Thanks to a tip from our niece, Theresa, we’ve discovered a promising mystery show on A&E. Longmire, based on a series of award winning novels by Chris Johnson, premiered in June, 2012. Now in its second season, the first years’ shows are available on Netflix.
In the pilot, we find Walt Longmire (played by Australian actor, Robert Taylor), sherif of the fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, returning to work a year after his wife’s death. He gets a call from his deputy, Vic (aka Victoria, played by Katee Sackhoff), formerly a Philadelphia homicide detective. Joining her on a remote ridge, they discover a dead sheep and a dead man, both killed by bullets from an antique Sharps rifle.
The victim is a teacher whose wife thought he was in Laramie. With more digging and the help of his Cheyenne Indian friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), Longmire discovers the dead man was the father of a 16 year old girl whose Cheyenne mother reported her missing three months earlier. That could present new problems; Longmire isn’t popular on “the Res,” having jailed the tribe’s chief for extortion. A gun expert warns Longmire that the Sharps rifle can kill a horse at 500 yards. Such an antique sniper’s weapon would only be used “by a coward or a professional, and both can be very dangerous.”
Longmire echoes the square-jawed defenders of justice from earlier era westerns – he reminds me of the McLoud mysteries that starred Dennis Weaver from 1970-77. This show, like our times, is darker and more full of angst than the earlier series. Look for the show on Monday’s on A&E, or on Netflix. I plan to.
Readers of this blog know I am a fan of things Icelandic and a fan of The Simpsons. I was delighted last night to discover a little known saga on the final show of season 24 of our longest running television show.
If I’d only been more active last week on Facebook, where I follow The Simpsons, I would have been able to pass along advanced notice, but sooner or later, “The Saga of Carl Carlson” will show up on Hulu, so here is a brief description to whet your appetite.
When the gang at Moe’s tavern wins the lottery, Carl mysteriously disappears with the loot. Lenny, Moe and Homer track him to Iceland, his native country since he was adopted by the Carlson clan as a child. His pursuers learn that his goal is to clear the family name from a stain in a thousand year old saga.
Greed hangs in the balance with male bonding, but at last Homer speaks up in defense of Carl. There are some great scenes of volcanoes, tiny horses, and northern lights, as well as appearances by Sigur Ros, the internationally known Icelandic band. They provide the soundtrack as well, and their own take on the theme song.
Reunited at last back at Moe’s, Homer reflects on the strength of male friendship: “We don’t get together to share our feelings, we come here to escape them!”
“The Saga of Carl Carlson.” Remember that if you are a Simpson’s fan and missed the show. Check back on Hulu. This episode is a lot of fun.
The Vikings – a new, 9 part series on the History Channel
On Sunday night, I watched episode one of The Vikings, a new dramatic series on the History Channel that begins with the ambitions of an 8th century Scandinavian warrior and farmer, Ragnar Lothbrok, who has heard rumors of wealthy places to the west called England and Ireland.
I was especially interested in the series after visiting Iceland last fall and delving into Icelandic sagas which chronicle the same culture 200 years later, after they’ve mastered the art of navigation on the open sea. (search on “Iceland” on this blog to see the writings and photos that followed that trip). All the details on episode one fit what I learned in terms of historical accuracy. I’m looking forward to watching the next eight episodes in the series.
Episode one depicted a violent culture, but one with its own detailed code of honor. In that respect, it mirrored the Old Testament world presented in episode one of “The Bible,” which came on next on the History Channel. Plenty of smiting in both cultures.
I recommend the series. Anyone who is interested can check out episode one on Hulu: The Vikings on Hulu.