Stream On: So much TV – so little time, part one

By on July 31, 2019

Ian McShane and Brian Cox in Deadwood (

Back in the Day, you would turn on the TV and usually end up watching the least objectionable programming you could find. Times have surely changed; now we turn on the TV and find ourselves in the middle of the largest candy store in the world.

So, what’s to watch?

A simple search on the internet will bring up no end of scribes’ top-ten binge-able shows, but I’m going to go a little deeper and list some of my favorite lesser-known series in no particular order save for broad groupings by type.

My favorite, and so far the alpha and omega to me, multiple rewatchings of which are still yielding new delights, is Deadwood. The masterwork of one of the greatest TV writers, David Milch (who also created NYPD Blue, another top choice), it’s an exploration of how order comes from chaos, expressed here by the transformation of a 19th century Dakotas-territory gold mining camp into a “proper” city.

Milch took the historic characters as a starting point for his meditations and created a rich universe where the protagonist is a pragmatic scoundrel who ran the first Saloon in the mining camp and his cohort, which included Teddy Roosevelt’s best friend and Wild Bill Hickock; the main antagonist being George Hearst (father of William Randolph). The language the denizens used is King James Bible plus Shakespeare leavened with plenty of frontier profanity, on Milch’s notion of the two books that literate homes of the period were sure to own.

Deadwood can be streamed on HBO or Amazon Prime; a 2019 2-hour movie that wraps it up after its premature 2006 termination is available on HBO.

The next series that comes to mind is the criminally underrated The Killing,  a 4-season police procedural now available on Hulu and Amazon Prime. The drama begins with a missing teenager and turns into a study of addiction, political and press corruption, family, and the chaotic lives of the two protagonist Seattle detectives who catch the case. Those characters are brilliantly written, with good dogs and bad battling inside each, and you will miss them when the show is over.

The Killing is avilable on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

That reminds me of The Bridge. While The Killing was based on a Danish show, The Bridge (Bron/Broen) is an original Danish/Swedish series (with subtitles) about a crime discovered smack in the middle of the bridge between Denmark and Sweden that takes an unexpected turn upon investigation by another quirky pair of detectives, a big promiscuous teddy bear of a Danish detective and his full-on OCD Swedish counterpart. Here the characters and the plot are ingenious gems.

The Bridge can be seen on Hulu; an American remake was attempted, but the critics were not kind to it.

The very talented stars of  The Killing, Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnamon, are in a current Amazon Prime series called Hanna, which is nothing like their earlier gig, but entertaining enough that I am eagerly awaiting its second season. In a bit of nearly science fiction, the title character is a teenage girl, raised as an experiment by an off-book CIA group to be an assassin. She is rescued by her dissenting dad (Kinnamon) and sought by an operative from the aforementioned group (Enos).

Hanna I thought a bit broad at first, but the impeccable acting, good direction and ingenious plot, not to mention some terrific action set-pieces, had me before long. It’s about families, however they are formed, through blood or other means, and the attendant themes of loyalty and duty.

Next time I’ll begin with David Milch’s NYPD Blue and take off from there.

Click here for more Stream On: What to Watch on TV columns by Pete Hummers

Dare County Animal Shelter

Sealed bids for completion of the Dare County Animal Shelter will be received on February 11, 2020, in the Dare County Administration Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, NC, for 01-Fencing, 03- Concrete, 04-Masonry, 05-Metals/ Steel, 06-Casework, 07-Roofing, 07-Caulking, 08-Glass and Glazing, 08-Doors, Frames and Hardware, 08-Overhead Doors, 09-Drywall, 09-Flooring, 09-Painting, 10- Specialties, 12-Furnishings, 21-Fire Protection, 23-Mechanical & Plumbing, 26-Electrical, 31-Sitework and 32-Landscaping.

This project will be bid and awarded in accordance with North Carolina law. Sealed proposals from Contractors will be received until 1:00 p.m. All bidders must submit for prequalification by 2:00pm on 2/3/2020. Bids submitted by non-prequalified bidders will not be considered. All bids will be opened and read aloud starting at 2:00 p.m. of the bid day. Bids must be delivered in person and on the supplied Bid Form and include a bid deposit worth 5% of the total bid value. Electronic and faxed bids will NOT be accepted or reviewed. All times are local prevailing times.

Information requests concerning the project shall be submitted in writing to: Alex Palagyi of The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company via email (

Bidding material, prequalification material, and complete plans and specifications may be obtained from the Whiting-Turner Building Connected site and will be available until the bid due date. All subcontractors are responsible for emailing Alex Palagyi ( for access to the Building Connected site.

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and Dare County reserve the right to reject any and all bids, waive informalities and irregularities in bidding, and to accept bids which are considered to be in the best interest of the County. The Whiting Turner Contracting Company and Dare County also reserve the right to require any bidder to submit information needed to determine if said bidder is responsible within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. 143-129.

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  • John B

    The Tunnel ( a joint french/british production) takes the idea to the Chunnel. the female lead, in my opinion, is outstanding. There are several series, all building on the first series story line. Really good television.

    Wednesday, Aug 7 @ 10:53 am