Acorn TV has announced the programs that are coming to the AMC-owned streaming service in December. The Acorn TV December 2020 lineup includes the BBC One period drama A Suitable Boy, the TV series debut from Oscar-nominated director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, Mississippi Masala) and set in 1950s-era post-Partition India.
The Acorn TV December 2020 lineup also features the contemporary French family drama Réunions, the intimate orchestral concert special A Music Lover’s Guide to Murdoch Mysteries, and a virtual reunion of the cast and creators of the cult Canadian comedy series Slings & Arrows conducted by ATX TV, as well as a set of fun UK documentaries.
Acorn TV December 2020 Schedule (U.S. & Canada)
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 7
A SUITABLE BOY (Acorn TV Exclusive Series), Episodes 1 and 2 of 6
This BBC One sweeping period drama hit is the first television series directed by Academy Award-nominated film director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake) and adapted by Emmy-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride & Prejudice, Les Miserables) of the eponymous global bestseller by Vikram Seth – one of the longest novels in the English language.
This intimate, epic tale of life and love set in vibrant 1950s India tells the story of a 19-year-old spirited university student, Lata Mehra (Tanya Maniktala), who comes of age in North India, at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.
Lata seems to have her life already mapped out thanks to old traditions and an overbearing mother (Mahira Kakkar), who wants to find her a suitable husband, but torn between romance and responsibility and inspired by rebellious writers and daring new ideas, Lata is determined to decide her own future.
Meanwhile, wayward Maan (Bollywood leading man Ishaan Khatter) wants every drop of excitement from life, but when he becomes infatuated with the glamorous courtesan Saaeda Bai (Indian screening legend Tabu, The Life Of Pi), the consequences could be catastrophic. (2 EPS, 2020)
NOTHING TRIVIAL, Series 1
This warm, light-hearted New Zealand romantic drama from the creators of Outrageous Fortune centers on five very different, attractive characters in their 30s and 40s, who have one thing in common – they are all unhappy or unlucky in love. The series is about broken hearts, second chances and starting over at 40 and beyond, as the five protagonists answer weekly pub trivia questions about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Starring Shane Cortese (Outrageous Fortune), Tandi Wright (800 Words), Blair Strang (Go Girls), Nicole Whippy (Shortland Street) and Debbie Newby-Ward (Shortland Street). (13 EPS, 2011)
VICTORIAN FARM, Series 1
Frozen in time, lost in Victorian rural England, the Acton Scott Estate in Shropshire is the setting for this landmark BBC Two observational series. In a unique project, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn immerse themselves in the life of the Victorian farmer. Using the antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family over the centuries and laboring for a full calendar year, the team rediscover a forgotten world of skills, craft and knowledge – assisted by the ever-dwindling band of experts who try to keep such crafts alive – providing a fascinating insight into a pivotal time in agricultural history. (6 EPS, 2008)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14
A SUITABLE BOY (Acorn TV Exclusive Series), Episode 3 of 6
See series description above
RÉUNIONS (Acorn TV Exclusive Series, Foreign language, French)- NEW DATE, originally scheduled Nov. 23
In this heartwarming, contemporary French drama, two half-brothers who learn about each other’s existence after the death of their father inherit a hotel on the paradise island of Réunion. Since the hotel is on the verge of bankruptcy, Jérémy (Loup-Denis Elion) and Antoine (Nicolas Bridet) and their respective families make huge sacrifices in working together to turn things around.
Chloe (Laëtitia Milot), Jérémy’s companion, is immensely excited by the prospect of moving to the island with its stunning white sandy beaches and sees it as the ideal opportunity to start a new life, where the couple can leave behind their massive debts. She plunges herself enthusiastically into management with Jérémy and Antoine, who are from different races and economic classes. But things are not as rosy as they seem. This series explores the importance of family, parenthood and the class divide. (6 EPS, 2020, with English subtitles)
SLINGS & ARROWS VIRTUAL REUNION
Celebrate the critically-acclaimed, cult Canadian comedy Slings & Arrows series with a virtual reunion taped in October 2020, by ATX TV. The participants include cast and creators Bob Martin, Susan Coyne, Mark McKinney, Martha Burns, Luke Kirby and Paul Gross. Called “the single best TV show about theater ever made” by New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum (who moderated the panel), “absolutely addictive” (New York Times) and “outrageously entertaining” (NPR), Slings & Arrows mines dramatic and comic gold from the personal and professional crises of a dysfunctional theatre troupe.
The backstage bedlam mirrors the onstage angst as each season transports us to one of three Shakespeare masterpieces—Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear. All three seasons of Slings & Arrows are streaming now on Acorn TV. (TV special, 2020)
VERY SMALL BUSINESS
This series explores the unlikely relationship between two characters – a pairing of dodginess and integrity, set against the backdrop of good old Australian enterprise. Don Angel (Wayne Hope, Stupid Stupid Man) is a small businessman – the backbone of this great country’s great economy. But after numerous unsuccessful business ventures, Don’s one-man publishing empire called Worldwide Business Group is hurtling towards liquidation – his debts are mounting, his stomach’s killing him, his wife has left him and he’s just hired Ray Leonard (Kim Gyngell, Top of the Lake) as his journalist.
Taking his first tentative steps back into the workplace after a six-year battle with depression, Ray enters a world totally alien to him. He’s come from being a noted feature writer for The Australian to writing advertorial for “Wilson’s Woodwind and Brass Autumn Sale,” which might just be his cure. It’s a marriage made in heaven – at least until the Tax Office gets there. (6 EPS, 2008)
GROWING UP GRACEFULLY
From sister comedy duo Hannah and Eliza Reilly and celebrated Australian producer Julian Morrow (The Chaser, The Letdown), this humorous series explores what it means to be a woman in the 21st century, weighing in on broad and universal themes including courtship, sex, career and spirituality. After discovering the 1950s teen advice book “Growing Up Gracefully,” Hannah and Eliza ask themselves – as two misguided twenty-somethings growing up in a generation raised by the internet – how do we learn to become fully functioning adults?
As they take on the six key milestones of adulthood, Hannah – the reckless party girl – road tests the stuffy ladies etiquette of the past, and Eliza – the dorky home body -is forced to follow the new-fangled women’s advice of today. A social media sensation, skits from the series reached over 10 million people on Facebook alone, with #GrowingUpGracefully trending nationally on Twitter – reaching over 3.5 million people during the show’s premiere season on ABC TV in Australia. (6 EPS, 2017)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21
A SUITABLE BOY (Acorn TV Exclusive Series), Episode 4 of 6
See series description above
In this New Zealand action-packed movie, undercover cop John Lawless (Kevin Smith, Hercules, Xena: The Warrior Princess) is wrongly accused of murder. He must enlist the help of friends from both sides of the law to prove his innocence and bring the real culprits to justice. From the production company behind the Oscar nominated film Whale Rider, this film also stars Angela Dotchin (Shortland Street) as Jodie Keane, the quick-thinking police office assistant and Lawless’ necessary ally; Joel Tobeck (Topless Women Talk About Their Lives, Young Hercules); Susan Brady (Shortland Street, Marlin Bay) and Elizabeth Hawthorne (Shortland Street, Savage Honeymoon, The Frighteners). (TV Movie, 1999)
NOTHING TRIVIAL, Series 2
See description above. (13 EPS, 2012)
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24
A MUSIC LOVER’S GUIDE TO MURDOCH MYSTERIES
Acorn TV typically delights fans with the new season of Murdoch Mysteries on Christmas Eve, but production has been delayed this year due to COVID-19. So the producers of this long-running, award-winning Canadian series have created a behind-the-scenes music special with a seven-piece ensemble from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to perform a concert of Murdoch-era music (circa early 1900s.) Hosted by the Detective William Murdoch himself (Yannick Bisson), this intimate special was taped on the set of Murdoch Mysteries on September 25, 2020. (TV Special)
VICTORIAN FARM: CHRISTMAS
Following the success of BBC Two’s Victorian Farm series, three more one-hour specials look at the lives of 19th Century farmers. Filmed in and around the Acton Scott Estate in Shropshire, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn return to the Estate to tackle an array of new farming tasks; to explore life in the wider working countryside; and discover in depth how the Victorians created the celebration of Christmas as we know it today – from greeting cards and Christmas Carols to the rich array of festive food they put on the table. (3 EPS, 2009)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 28
A SUITABLE BOY (Acorn TV Exclusive Series), Episode 5 of 6
See series description above
SENSITIVE SKIN, Series 2
This is the story of a woman of a certain age (Kim Cattrall, The Witness for the Prosecution) and her longtime husband (Don McKellar, Last Night), who have sold their family home and moved downtown to a hip condo in a transitional neighborhood in a conscious effort to change their lives, to keep relevant, to begin again. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens. (6 EPS, 2016)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: HAVING A BALL
This BBC documentary celebrating the 200th anniversary of “Pride and Prejudice” reveals the hidden world behind one of the greatest love stories of all time by restaging an early 19th Century Regency ball at Chawton House, the grand estate of Jane Austen’s brother in an idyllic corner of the English countryside. Amanda Vickery and Alastair Sooke lead a team of world-class experts as they reconstruct the ball in loving detail, from music and dancing to food and fashion.
We unpack the surprising truth about every aspect of Regency life, on location at the house where Jane Austen’s brother used to live and where she herself spent many happy hours. The film’s climax is a stunning, authentic ball inspired by Austen’s Netherfield dance, a turning point in the romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. (TV Movie, 2013)