THE BEST THINGS TO WATCH ON TV
Whilst self-isolation and staying in is the new normal, you’ll need help to pass the time. And to help you do that, plus give you the giggles, put you on the edge of your seat, have you open-mouthed with a crisp between your fingers that’s been waiting to be eaten for eternity as you stare at the screen, we’ve put together some killer, thriller and anything-but-vanilla TV series that you can stick on.
HANNA SEASON 2
The second season of Hanna has dropped on Amazon Prime and it follows the journey of the 16-year-old assassin who is no longer living hidden in a forest away from the world. Driven to unearth the truth behind who she is after her father’s death, and armed with her extraordinary skills, she is determined to uncover what the off-book CIA experiment she was part of is all about. The series is based on the 2011 film of the same name and it has much of the same fast-paced fight scenes with twists and turns along the way.
DOWN TO EARTH WITH ZAC EFRON
Zac Efron is doing his best David Attenborough and trying out life as a travel show host in this new series, which sees him team up with wellness expert Darin Olien to discover sustainable ways to live. One episode sees him join in a plastic-waste clean up with Thames21 at Concrete Barges in Rainham to highlight how bad our plastic problem is – it’s a very appropriate watch for Plastic-Free July.
KEITH HARING: STREET ART BOY
Using previously unheard interviews with Keith Haring, this documentary (available to watch on BBC iPlayer) tells the definitive story of the artist in his own words, showing how he took the 1980s New York art scene by storm, becoming one of the most influential artists of the 20th century before he died of AIDS at just 31 years old.
DA 5 BLOODS
Spike Lee is back on blistering form with his latest joint Da 5 Bloods on Netflix. The movie tells the story of four African-American Vietnam vets who return to Vietnam looking for the remains of their former squad leader and buried treasure they all hid years ago. It’s a mash-up of black comedy, action blockbuster and classic war movie and it’s a politically relevant watch.
THE SINNER | SEASON 3
The Sinner returns to Netflix for season three and there’s another dark and mysterious murder case where things are not like they seem. As each season of the psychological thriller are stand-alone stories, it’s not totally necessary to have seasons one and two so you can jump right into this one. This time around Detective Harry Ambrose, played by Bill Pullman, is investigating a fatal car accident that is much more sinister than it appears. Definitely worth a watch.
I MAY DESTROY YOU
I May Destroy You, the new drama from Chewing Gum creator Michaela Coel, is shaping up to be one of the best series of the year. Dropping twice-weekly on the BBC, the show follows millennial writer Arabella (played by Coel) piecing together what happened to her after she realises she’s been spiked and sexually assaulted on a night out. It tackles big themes like race, consent and trauma but it’s as funny as it is complex.
JEFFREY EPSTEIN: FILTHY RICH
This four-part Netflix documentary series showcases how Epstein, who died in prison whilst awaiting sex trafficking charges last year (the scandal that Prince Andrew is also involved in), used his power and wealth to commit crimes for years with no consequences. With powerful interviews from survivors of his abuse, it’s outrageous that he got away with it for so long.
Yes this is a film rather than a series but Dating Amber the perfect thing to move onto if you’ve binged Normal People, and not just because Fionn O’Shea, who played Jamie in the show stars in it. Set in nineties Ireland, it tells the story of Eddie and Amber, two teenagers who pretend to date each other to hide their sexuality. Watch it on Amazon Prime from 4th June.
Bong Joon-Ho’s (who also directed Parasite) 2013 film about a train that continually circles the globe carrying the last of humanity after Earth has frozen over, has been adapted into a ten episode series starring Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs. The premise is the same as the film but with more time to play with, the series introduces new storylines and characters alongside the main plot of class revolt. The episodes are dropping weekly on Netflix, so you won’t be able to binge this one.
LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
The adaptation of Celeste Ng’s best-selling novel, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washingon, is finally here on Amazon Prime. Set in the small town of Shaker Heights in Ohio, the show follows the picture-perfect Richardson family and how this seemingly ideal unit begins to crumble when an artist and her daughter moves into the neighbourhood. Tackling race and motherhood with unflinching honesty, the show sets several pots on the fire and lets them simmer and bubble away with increasing drama and tension until things threaten to boil over into disaster. A gripping watch.
THE LAST DANCE
Even if you’re not a basketball fan you’ll still get sucked into The Last Dance, a Netflix documentary series that follows the legendary Chicago Bulls team featuring Micahel Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, from the nineties as they go after a sixth NBA title. Not only does it show just how good the team were, it’s a fascinating look at how basketball and Jordan crossed over from sport into wider culture.
The TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel is finally here and it more than manages to live up the book, which is no mean feat. Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal play Marianne and Connell, and the pair’s portrayal of the highs and lows of first love will have you racing through the episodes – luckily the whole lot is available to watch on iPlayer.
Written and directed by Alex Garland, who also wrote and directed Ex Machina, DEVS is a sci-fi thriller about a conspiracy at a secretive tech firm, that also explores grand ideas about humanity and free will. Not only is the soundtrack superb, the acting will have you hooked too – prepare to see Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson) in a whole new way. Binge all the episodes on iPlayer.
BEASTIE BOYS STORY
Directed by Spike Jonze and billed as a ‘live documentary’, Beastie Boys Story is essentially a filmed version of the live show that surviving members Ad-Rock and Mike D did in Brooklyn of the memoir Beastie Boys Book. There’s footage from that live show mixed in with plenty of archival stuff, so lots in there for the fans. You can catch it on Apple TV.
COOKED WITH CANNABIS
If you’re missing MasterChef or the Great British Bake-Off, fear not, because there’s a new cookery competition for you to watch, only in this one “the food isn’t the only thing getting baked”. Co-hosted by singer and chef Kelis, Cooked With Cannabis sees chefs compete to win a cash prize by showcasing their best THC and CBD infused dishes. Prepare to get the munchies.
KILLING EVE SEASON 3
The new season, written by Suzanne Heathcote, actually started two weeks ahead of schedule so that’s one silver lining to be found in lockdown. You can catch new eps on iPlayer on Mondays or you can watch it on regular telly every following Sunday night on BBC One. We won’t spoil anything but you can see that Eve is alive (following the cliffhanger ending of season two) and Villanelle finds out…
HOMELAND SEASON 8
The last season ever is now showing on Channel 4 and what a decade it’s been. Carrie has kept us entertained throughout and we’re gonna miss her, especially her crazy facial expressions, and Saul – what will we do without Saul? As expected the last season is action-packed and if you’re feel a little anxious it’s probably not the best viewing but bloody hell is it GOOD TV!
MONEY HEIST SEASON 4
The one to watch if you need a new thriller in your life. This Spanish series (also known as La Casa de Papel) follows a group of eight thieves led by ‘The Professor’ as they attempt to steal billions of euros by breaking into the Royal Mint of Spain and printing money. It’s Netflix’s most popular English language show and season four has just dropped so there’s plenty to get through.