We all loved our TV before the coronavirus pandemic, so it makes sense that we’re all leaning heavily on the streaming platforms, iPlayer and Catch Up during the Covid-19 lockdown. With so many films and TV shows to choose from, though, it can be hard to know what’s worth concentrating on – particularly as… well, as our concentration levels are at an all-time low. So here is our choice of best TV for April.
Personal tip: My top recommendation is Unorthodox, now streaming on Netflix. Scroll down to read why.
The Nest | BBC One
The Nest is a 2020 BBC One drama series starring Sophie Rundle (Gentleman Jack and Peaky Blinders) and Martin Compston (Line of Duty) as a couple struggling to conceive. The series is set in Glasgow and the west coast of Scotland. (And wow the aspect of the couple’s home in the series is stunning.)
Through a chance encounter they meet Kaya (Mirren Mack), an 18-year-old from the other side of the city, whose life is as precarious at theirs is comfortable. When Kaya agrees to carry their baby, it feels like they were meant to meet, but was it really by chance?” The series will explore who Kaya is and what brought her to the couple.
Toxic Town: The Corby Poisonings | BBC Two
A steelworks had been at the heart of Corby for decades, but in 1980 it shut down, plunging the town into dire unemployment. It was the worst child poisoning case in Britain since the thalidomide drug scandal: thousands of infants with birth defects caused by toxic waste produced at the Corby steelworks. In this powerful and deeply emotional documentary, the mothers of affected children speak.
Malory Towers | streaming on BBC iPlayer
So this may be a little bit of a nostalgic step back in time for me but who didn’t love the Enid Blyton stories of our childhood and Malory Towers was one of my favourites.
Malory Towers is a new 13-part drama based on the iconic novels by Enid Blyton and following the adventures of Darrell Rivers as she leaves home for the first time to attend an all-girls’ boarding school.
The series is set in post-war Britain on the sun-drenched cliffs of the Cornish coast and explores a nostalgic world of midnight feasts, lacrosse, pranks, a mystery ghost and lasting friendships.
Both aspirational and inspirational, the show has also been given a contemporary twist telling the story of universal experiences such as shifting cliques, FOMO, bullying, crushes, peer pressure, and self-doubt. The girls keep an eye on each other and, like a family, are forever connected by their shared experiences.
KILLING EVE: COMING to BBC ONE 13 APRIL
After a lacklustre second series, the glossy cat-and-mouse show returns and, guess what, we can see it right after the Americans this time.
NORMAL PEOPLE: COMING to BBC THREE 26 APRIL
Sally Rooney’s great millennial novel about a coming-of-age romance is set to be one of this year’s most talked about shows.
THE LUMINARIES: COMING to BBC2 TBC
An adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s doorstop of a novel set during the New Zealand Gold Rush.
The Good Karma Hotel Series 3 | ITV
Set in a coastal town in tropical South India, The Good Karma Hospital tells the story of junior doctor, Ruby Walker, who arrives in India looking for a job and a distraction from her heartbreak. She anticipates the sunshine, the palm trees and picture-perfect beaches. She’s even prepared for the sacred cows, the tuk-tuks and the Delhi-belly that everyone warned her about. What she doesn’t expect are the realities of work, life and even love at an under-resourced and over-worked cottage hospital.
Currently ITV is showing series 3 but it is worth watching from the beginning of season 1 – you have the time now!
QUIZ: COMING to ITV 13 APRIL
Based on James Graham’s hit play, this rewinds to the famous “coughing major” incident on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in 2001.
Putin: A Russian Spy Story | Available on Catch Up All4
This year marks Vladimir Putin’s 20th in power and, after his recent dramatic overhaul of the Russian constitution, he could be president for much longer than the supposed end of his term in 2024. This three-part documentary sets out to expose the man behind the villainous myth. It features revealing interviews with the likes of Marina Litvinenko, the wife of the poisoned spy Alexander, as well as Boris Yeltsin’s daughter, Tatyana Yumasheva. It starts by charting Putin’s route from KGB agent to political fixer.
Penance Now available on Catch Up
In Penance, Rosalie, Luke and Maddie are grieving the loss of their son and brother. But when Rosalie and daughter Maddie meet Jed, a charismatic young man, at a counselling session, their lives are upended forever.
Jed infiltrates their household, at first as a force for good – until a dark love triangle emerges and true intentions are revealed.
Penance is based on a 2016 novel by Kate O’Riordan.
Ozark | Now Streaming on Netflix
This drama series is now on Season 3 but do watch from the beginning of Season 1. It stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, a financial planner who relocates his family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. With wife Wendy and their two kids in tow, Marty is on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, forcing him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. While the Byrdes’ fate hangs in the balance, the dire circumstances force the fractured family to reconnect.
Unorthodox | Now Streaming on Netflix
Based on Deborah Feldman’s best-selling 2012 memoir, “Unorthodox”, it is now the basis of a four-part Netflix series, which debuted last week on Netflix.
It tells the story of young ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman Esther Shapiro (Shira Haas), who flees her arranged marriage that sours as she struggles to consummate the relationship and produce a baby.
After making her escape, Esty heads to Berlin with almost nothing – just her passport and a handful of cash – and does her best to start a new life.
Does she manage it, though? Well, you’ll have to watch it and see: no spoilers here, ladies. In my opinion everyone needs to watch Unorthodox on Netflix… the actors (especially Shira Haas, who plays the lead) are just phenomenal . By far one of the best mini series I’ve ever watched. Get the tissues out for this one.
The Good Place | Now Streaming on Netflix
We’ve recommended “The Good Place” before, but we love it too much to overlook it on this list of our favorite streaming picks on Netflix. The show is a testament to human growth and goodness, and it’s one of the funniest and most surprising series we’ve ever seen. If you don’t know what it’s about, it’s best to go in cold and discover the magic of the show for yourself. Trust me, everything is fine.
“Better Call Saul” | Now Streaming on Netflix
As Season 5 of “Better Call Saul” winds its way down, you can get up to speed on the first four seasons on Netflix. As much as we loved “Breaking Bad,” Vince Gilligan and star Bob Odenkirk have conjured up a dark character study that is so much more than just a “Breaking Bad” prequel. And we could never say no to more of Gus Fring!
The Master | Now Streaming on Netflix
A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master unfolds the journey of a Naval veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future – until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The character work by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix is phenomenal, and Amy Adams’ performance is also outstanding. You can also enjoy Radiohead guitarist/keyboardist Jonny Greenwood’s nerve-shredding score. This movie should forever be available to stream.
Mrs Fletcher | Sky Comedy
Kathryn Hahn stars in a dual coming-of-age story based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, exploring the impact of internet porn and social media on the lives of Eve Fletcher, an empty-nest single mother, and her college freshman son Brendan. Bit naughty but lots of fun. Not to be watched with young children.
RUN: COMING to SKY COMEDY 15 APRIL
Fleabag director Vicky Jones has created this show about a woman travelling across the US to be reunited with her ex. Phoebe Waller-Bridge directs.
Still Alice | Film4
Julianne Moore is a 50-year-old professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Her efforts to navigate an increasingly strange world – supported by husband Alec Baldwin and daughter Kristen Stewart – are charted with sensitivity by writer-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Maybe only watch this when you are feeling strong as it had me reaching for the tissues!
If you missed last month’s recommendations of our Best TV click HERE to catch up.