The Watchman: Netflix Visits Dark Ages England, 'Agatha Raisin' Makes Some Movies, Bravo Gets 'Dirty'

Deputy editor Michael Malone’s weekly look at the programming scene
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Netflix's "The Last Kingdom"

"The Last Kingdom"

Season Three of The Last Kingdom begins on Netflix Monday, Nov. 19. King Alfred’s plan to unite the kingdoms of England is jeopardized by attacks from those pesky Danes. Alexander Dreymon plays Danish warrior Uhtred.

“The season starts off with him in a very peaceful place,” Dreymon said, “which is very uncharacteristic for him.”

It doesn’t last.

The show is set in the ninth century. Dreymond’s highlight of the new season is a scene Uhtred shares with David Dawson’s Alfred the Great. It’s a bit of a “bromance” between he and Dawson, said Dreymond. “It’s been an amazing journey, working with him,” he said.

He promises “a huge roller-coaster ride” for Uhtred. “It’s so beautiful getting a chance to play a character that really changes,” Dreymon said.

Sticking with the England theme, Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham premieres on Acorn TV Nov. 19. Ashley Jensen plays Agatha, London PR ace turned amateur sleuth in the Cotswolds. Wizard of Evesham sees Raisin return from Cyprus with a broken heart and seriously frizzy hair.

It is the first of three Raisin movies, which means more romantic possibilities for the characters, Jensen said, and a few more red herrings tossed in. And, of course, fresh adventures for Agatha. “It’s always fun to play a character who doesn’t take no for an answer,” said Jensen, who plays Fran on Amazon comedy Catastrophe.

Her character has a lot to offer viewers, Jensen said. “She’s a strong female lead, she’s unapologetic, and she has an amazing wardrobe.”

Bravo's "Dirty John"

And Bravo kicks off ambitious limited series Dirty John on Sunday, Nov. 25. The series stars Connie Britton and Eric Bana, and is based on the articles and podcast from Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard. A whirlwind romance between Britton’s Debra and Bana’s Meehan spirals into some nasty stuff.

“A great story is a great story, whether it’s an article or a book or a podcast,” said Richard Suckle, executive producer.

Or a TV series. Suckle calls Dirty John “a great whodunit” and a “very relatable story.”

Bana’s character is indeed named John, and he’s definitely dirty. The title is a nod to his nickname in college, which Debra learns while seeing a wedding video involving her new husband and his buds.

Bravo is on board for a second season, too. Suckle said it will be “a complete reset” and “a completely new story.”

The podcast is a smash. Initial plans had Dirty John premiering in 2019, but Bravo pushed to have it out sooner. “It just seemed like, the sooner we get it out, the better it would be,” Suckle said, “since the story would still be in people’s minds and in their consciousness.”

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