If there’s one thing we could use the new year, it’s joy. Acorn TV and multi-hyphenate Amy Huberman are bringing it to our televisions beginning January 11, when the second season of Huberman’s endearing, irreverent comedy Finding Joy premieres.
Irish Film & TV Academy award-winner Huberman created, wrote, and stars in this popular Irish comedy. She plays Joy Morris, who in Series 1 suffers after a breakup with her boyfriend. She suffers even more when she is forced to fill in as host of a popular vlog about finding happiness through unusual and hilarious experiences — like wrestling, yoga and a relaxation retreat.
Series 2 follows Joy’s transformation as an independent online influencer/entrepreneur, launching her own video channel to establish her brand of finding happiness and fulfillment in everyday life. Joy’s struggles with finding herself are relatable, even if a bit heightened for laughs. But it was a joy — sorry — rewatching Series 1 and I’m excited for the new season.
RELATED: Irish star Amy Huberman remembers fun times in Chicago
Below you will find more about Acorn TV’s January premiere schedule. The entire series of the gripping Canadian police drama 19-2, which includes 38 episodes over four seasons that aired from 2014-2017. Adrian Holmes (Arrow) and Jared Keeso (Letterkenny) star as officers in the Montreal Police Department who patrol the urban sprawl of downtown’s 19th Precinct in Cruiser No. 2.
You can find more Acorn TV premieres set for 2021 after the January calendar.
Acorn TV Premieres for January
Monday, January 4
A SUITABLE BOY
Series finale; Acorn TV exclusive series
Academy Award-nominated film director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake) helmed this six-part series adapted from Vikram Seth’s global bestseller by Emmy-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride & Prejudice, Les Miserables). Set in vibrant 1950s India, the epic tale 19-year-old spirited university student Lata Mehra (Tanya Maniktala), who comes of age in North India at the same time the country is becoming an independent nation and its citizens are going to the polls for its first democratic general election.
Lata, inspired by rebellious writers and daring new ideas, is determined to decide her own future in the face of old traditions and her overbearing mother (Mahira Kakkar), who wants to find her a suitable husband. Meanwhile, wayward Maan (Ishaan Khatter) wants every drop of excitement from life, but when he becomes infatuated with the glamorous courtesan Saaeda Bai (Tabu), the consequences could be catastrophic.
THE BONE DETECTIVES
8 episodes, 2007 and 2008
Every week archaeologists uncover bodies — sometimes individuals, but more commonly they find groups of people buried together. Most discoveries are unexpected, resulting from archaeology being done in advance of a major building or infrastructure development. Host Tori Herridge, mortuary technician Carla Valentine and archaeologist Raksha Dave attempt to piece together the lives behind these bones, sometimes digging up tales of battles, misdemeanors, disease and other tragedies.
THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE
4 episodes, 2011
This acclaimed Victorian drama follows the attempts of a young, quick-witted prostitute Sugar (Romola Garai, Churchill’s Secret), who yearns to leave her life behind and move up in society. Her chance appears to arrive when she attracts the attention of William Rackham (Chris O’Dowd, State of the Union), the unwilling heir to a perfume empire, whose increasing debts and domestic trials have led him to search for other, more attractive diversions. But as they become involved, the pair soon find themselves caught up in events beyond their control.
Monday, January 11
Series 2, 2020; Acorn TV original series
Amy Huberman (Striking Out, The Clinic) brings back her messed up, single vlogger Joy Morris as she continues her search for happiness — or what hast even means. Paul Reid returns as her smitten videographer Stan and Ruth Kearney (Sanditon) plays her helpful coworker Emer.
Series 1, 9 episodes, 2012
During its original eight-week run in 2012, more than 3 million viewers a week watched Wartime Farm, from the acclaimed producers of Edwardian Farm, Victorian Farm and Victorian Pharmacy. In this BBC Two series, Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman take on their biggest challenge yet: the running of a farm for a full calendar year, using only historical tools and materials from World War II — and mirroring the demands of an agricultural endeavor unparalleled in British history. The series is a fascinating blend of war history, survival creativity and endurance. In “Wartime Farm Christmas,” historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologist Peter Ginn return to Manor Farm in Hampshire to recreate the conditions of Christmas 1944.
LOVE MY WAY
Series 1, 10 episodes, 2004-05
This renowned Australian primetime drama centers on a thirtysomething woman (Claudia Karvan, Newton’s Law) who juggles the priorities of family obligations, being fulfilled professionally and being successful at love. She hopes that “happiness” might occur if all the other things fall into place. This Logie Award-winning series, which also strs Asher Keddie (The Cry) and Brendan Cowell (The Slap), is an exploration of the love that binds us, the relationships that define us and the dreams of grownups. Series 2, from 2006, premieres Jan. 25.
Monday, January 18
THE WIPERS TIMES
Based on the remarkable true story of a satirical newspaper published on the front lines of World War I, this poignant-yet-funny drama revels in the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity. Ben Chaplin, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Michael Palin and Steve Oram star.
13 episodes, 1979
Lately I’ve been exploring shows I watched from the 1970s to see what I think of them now. I’ve not seem this 1979 series before, but it seems to fit the bill. Titled after the shorthand term for “danger–unexploded bomb,” this 13-part ITV series is about the men who served as part of a bomb disposal military unit during Wold War II. Each hour-long episode follows the adventures of the company who were based in Southeast London, showing the pressures, problems, horrors and the heartbreaks as the officers tackle one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs of the war. Stories cover the Blitz, the struggles with the newer and more awkward types of bomb, and the clearing of mines and coastal defenses before D-Day. They follow the company’s personal lives, too, showing how the stresses and strains of their job affect their relationships with the wives and sweethearts who watch, wait and hope. Watch the Danger UXB trailer.
Series 3 and finale, 14 episodes, 2012
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. Shane Cortese (Outrageous Fortune), Tandi Wright (800 Words), Blair Strang (Go Girls), Nicole Whippy (Shortland Street) and Debbie Newby-Ward (Shortland Street) star.
Monday, January 25
FLAME TREES OF THIKA
7 episodes, 1981
Based on the beloved memoir by Elspeth Huxley, this BAFTA-nominated drama stars Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, Wild at Heart), David Robb (I, Claudius), and Holly Aird (Waking the Dead) as a British family who relocate to British East Africa (now Kenya) in order to set up a coffee plantation. Shot on location, the series explores the trials and tribulations of the Grant family as they face everything from deadly animals to tensions with other colonists.
THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE BRITISH GARDEN
4 episodes, 2015
World-famous gardener and horticultural expert Monty Don explores the stories behind four of the Britain’s most important gardens in this BBC Two series, unpacking their fascinating secrets to reveal how the British garden has evolved over the past 400 years. From royal palaces of the 17th century to wistful cottages of the 20th century, many of the world’s most famous influential and important gardens were created in the UK. Don unearths plans, diaries, letters and paintings to gain a truly revelatory look at how some of the most treasured and iconic outside spaces have evolved.
COMING TO ACORN TV IN 2021
These exclusive or original Acorn TV series are set to premiere later in 2021:
- Bloodlands: Intense Irish BBC One thriller starring James Nesbitt (The Missing, Cold Feet, The Hobbit) and executive produced by Jed Mercurio (creator of Line of Duty, The Bodyguard)
- My Life Is Murder, Series 2: Lucy Lawless (Xena: The Warrior Princess, Spartacus) stars in the acclaimed Australian detective drama.
- Keeping Faith, Series 3: The tense Welsh/English psychological thriller starring Eve Myles (Broadchurch, Torchwood) ends its run.
- Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, Series 2: This sequel to one of my favorite Australian series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, stars Geraldine Hakewill (Wanted) as Phryne Fisher’s niece, Peregrine Fisher, who solves mysteries in mid-sixties, mod-era Melbourne.
- Balthazar, Series 3: In another favorite of mine, Tomer Sisley (Messiah, Philharmonia) stars as a suave, haunted Paris forensic pathologist in this French drama.
- The Brokenwood Mysteries, Series 7: The quirky, award-winning New Zealand murder mystery series returns.