Ahh, Lovejoy. Long before Deadwood, Ian McShane was charming we Americans playing the titular character, a handsome rogue who specialized in acquiring and selling antiques, though, at times, it was Lovejoy himself who created the “antiques”. Of course, he had his fair share of run-ins with the local constabulary, and along the way, he solved mysteries and wooed women, most notably, Lady Jane Felsham and later Charlotte Cavendish.
I first discovered Lovejoy on A&E, back when it was a respectable network, and I spent many a Monday night in the early 90s watching Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes and then Lovejoy. The character reminded me a bit of an English version of Thomas Magnum in that Lovejoy would often break the fourth wall, but even more so than Thomas did in Magnum, p.i. Also like Magnum, Lovejoy was always getting into trouble and low on cash. Finally, while Magnum had his “little voice” and experiences that sometimes veered into the supernatural, Lovejoy was a “divvie”, meaning that he would just know if an antique was a fake or not. (Also, for Magnum/Lovejoy trivia buffs, McShane guest-starred on two episodes of Magnum years before starting Lovejoy.)
You may notice the time frame of the series. That’s a bit misleading because it wasn’t airing for eight years. There was actually a five-year gap between the first series and the second, with an in-show explanation that Lovejoy was sent to prison for those years, and the second series starts up when he’s released.
If you have the opportunity, you should check out this series.