What to Watch When You’re Staying In

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I admit it Tomatoes, I am a television addict since my childhood, and I thought I should start to put this fact to good use.  So, I’m launching The Three Tomatoes “Confessions of a TV Addict.” Because I love the art form when it is very, very good and I have my particularly discerning and sometimes unique tastes of what deserves a looksee, I want to share those recommendations with you Tomatoes on a regular basis. Remember, it is just one Tomato’s perspective and it might help guide you through all the streaming services available and the overwhelming vast array of series offerings.

“Vera British” Crime Drama Series

 “Vera” is the longest running ITV series with a female lead, especially one that looks like a real woman and just premiered it’s 10th season on Britbox.  Previous seasons can be found on other streaming services, but the new season can only be found on Britbox.  I have adored this show for all of its many seasons, especially the lead female character, Vera. 

Vera is the boss and I love it when a woman is the boss, is blunt, feisty, extremely passionate and the brilliant head homicide detective with a kind heart and a supreme sense of justice. It is such a treat to see a very busy, stressed, crotchety, no frills, powerful Tomato who just throws herself together with a trench coat to get to the latest murder. It is so refreshing to see instead of a fashionably dressed, perfectly made up and coifed skinny actress in a role where she would  normally be lucky if she could grab a shower and a bite to eat.

Actress, Brenda Blethyn has made the character of Vera Stanhope quite delicious and the way she has brought Vera’s character to life is flawless. Yes, I have a penchant for a well scripted and complex crime dramas where I rack my brain to figure out “who done it” and am ultimately surprised by the unexpected twists and turns in the journey. You can expect that in every episode.  And, my goodness, the spectacularly Northumberland scenery certainly doesn’t hurt the appeal of “Vera”. Definitely worth binging.

“The Stranger” British Crime Drama Series, Netflix

Well, I just loved this one. And if you love British crime drama, crime mysteries, thrillers that will keep you guessing the whole time then you will enjoy “The Stranger.” Literally, I couldn’t figure it out and it kept surprising me. I loved all the twists and turns, the new and old secrets that were revealed and the unique storyline was very satisfying. Some reviews have said it is too much of a tangled web of plots and characters but for me that is why I enjoyed it so much.

And that it stars the wonderful British actress, Siobhan Finneran, from Downtown Abbey fame as the lead detective who is woman over 40 was a much-welcomed bonus.   It all leads to a shocking ending that made me unexpectedly screech, which startled me and alarmed my husband and son upstairs, but the ending did tie things up perfectly.  It is just plain fun, Tomatoes and worth a watch.   

“Lost Girls, An Unsolved Mystery” American Crime Drama, TV Movie, Netflix

I was blown away by “Lost Girls” which is an easy 95-minute length but tells this true story beautifully in that amount of time. Liz Garbus, the female director, said “It’s a story about believing women, about the power of community and family. And it’s a story about the value of human life, and the judgments that our system puts into the lives.” It is worth a watch because it is so powerful, Tomatoes.

It’s infuriating and heartbreaking to watch but very well done and the lead real life woman/character, Mari Gilbert played by the magnificent actress Amy Ryan, is the perfect example of a warrior mom. No matter what this mom’s flaws or her imperfect past might be, if you had a lost girl you would want to be just like Mari in leading the charge to find your child.  Amy Ryan’s performance alone makes this film worth watching but there are so many other reasons, as well, because I found “Lost Girls” breathtaking, poignant and extremely powerful.  It’s not the ending I would have wanted by any stretch of the imagination but it’s the reality and this film, without a doubt, is definitely worth a watch. 


  • Debbie Zipp

    The Three Tomatoes LA Life editor, Debbie Zipp is your friendly guide to the best of everything in LA with a tomato style perspective. Debbie is an actor, producer, and writer. She is best known for her recurring role as Donna on the CBS series "Murder She Wrote" starring Angela Lansbury. She has had many other TV and stage roles and has starred in over 300 national TV commercials. As head of In The Trenches Productions, Debbie produced, directed, acted in many short films for her company. Her book, The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known was recently published. Buy her book: The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known

2 Responses

  1. Ellen Easton says:

    Highly recommend Mrs. Fishers Murder Mysteries. Sassy , female detective with the most fabulous clothes. Google to find how to stream.

  2. And for those who want a less gritty world, the Chelsea Flower Show with episodes available on YouTube. And Schitt’s Creek, with the Wonderful Catherine O’Hara in the most amazing designer clothes. But the main point of that show is the great take on all kinds of relationships within a family and small town. I resisted it for ages because of the name. I thought it would be crass, but it absolutely isn’t.

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