Streaming services are becoming ubiquitous. Disney is launching its own service this fall. Apple has one coming soon. NBCU recently announced plans to launch one early next year. FX already has one. There's one strictly for anime. Basically, no matter your tastes or viewing preferences, there is a streaming service out there for you, so long as you know where to look. And if you're into British or international programming, you should consider looking into subscribing to Acorn TV.
The largest streaming service specializing in British television, Acorn TV is just $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. It is both affordable and offers a variety of programming, including a huge selection of those moody international murder mysteries that you can't get enough of. So, while you consider signing up for yet another streaming service, here are nine very good reasons why you should look into subscribing to Acorn TV in 2019.
1. The Hour
Acorn TV is now the streaming home of The Hour, a 1950s-set drama unfairly canceled before its time (in our humble opinion). The series focused on the men and women behind a current affairs news program, also titled The Hour, that was launched by the BBC during the Suez Crisis. Golden Globe winner Ben Whishaw, whom you probably know as the voice of Paddington and star of Mary Poppins Returns, appears as Freddie Lyons, an ambitious journalist and co-producer of the program who goes to great and sometimes dangerous lengths to uncover the truth about a Communist spy program operating in the U.K. Romola Garai appears as Bel Rowley, the producer of the show-within-the-show and Freddie's best friend. Meanwhile, Dominic West stars as Hector Madden, the host of the program.
2. Agatha Raisin
Do you love murder mysteries but always wish there was more wacky humor and hijinks to them? Then Agatha Raisin is the detective series you've been waiting for. Based on the series of novels by M.C. Beaton, Agatha Raisin stars Ashley Jensen as the titular fictional detective who has packed up and moved to the Cotswolds to live a slower, quieter life. She discovers she has a talent for detective-ing after investigating a single crime, and that's a good thing because there are a lot of murders that seem to happen in Agatha's vicinity. Along with her new village friends and her former assistant, Agatha solves said murders, and looks quite fashionable while doing it. Acorn TV just renewed the program for a third season, so now is the perfect time to hop on board.
3. Ms. Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries
If you loved the addictive Australian series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and of course you did because it was a great show with even better fashion, you'll be happy to know that Acorn TV is the exclusive North American partner for its new 1960s-set spin-off Ms. Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries. The series follows Phryne's niece, Peregrine Fisher (Geraldine Hakewill), who inherits a windfall after Phryne, whom she's sadly never met, goes missing over New Guinea. Naturally, she sets out to become a private detective because that is obviously the dream we all have after learning about the wonderful Phryne Fisher.
4. Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears
Did we forget to mention that Acorn TV is also going to be the streaming home for the new Miss Fisher movie Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears? The follow-up film features the return of Essie Davis and Nathan Page as the Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, respectively, and we'll hopefully get a resolution as to whether or not those two will actually, finally get together for real... not that it is at all important to an independent and confident woman like Phryne, of course. The movie, which finds everyone's favorite glamorous P.I. on an adventure through the Middle East as she searches for an ancient treasure, will also see the return of Miriam Margolyes as Aunt Prudence and Ashleigh Cummings as Phryne's assistant Dot. (Acorn also has the entire series available to stream as well, though it is available on Netflix too.)
Yes, it is true that Detectorists, a BAFTA Award-winning comedy set in a small town in Essex, is technically also available to stream on Hulu, but that doesn't mean it can't also be an incentive to subscribe to Acorn TV. The delightful and subtly surprising series revolves around the lives of Andy (Mackenzie Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones), members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club, as they search for treasure. If you dig in, you might find that the real treasure is the show itself.
6. The work of Agatha Christie
By now you can probably tell that engaging mysteries make up a lot of Acorn's offerings — and that's great because you can never have too many mystery dramas, especially those of the British variety — but the service's enthralling adaptations of Agatha Christie's popular work regularly stand out. In particular, BBC One's 2015 adaptation of And Then There Were None, which starred Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Aidan Turner, Miranda Richardson, Burn Gorman and a whole lot of other people you definitely recognize, is a real highlight. And if you're a fan of Christie's work in general (and why wouldn't you be?), you have to check out Acorn's collection of series that adapt it.
7. Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages
If you, like us, have ever dreamt of escaping your stressful life to relocate to a picturesque village in the English countryside where you can relax and enjoy a slower life, Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages is exactly the show for you. In each episode, the renowned actress visits a number of remote, quaint villages around the country to dig into what exactly makes said villages special beyond their obviously peaceful aesthetic. Trust us, you'll want to pack up and move after just one episode.
8. Foyle's War
The beloved detective series Foyle's War, which starred Michael Kitchen and was set during (and shortly after) World War II, was available to stream on Netflix until last year. However, the series, which ran for 28 episodes between 2002 to 2015, is now exclusively streaming on Acorn TV. So suck it, Netflix! Long live Acorn TV!
9. All the new shows constantly coming your way
This should be obvious, but Acorn TV is constantly adding new programming and has started branching out into original programming too. If you subscribe you'll be able to watch programs like London Kills, a compelling new series about a murder investigation team led by a detective whose wife has disappeared; Manhunt, the ITV ratings smash starring Martin Clunes, which tells the real-life story of how the murder of a French woman revealed a serial killer; and Queens of Mystery, a quirky series about a female detective and her three aunts who are well-known crime writers and help her solve mysteries.