Happiness is a Warm TV

Do you need another streaming service? If you love British TV, the answer is probably yes.

Martin Clunes as Dr.  Martin Ellingham in the ITV series "Doc Martin." Seasons 7 and 8 and the "Doc Martin" prequel movies are exclusive to Acorn TV.
Martin Clunes as Dr. Martin Ellingham in the ITV series "Doc Martin." Seasons 7 and 8 and the "Doc Martin" prequel movies are exclusive to Acorn TV.

Let's say you've watched a few British TV series on PBS or BBC America — maybe the mainstream hits like "Sherlock," "Downton Abbey," "Doc Martin" and "Broadchurch" — and you're hooked. Or maybe you're a full-blown Anglophile, and you've taken a much deeper dive, getting hooked on "Midsomer Murders," "Murdoch Mysteries" and "Foyle's War."

But still, you want more.

While a decent number of British shows are sprinkled throughout Netflix and Amazon Prime, the goldmine for true fans is a streaming service that you might not even know about: Acorn TV.

Think of Acorn as a British Netflix — a streaming service specializing in British and international TV shows, documentaries and films.

Acorn not only has a huge catalog of established programs (like the aforementioned "Doc Martin," "Murdoch Mysteries" and "Foyle's War") but a growing number of original and exclusive shows that you won't find anywhere else.

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Here's a quick guide to Acorn programming.

How do I get Acorn?

Go to signup.acorn.tv and sign up. You'll get a seven-day free trial.

How much does Acorn cost?

Acorn costs $4.99 per month, or you can save a few bucks by signing up for a full year at $49.99. But don't forget about the free trial. If you aren't into it after seven days, cancel.

How do I watch Acorn shows?

You can watch Acorn through its app on mobile devices — iPhone/iPad and Android — and on your TV via Roku, Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick and Apple TV, just as you would with Netflix. You can also stream online on your laptop, desktop computer or tablet using a browser (Acorn recommends Google Chrome).

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Ashley Jensen in the Acorn TV mystery series "Agatha Raisin." Acorn TV

I'm in. What do I watch first?

Here are just a few of the best bets on Acorn TV.

You probably know the great Ashley Jensen from shows like HBO's "Extras" (with Ricky Gervais) and "Catastrophe" (a wonderful Netflix series), but now she's got the lead in the Acorn series "Agatha Raisin," based on the books by M.C. Beaton. Agatha is an amateur detective who has settled in a small village in the Cotswolds. There is one season and another ordered.

"Girlfriends" is an Acorn original, a new "women of a certain age" drama starring Miranda Richardson ("Harry Potter"), Phyllis Logan (our beloved Mrs. Hughes from "Downton Abbey") and Zoe Wanamaker ("Agatha Christie's Poirot"). A tragedy that occurs while one woman is on vacation exposes secrets that could test the 40-year friendship the women have shared.

"The Detectorists" is a BAFTA-winning comedy starring Mackenzie Crook (the British "Office") and Toby Jones (he played Truman Capote in "Infamous"). It's set in a small town in Northern Essex and follows the lives of two detectorists (someone who hunts for treasure with a metal detector). There are three seasons (or "series," as they say in Great Britain) and there will be no more.

"The Good Karma Hospital" is a charming medical drama starring Amrita Acharia as a doctor who travels from England to India looking for a job and a distraction from a bad breakup. Naturally, there are plenty of eccentric patients and coworkers. It also features Amanda Redman and Neil Morrissey.

And of course, the wildly popular "Doc Martin." Martin Clunes is Dr. Martin Ellingham, a former star surgeon who changes careers after developing a fear of blood. There are eight seasons, with a ninth and final season in the works. Seasons 7 and 8 and the "Doc Martin" prequel movies are exclusive to Acorn TV. (A U.S. remake of "Doc Martin" is planned, but you know this one is going to be the best.)

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