Headline, August 16 2020/ PEACOCK : '' SPECIAL STREAMING SERVICE '''



SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP ENLIVENS a new streaming service : Peacock fills out its rooster of originals with a pair of British imports.

When you want to start a streaming service and your most established competitor has for years been spending billions of dollars making and acquiring exclusive series, what do you do?

Disney+ and Apple TV+  chose to go halfway when they debuted last year, addressing Netflix's unassailable lead with offerings of original shows that, in each case, amounted to more than a handful but less than a roster.

This Year, Peacock and HBO Max have gone for what could be called the British Option. Behind each service's first marquee series - ''Love Life'' for HBO Max, ''Brave New World'' for Peacock - the section devoted to originals has been filled out with shows made and already seen across the Atlantic.

The Special relationship may not have the geopolitical juice it once had, but it's alive and well in  streaming video.

Peacock, which made its debut this month, opened with just three original scripted series for adults, two of them British. On the surface the imports are quite different from each other.

''The Capture'' from BBC, is an hourlong, tightly wound conspiracy thriller, while  the workplace sitcom ''Intelligence,'' from Sky, is a 22-minute goof.

But if you look past genre, they have same things in common. Both are cautionary tales about the  British Intelligence services. ''The Capture'' warns that the spies are stealing your liberties and will disappear you if you protest.

''Intelligence'' warns that they're marginally competent wackos now interested in food delivery and photocopier high jinks than in preventing cyberterror.

More interesting, given their prominent placement on Peacock, is that both employ a favorite British target : the ugly American.

The shortcoming of the British characters are finessed by shifting attention to an American interloper whose malignancy is exceeded only by his shallowness.

In ''The Capture,'' he's a cool operative running an off-the-books surveillance operation in London and pulling the strings of his peers in the British spy and police services.

This would constitute a spoiler, as the American doesn't show up right away in the engagingly convoluted story, if Ron Perlman's name weren't so prominent in the credit.

In ''Intelligence,'' he 's a National Security liaison to Britain's cyberterrorism unit, and it probably says all you need to know about the show's view of Americans that the hammerheaded, narcissistic character is played by David Schwimmer, that avatar of hammerheaded American narcissism.

''Intelligence'' was created by the British actor and comedian Nick Mohammed, and he cast himself in the cringiest role as Joseph, a bumbler who strenuously sucks up to the American newcomer, Schwimmer's Jerry.

Mohammed is amusing as the nervous sycophant, as is Jane Stanness as a frump whose submerged libido and unsuspected spying skill are played for laughs. [The Mongolian-born-model and actress Gana Bayarsaikhan; as an intimidating analyst whom Jerry immediately fetishzes, has presence but isn't as sure a comedian.]   

Amid the ''Office'' like ensemble, the accomplished Sylvestra Le Touzel [''The Crown,'' ''Happy-G0-Lucky''] stands out as the boss, Jerry's mostly buttoned-down antagonist.

''The Capture,'' also a six-parter is the better of Peacock imports, a reasonably entertaining and well constructed [at least in its early episodes] example of a classic style of British television conspiracy thriller, most recently seen in ''Bodyguard'' on BBC and Netflix.

Its hook is surveillance culture, and it posits that British law enforcement [with American help] not only is employing the kind of facial-recognition software widely used in China but has also moved onto more advanced and sinister uses of video technology.

If there's a larger point to the inclusion of ''The Capture'' and ''Intelligence'' in Peacock's initial lineup, it may have to do with the smaller role that ''originals'' are playing while services promote their libraries of older series and franchise movies to counter Netflix's focus on the new.

The British shows that HBO Max launched with, like ''Ghosts'' and ''Home,'' have largely disappeared from the home page a few months later. And the tier for ''Peacock Originals'' is several levels down, well below ''Jurassic Park'' and ''30 Rock'' [and even in the reality series ''Below Deck Meditarranean'']

If you want something different, you need to find it yourself.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Streaming Services, continues. The World Students Society thanks author and critic, Mike Hale.

With respectful dedication to the Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Originals '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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