Want to hunker down in front of a screen but stuck for something to watch?
Here are the films, TV shows and special streaming events on our cultural radar right now, plus some of our favourites from recent weeks that you can catch up on…
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November 17, 2023
A Murder at the End of the World
A whodunnit for Gen Z… Emma Corrin shines in a bright pink bowl cut as Darby Hart, hacker extraordinaire. She’s invited to a remote, luxurious hideaway in the Arctic by a mysterious billionaire (yes, there are echoes of Glass Onion) but right on cue, guests start getting murdered, and Darby seems to be the only one qualified enough to solve it.
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
It’s back! Years after the original cult film came out, the cast have come back together to reprise their roles in this zany anime show. Drawing inspiration from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic books, this show careers off the rails in all sorts of exciting new ways, spotlighting new characters and serving video game references galore. A joy.
Netflix’s flagship show has returned for one final season. Part one, which was released this week, tells the story of Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and her lover Dodi, who tragically met their ends in August 1997. The costumes are stellar, the locations gorgeous, and if it occasionally plays a bit fast and loose with the truth, it’s all in the name of drama.
David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived
Not many people know the story of David Holmes, but maybe that’s about to change. In 2009, Holmes, the stunt double for Daniel Radcliffe, suffered a catastrophic accident on-set that left him paralysed. This Sky documentary, made with longtime friend Radcliffe, is a celebration of Holmes’ life, and the impact he had on the Harry Potter series. Tune in for lashings of nostalgia and a rather devastating second half.
November 10, 2023
Emma Stone stars in possibly one of the best TV shows of the year. She’s playing Whitney Siegel, one half of a couple who move to New Mexico with the aim of filming a home renovation series. Needless to say, things soon go wrong – and given that indie darling A24, brains behind Everything Everywhere All At Once, are involved, it is indeed truly bonkers.
Louis Theroux Interviews Season 2
The king of noncommittal questioning, Louis Theroux, is back for another series of asking celebrities awkward things in a polite way. Kicking things off is an interview with boxing legend Anthony Joshua, who takes Theroux on a trip to his old stomping grounds and behind the scenes at his comeback match… and weirdly there’s some light rapping.
Edith Wharton’s beloved (and unfinished) last novel gets a modern-day makeover in this glossy Apple TV+ adaptation. Set in the 1870s, we’re introduced to five ambitious young American women – wealthy, naturally – whose arrival in London society causes a right old ruckus. Unusually for the 1870s, there’s also an Olivia Rodrigo cover and some steamy trysts.
The Great Erection Deception
Could this be the most bonkers thing ITV has made, ever? This excellently-named ITV docu-series tells the story of a Mormon and a vegan who teamed up to scam thousands of customers by selling them a “herbal” Viagra replacement. Even wilder, it’s all 100 per cent true; watch and goggle.
November 3, 2023
Time Season 2
Sean Bean’s BBC prison series Time nigh on broke the internet when it aired in 2021. Now comes season two: set in a women’s prison, this time, and following the stories of Orla (Jodie Whittaker), Kelsey (Bella Ramsey) and Abi (Tamara Lawrance). They’ve all been put behind bars for different reasons – and prison is a harsh education.
Any film that makes Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh the comedic foil to Awkwafina’s straight man is one that demands attention, and so it proves here. The Disney+ film follows the pair as estranged sisters who have grown apart after years – before (of all things) a game show helps to bring them together. Look it doesn’t make sense: just roll with it.
All The Light We Cannot See
This gorgeously-shot Netflix series is based on the book of the same name by Anthony Doerr. Set in the French town of St Malo, we meet Marie (Aria Mia Loberti), a blind girl trapped in the city as it’s being bombed by the Allies – and the German radio operator Werner (Louis Hoffmann), who is trying to save her. A real weepie.
Klimt and The Kiss
Viennese artist Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss is one of the most iconic pieces of modern art in the world – but its history is surprisingly dark. Now, a new documentary is taking a fresh look at The Kiss and the context in which it was made – as well as delving into uncomfortable areas, such as Klimt’s fascination with eroticism and attitude towards women.
October 27, 2023
No, it’s not a delicious dessert: it’s a band. In 1989, Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan became the most famous duo in pop after a slew of massive hits… only for it all to fall apart when it was revealed that they hadn’t sung any of their own songs themselves. Were they in on it from the start, or thrown to the dogs by industry execs? The jury is still out, but this Paramount+ doc on the subject makes for fascinating viewing.
The Enfield Poltergeist
In 1977, small-town England was rocked by claims that a poltergeist was haunting a seemingly normal family. Almost fifty years later, Apple TV+ is taking a fresh (ish) look at the case, interviewing the girl at the centre of the hauntings (Janet Hodgson) and making liberal use of the hundreds of hours of audio tapes recording the supposed hauntings. Go on, treat yourself: it’s Hallowe’en, after all.
Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire?
As the old joke goes, what have the British ever done for us? Well, that’s what Al Murray is setting off to find out. In this provocatively-named Sky show, Murray heads off to Australia, Jamaica, India and South Africa to chat to local comedians about the various ways in which the British Empire royally messed up. It’s sobering viewing, but – thankfully – Murray’s light comic touch sees us through.
David Oyelowo stars in this touching Netflix short (very short: 18 minutes) film about grieving taxi driver Dayo. The man behind it is Misan Harriman: a self-taught photographer, he’s best known for shooting Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and as you might expect, this is half film, half art.
October 20, 2023
Planet Earth III
What’s that noise? It’s only the buttery-smooth, infinitely comforting voice of David Attenborough returning once more to tell you all about the natural world. Yes, Planet Earth III is back for one last time, so prepare to be inundated with gorgeous sweeping pano shots and images of flamingo chicks frolicking. Oh, and the slow creeping blight of human activity. Fun!
Three Little Birds
Sir Lenny Henry’s latest oeuvre draws inspiration from a personal source: his own mother’s story of coming to the UK, as well as that of countless other Windrush immigrants. This story follows three women from Jamaica - Leah, Chantrelle and Hosanna - and the struggles they face in building a new life in a new home.
Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story
In 2019, Coleen Rooney detonated a pop-culture bombshell with one fateful Instagram post. Countless headlines and one libel trial later, Coleen is finally sitting down with Disney+ to tell her side of the story. Will it tell us much we don’t already know? Maybe not, but it’s still juicy, juicy drama: tuck in and savour.
The Burning Girls
Samantha Morton stars opposite up-and-comer Ruby Stokes in this tense thriller from Paramount+. Morton is Jack Brooks, a Reverend who moves with her daughter to the quaint village of Chapel Croft. It’s supposed to be a fresh start, but soon enough the place is crawling with more skeletons in closets than a haunted house fairground ride. Very autumnal.
October 13 2023
The Greatest Show Never Made
Cast your mind back to 2002: the heyday of reality TV. Big Brother was dominating the airwaves, David Beckham was rocking a sarong and thirty people signed up for a reality TV promising to make them rich. Except, it all went wrong in the most bonkers way possible - and now, a very entertaining Prime Video series is retelling the story for the first time.
Can anybody say (or sing) “tossed salads and scrambled eggs?” That’s right, Frasier is back, and haven’t we missed it. Kelsey Grammer reprises his role as snobbish psychologist Frasier Crane - a role he’s played over almost four decades - in this Paramount+ reboot, and while the jokes need a bit of fine-tuning, the heart is still very much intact.
It might not be fun viewing, but it does feel important: Steve Coogan plays disgraced paedophile Jimmy Savile in this series about the radio DJ’s horrific crimes. Savile hoodwinked the entire British public for more than fifty years, and indeed, this series feels almost like atonement for the BBC, Savile’s home for much of his career.
For anybody who ever wondered what a Matrix/ Inception mashup would look like: this is for you. Prime Video’s new Spanish-language film is a sci-fi thriller set in the modern day where Ian (Carlos Scholz) is a teenager able to influence other peoples’ minds. But as is the way of things, one accidental slip and soon he’s on the run from nefarious forces. Does it make sense? No, but boy is it fun.
October 6, 2023
This workplace thriller features Phoebe Dynevor (yes, she of Bridgerton fame) butting heads with her on-screen fiancé Luke (Alden Ehrenreich). They’re newly engaged, but both work at the same hedge fund – and when she is unexpectedly promoted beyond him, tensions begin to bubble. Can anybody say ‘gender pay gap’?
It’s been hailed as the next Squid Game, so come expecting big things from this new South Korean thriller. The premise is appropriately bonkers: a black market auction is being held in the middle of nowhere to sell off the organs of men duped by a trafficking ring. Except – oh no, now an earthquake has trapped everybody in the building and suddenly the auction becomes a fight for survival.
Ahh, teenagehood: the age of first everythings, huge unrequited crushes and smoking behind the bike shed. Netflix’s new show is more about that, and then some - teenager Mia (Sophie Wilde) is fresh out of rehab for an eating disorder and wastes no time creating a bucket list to tick off all the teen experiences she’s missed out on.
First Ladies of Hip Hop
Narrated by none other than Neneh Cherry, this slick BBC documentary doesn’t perhaps have the star-power of its Netflix predecessor (also called First Ladies of Hip-Hop, confusingly) but covers much of the same ground. Fifty years after the genre first evolved, the show takes a look at the (mostly unrecognised) contributions British women have made it helping it become a world-conquering music phenomenon.
September 29, 2022
You thought The Boys was gory? Wait until you see its spinoff show, Gen V. Set in the grounds of superhero university Godolkin, it follows a brand-new cast of characters as they attempt to secure their spot in Avengers-esque The Seven. It’s crude, it’s fun and it’s crammed to the gills with fake blood. Yum.
Flora and Son
Prepare for a deluge of the warm and fuzzies in Apple TV+’s newest film Flora and Son. Eve Hewson plays single mum Flora, who’s at a loss about what to do with troublesome son Max. Wouldn’t you know it, along comes Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a washed-up musician, and quicker than you can say ‘redemption arc’, the stage is set for a beautiful relationship.
Who Killed Jill Dando?
On the morning of April 26, 1999, BBC presenter Jill Dando was shot dead outside her home in Fulham. Her killer was never found – but now this new Netflix documentary is taking a forensic look at the entire case, including interviewing the man initially found guilty of her death (and who was later acquitted), Barry George.
The Fake Sheikh
The Nineties nostalgia train rolls on: the Fake Sheikh was practically a household name back in the days for his jaw-dropping scoops. Dubbed the ‘king of sting’ for his controversial journalism, he nevertheless suffered a spectacular fall from grace – and now this Prime Video documentary is reliving every juicy detail.
September 22, 2023
Sex Education Season 4
It is, as the creators say, “back with a bang.” That’s right, TV’s raunchiest show is bounding back onto our screens for one final, climactic season. Will Maeve and Otis get together? Will Eric continue to be fabulous? Will the other supporting cast members get their happily ever afters? It’s all to play for, and promises to be hugely entertaining (and of course, very cringe-worthy).
What is the John Wick universe without Keanu Reeves’ titular assassin? Turns out, it’s actually loads of fun: this prequel series, set in the 1970s, tells the origin story of Winston Scott, owner of the series’ famous Continental Hotel. There are guns, there are explosions, there are nifty action sequences; perfect fodder, in other words, for franchise faithfuls.
Otto Baxter: Not A F***ing Horror Story
35-year-old Otto Baxter has Down’s Syndrome and also happens to be a megafan of horror films. Over the course of 90 minutes, we watch him write, direct and star in his own horror-comedy-musical set in Victorian London – a process that took him six whole years to complete - and find out more about his own touching story.
Joanne and Vogue’s Sex Drive
Best friends Vogue Williams and Joanne McNally (yes, the ones from hit podcast My Therapist Ghosted Me) are on a quest to discover how to have better sex. Naturally, this means going to Ibiza and sampling the best of the island’s off-the-wall sex positivity practices – from steaming their ‘yonis’ in a field to trying out an erotic nightclub in Ibiza’s West End.
September 15, 2023
Welcome to Wrexham Season 2
Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, pictured above, are back for a second kick of the ball in the follow-up to the hugely successful first series, which went viral around the world. As ever, they’re battling to turn around the fortunes of Wrexham AFC, which they bought to great fanfare in 2020. This time around, the club is back on the hunt for promotion.
The Other Black Girl
Based on the hit book by Zakiya Dalila Harris, this Disney+ show is a thriller with a twist. Our hero is Nella (Sinclair Daniel), the only black person at publishing house Wagner. When Hazel (Ashleigh Murray) joins, Nella is initially thrilled, but things soon turn dark and she becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding both Hazel’s past and Wagner’s less-than-squeaky-clean record.
Road trips have never been so deadly. In Prime Video’s newest thriller, Jenna Coleman plays Liv, a dutiful wife who finds out her husband Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) has been cheating. To make it up to her, Will offers to take her on the holiday of a lifetime, travelling through America’s harshest and most beautiful landscapes. For him it’s a chance to repair their marriage; for Liv it’s a chance for revenge.
Domina Season 2
Nobody does political intrigue better than the Romans — they practically invented it. To that end, wind back the clock for the second season of Sky’s Domina, which documents the rise of Gaius Octavius (Matthew McNulty), the first Emperor of Rome, through the eyes of his third wife Livia Drusilla (Kasia Smutniak). This season, there are rebellions to contend with, revenge to extract and the future of Rome itself to fight for... juicy.
September 8, 2023
Love and Death
As it turns out, Elizabeth Olsen excels at playing slightly unhinged mothers. Here, she’s Candy Montgomery, who achieved notoriety in the 1980s for murdering her former lover’s wife Betty – striking her forty times with an axe. The story was serialised by Disney+ earlier in the year; now, watch HBO’s take on ITVX. And of course, Olsen is mesmerising.
2023 is LaKeith Stanfield’s year: fresh from appearing in Disney+ film Haunted Mansion, he’s now heading up Apple TV+’s new Gothic/ fantasy thriller. Stanfield plays Apollo, a used book dealer whose wife, Emma, goes missing after giving birth to their first child. His quest to find her will mean dealing with both witches and police officers… as you do.
Our Lives: Our Sea Forest
Tune in for some rampant wholesomeness. This documentary follows 73 year old diver Eric Smith and his daughter Catrine, as they work to restore the lush undersea kelp forest in Sussex. It’s been decimated by deep sea trawling, but has been making a remarkable comeback – thanks in no small part to their determination.
The Killing Kind
When it comes to bad decisions, dating the man you’re defending on a stalking charge is definitely up there. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Ingrid (Emma Appleton) does - only for, surprise, her client/ lover John (Colin Morgan) to turn on her. Eek.
September 1, 2023
Heart of Invictus
Has Prince Harry put the family infighting to bed? It certainly seems like it: his latest Netflix show, Heart of Invictus, focusses on his annual Invictus Games for injured servicemen. The show’s focus is very much on the people taking part: there are interviews with veterans, discussions of mental health and a celebration of the human spirit.
Boxer Ricky Hatton enjoyed a truly stellar career, but his fall from grace was sudden and shocking. In this documentary, he opens up – alongside his family and former colleagues – about his mental health struggles, the difficulties of adjusting to life after boxing and falling out with pretty much everybody.
In an age of endless reboots, do we really need another? Well… yes. This UK revival of Takeshi’s Castle features Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan as hosts, a beautifully batty bunch of Joe Publics as competitors, and the obligatory terrifying obstacle courses for people to fall off spectacularly. Ahh, bliss.
The Wheel of Time Season 2
Can the lore get even more complicated? Yes it can. Prime Video’s fantasy blockbuster The Wheel of Time has returned for a second season, and things are looking dire for Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) and her band of budding sorcerers. After the events of season one, there’s a new set of villains to contend with, Moiraine has lost her powers and the Dark One is still lurking in the shadows.
August 25, 2023
The Price of Truth
This fascinating documentary from Channel 4 follows Dmitry Muratov the editor of the Novaya Gazeta – one of the only independent newspapers left in Russia – in his fight to report the truth. Filmed before, during and after the Ukraine war, it’s a sobering look at the dangers of being a member of the free press, and the dangers of abolishing it.
The Star Wars universe continues to grow at (almost) the speed of light: Disney+’s latest offering sees fan-fave Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in the spotlight. A former Jedi, rebel leader and now peacekeeper of sorts, Ahsoka is hunting down some rebellious Sith before they manage to threaten the fragile New Republic.
Invasion Season 2
Apple TV+’s drama is back for another bite at the apple – as are its pesky aliens. Season two shows the perspectives of five people around the world and how their lives are impacted by the alien invasion of Earth. And this time (having been repelled in season one), the aliens are angry.
Who is Erin Carter?
More cheese on this one than a quattro formaggi pizza. Swedish actress Evin Ahmad stars as Erin, a supply teacher who recently moved to Barcelona with her family. But when she is recognised by an armed robber, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to her than meets the eye – and the stage is set for an almighty action thriller.