepens, and residents’ secrets are revealed.  Give “Broadchurch” a try and you’ll be hooked.

~Carol, Library Clerk, Warrenton central library

For history enthusiasts, Ken Burns’ The Civil War is a must-see. The series features the likes of Sam Waterston, Jason Robards, Morgan Freeman, Garrison Keillor, and Colleen Dewhurst providing voice-over recitations of firsthand accounts of battlefield strategy, politics, and experiences on the homefront. Set to the sweeping imagery of Matthew Brady’s photography, this acclaimed series is insightful and affecting. Other exceptional history series include The West and John Adams.

Happy viewing from your Warrenton central library circulation staff!

Book listsreviews from our book clubs and favorites from library staff are great resources when searching for your next book. Check them out online or stop by the reference desk at your local library.

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