Best TV for the long winter evenings that are fast approaching

The clocks go back next weekend and so the nights will draw in. The good news is that there is so much great TV – series and films – available now or coming soon. Here is a cross-section of all the best TV programmes we have on our list to watch or have been recommended by friends of A&G.

RIDLEY ROAD | BBC

The true story of a dark period of British history – 1964. It is a story revolving around Colin Jordan, a leader of neo-Nazism in post-war Britain This series makes bleak viewing and as someone married to a Jewish man I cannot believe that this was going on less than 20 years after the end of WWII and the knowledge of the Holocaust.

THE SQUID GAME | NETLIX

This is the most downloaded series on Netflix and it is taking the TV viewing audience by storm. It is not for everyone but here is Grace’s 5* review:

Netflix’s biggest ever hit, over 111 million households watched this series in the first four weeks. The story? Hundreds of cash-strapped contestants accept an invitation to compete in children’s games for a tempting prize, but the stakes are deadly. Filmed in Korean and dubbed in English, this is an addictive watch. Not for the faint-hearted as it pulls no punches but, like any original plot, you are drawn in and cannot wait to see what happens at the end of this survival drama.

THE LARKINS | ITV

After reviving The Durrells, Simon Nye now works his magic rebooting The Darling Buds of May. The David Jason role of Pop Larkin is played by Bradley Walsh, with Joanna Scanlan stepping into Pam Ferris’s floral dress as Ma, and Bridgerton‘s Sabrina Bartlett as beautiful daughter Mariette. Initially, this English fantasia seems so cosily undemanding as to be an affront to the intellect. Yet the jollity of the voracious Larkin family is undeniable, bursting with enough warmth to power an entire country village. 

SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE | SKY

This is a 5-part original limited series starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. It is a modern adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic Swedish series of the same name, centreing on Mira (Jessica Chastain), a confident, ambitious tech executive left unfulfilled by her marriage, and Jonathan (Oscar Isaac), an accommodating, hyper-intellectual philosophy professor desperate to keep their relationship intact. The series re-examines the dilemmas probed by the original, and flips the script on traditional gender roles to explore love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage, and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple.

STUCK TOGETHER | NETFLIX

Hilarious and lighthearted French film about the residents of a Paris apartment block during the pandemic. Dany Boon directs this comedy set in Paris during the pandemic and sees families try to get along while confined to their shared apartments. I spotted some of the cast of Call My Agent which had to be one of my favourite series last year. This is another one that will make you laugh out loud.

Call My Agent: Bollywood (Season 1) | NETFLIX coming 29th October

So continuing on this theme there is a new spin-off comedy series to the French show that follows Mumbai talent agents. It is bound to be fun and lighthearted.

MAID | NETFLIX

A new 10-part mini-series starring Margaret Qualley from Once upon a time in Hollywood, as a single mother who escapes her abusive alcoholic husband and with no money drifts into the world of low-paid maid work. Andie MacDowell plays the bi-polar mother and in real life is truly Qualley’s mother. If you liked Nomadland you will enjoy this.

GOOD GIRLS | NETFLIX (4 seasons)

This American crime comedy-drama stars Christina Hendricks (of Mad Men fame), a mother of four who, together with her sister and best friend, stumble into a life of crime. Good Girls really grows on you – each of the three women are really interesting characters but it is the constant twists and turns in the plot that keep you well and truly hooked.

WOLFE | SKY & NOW

Babou Ceesay stars as the title character Professor Wolfe Kinteh, a leading forensic scientist with bipolar disorder and a penchant for rule-breaking, who balances his rather grisly day job with a somewhat troubled home life.

THE TRICK | BBC

Jason Watkins stars in BBC One’s one-off drama, The Trick, a fact-based feature that tells the human story behind the real-life ‘Climategate’ affair.

Set in the late Noughties, the drama focuses on Phil Jones and his wife Ruth (played by Jason Watkins and Victoria Hamilton respectively), whose lives are rocked when Phil’s work on climate change becomes the focus of a media scandal.

COBRA Season 2 | SKY

COBRA is back for another explosive season with the political thriller returning. It follows the UK’s leading politicians as they are tasked with another catastrophe threatening the country.

After season 1 told the story of widespread power outages that wreak havoc across the UK, leading to violent unrest, the COBRA committee had to find a way to find the light.

Season 2 sees new and more daunting challenges being presented to the government officials which they have to rectify for the safety of the population.

SEX EDUCATION season 3 | NETFLIX

If you enjoyed the first two seasons then this one will also not disappoint. As usual, the new series includes many brilliant gags alongside its frank exploration of teenage sexuality, and star Ncuti Gatwa, who plays Eric Effiong.

MANHUNT THE NIGHT STALKER | ITV

We don’t witness any attacks in Manhunt II: The Night Stalker, ITV’s fact-based drama about the serial rapist and burglar also known as the Minstead Rapist. But sensitive insights into the trauma experienced by the attacker’s victims – all elderly women – have an upsetting and powerful impact, on both the viewer and on Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, played by Martin Clunes for the second time. 

The drama is a sequel to Manhunt, which aired back in 2019, and this latest follow-up (based again on the real-life Sutton’s accounts of his time in the London Met Police) picks up with Colin following his success at catching high-profile murderer Levi Bellfield.

BRUISED | NETFLIX

Halle Berry directs and stars in a triumphant sports drama about a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out. Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) is a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. Down on her luck and simmering with rage and regret years after her last fight, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager and boyfriend Desi (Adan Canto) and grabs the attention of a fight league promoter who promises Jackie a life back in the octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when Manny (Danny Boyd, Jr.) — the son she gave up as an infant — shows up at her doorstep

SUCCESSION Season 3 | SKY ATLANTIC

The family we love to hate is back and even more dysfunctional if that is possible. The new series picks up from where the show left off: with Kendall throwing his father Logan under the bus for his role in covering up WayStar RoyCo’s sexual misconduct allegations. It’s going to be a rollercoaster of a ride.

SHETLAND | BBC ONE

Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez returns this October for a sixth outing in BBC One crime drama Shetland, based on the book series by Vera author Ann Cleeves.

It’s been a long wait for fans of the Shetland-set series, which we last saw on our screens pre-pandemic, with subsequent delays to filming due to COVID. This series will focus on the “doorstep murder of a prominent local figure, a case which strikes at the heart of the Shetland Isles and its people”.

PARIS POLICE 1900 | BBC4

This is a French period drama. It shows the griminess together with the dark antisemitic underbelly of Paris. The series is subtitled but worth the aggravation. To be honest I have the subtitles on for many British TV series as I cannot hear the words properly!

Sex, Love, and goop (Season 1) | NETFLIX

Gwyneth Paltrow along with team goop look into how to enhance your relationship for deeper intimacy. I have added this is into my Best TV review not because I think we should all be looking to improve our sex lives but because I cannot believe that Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop is still going strong and now has this TV series.

If you need more TV choices then have a look at our last review of Best TV as you can watch all of the recommended series on Catch Up. Click HERE.

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Lynne
Lynne
1 year ago

Am I alone in not subscribing to Netflix and Sky? I do suspect I’m in the minority!

Jane shelley
Jane shelley
1 year ago

Very comprehensive. Thank you so much. Jane