What are you watching? Readers recommend 'Ethel & Ernest,' 'The Wonder Years'

Monitor TV and movie fans share what they've been watching lately.

My favorite sitcom is a British comedy, Miranda, which aired on BBC Two and then BBC One. You can find it on Hulu. It’s like watching a modern “I Love Lucy.” After watching it, you should never be embarrassed by your own flubs.

– Heidi Smith, Westlake, Ohio

Ethel & Ernest is a book by Raymond Briggs that served as the basis for an animated movie of the same name. Ethel and Ernest were Briggs’s parents, who met in 1928. He was a milkman and she was a lady’s maid; she left that employment to marry Ernest and set up home with him in London. It covers the Blitz; the evacuation of their 5-year-old son, Raymond, to the countryside, where he begins his love of drawing, which is what he later does for a living; and Raymond’s love of the country, where he settles as an adult with his wife, who has schizophrenia. 

However, the film is more about Ethel and Ernest and shows their relationship, with their differing political views and different family backgrounds. He is kinder to and more gregarious with neighbors and friends, while she is more concerned with what people think and a little less charitable of others, but still lovely. It is all done with humor. The film goes through celebrating the end of World War II, the family getting their first telephone, and the family getting their first television.

– Lisa McLaughlin, Kenilworth, England

For sitcoms, I like “Seinfeld” but I love The Wonder Years, which aired on ABC. I can relate to the main character, Kevin (Fred Savage). He’s not the smartest or coolest kid. He’s also not the outcast kid. He’s just regular. I love that.

– Loraine DeBoom, Altoona, Iowa

After a hard day, I watch Father Brown, which airs on the BBC, some public TV stations, and Netflix. For me, watching the show is about relaxing and being taken away to another location. It’s a whodunit that has charming characters and a lighthearted but enticing plot. It transports me for a much-needed break and escape.

– Kerry Lee Dickey Doehr, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Courtesy of PBS/File
'Foyle's War'

Foyle’s War, which aired on ITV and is available on Acorn TV and Netflix, is a delightful, intelligent police mystery series set during World War II. The character development is low-key yet rich, and the plots are full of surprises. It’s highly engaging.

– Christopher Bowers, Victoria, British Columbia

What are you watching? Write and tell us at whatareyouwatching@csmonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to What are you watching? Readers recommend 'Ethel & Ernest,' 'The Wonder Years'
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today