Best TV for June: Dramas, Documentaries, Comedy & Films

Well the weather held out for most of us over the Jubilee weekend – marvellous celebrations on what was a unique occasion. Remember the last Jubilee in 2012 and the Queen and Prince Philip stood in the rain watching the pageant of boats and the Prince ended up in hospital. As we can never rely on British weather though we may need some of my best TV recommendations to get us through this month.

BBC

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE – BBC iPlayer

Created and adapted for television by Dolly Alderton and inspired by her own wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking, internationally bestselling memoir of the same name, Everything I Know About Love will give an unflinching account of surviving your 20s. Maybe one to discover what it is like for our children and/or grandchildren?

SHERWOOD | BBC iPlayer

The 1980s miners’ strike made foes of friends and families. Could it have bred killers? Writer James Graham reveals how his harrowing new six-parter drew on unforgettable events from his Nottinghamshire childhood.

SILENT WITNESS SEASON 25 | BBC

STATE OF THE UNION | BBC2

In the second season of Nick Hornby and Stephen Frears’ short-form romantic dramedy, Brendan Gleeson and Patricia Clarkson play a new couple in need of marriage counselling.

NETFLIX

BORGEN: POWER & GLORY | NETFLIX

It has been almost 10 years since we last saw Birgitte Nyborg, played by the incomparable Sidse Babett Knudsen, as she drove to her new appointment as Foreign Minister after becoming the leader of a new political party, the New Democrats.

Now, hit Danish political drama Borgen has finally returned to our screens for a fourth run – appropriately titled Power & Glory on Netflix – which brings the machinations and diplomatic crises to a whole new audience.

We pick up years after we last saw our idealistic but realistic heroine and she is now an experienced Foreign Minister in a new coalition government and serving under a new female premier, Prime Minister Signe Kragh (a delightfully smug Johanne Louise Schmidt).

While former PM Birgitte is an old-school politician who serves on principles and her party’s policies, Kragh is more career-focused, social media savvy and pragmatic.

The two soon come into conflict after a new international issue arises when oil is discovered in Greenland, a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark.

AS THE CROW FLIES | NETFLIX

A young fan manoeuvres her way into a seasoned anchor’s newsroom but soon confronts the dark side of ambition, envy and the desire to be seen.

MAN vs BEE | NETFLIX

Renowned comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson heads up a new physical comedy series that the whole family can get behind. What looks to be a slapstick affair, not too dissimilar from his Mr. Bean days, ‘Man Vs Bee’ sees him literally have an all-out war with an endangered species.

Created by Rowan Atkinson and writer Will Davies, the pair have teamed up once again following their successful yet downright idiotic ‘Johnny English’ trilogy – so at least you know what to expect going into this new project.

SKY

HARLAN COBEN’S THE FIVE | SKY

JULIA | SKY

This should have been in last month’s review but in case you have missed this series then catch up now. This biopic of TV chef Julia Child is so charming and warm it’s televisual comfort food – seasoned with a fabulously old-fashioned turn from its lead. Sarah Lancashire is brilliant and soon makes you forget previous performances in this role by Meryl Streep.

APPLE TV

NOW & THEN | APPLE TV

Two different timelines converge in this Miami-set tale of the mistakes of youth haunting its characters into adulthood.

Over the eight episodes of the first season, we are taken into the lives of a group of college friends from Miami who are now facing an uncertain future and a past that won’t stay buried despite their best attempts to leave it all behind. For a while, it seems to have worked as they have built their own lives, careers, and families. They have almost managed to delude themselves into thinking that they’ve dodged a collective bullet that could have ruined everything. This fantasy all comes crashing down around them when, 20 years after the tragic death they had hoped everyone would just forget about, they all get the same text from an unknown number that will change everything and threaten all that they have built: “Tomorrow. Alumni meeting. Attend or I’ll tell the police what happened on graduation night.”

AMAZON PRIME

MOTHERING SUNDAY | AMAZON PRIME

On a warm spring day in 1924, housemaid and foundling Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young) finds herself alone on Mother’s Day. Her employers, Mr and Mrs Niven (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman) are out and she has the rare chance to spend quality time with her secret lover. Paul (Josh O’Connor) is the boy from the manor house nearby, Jane’s long-term love despite the fact that he’s engaged to be married to another woman, a childhood friend and daughter of his parents’ friends. But events that neither can foresee will change the course of Jane’s life forever.

THE BRIGHT SIDE | AMAZON PRIME (Film)

The film follows Kate (Gemma-Leah Devereux), a stand-up comedian who’s in her 30s and not seeing much point in making it to her 40s. When she gets diagnosed with cancer, she thinks of it as an easy way out, only agreeing to go through chemotherapy at the behest of her brother (Kevin McGahern). As she undergoes treatment, though, she also finds herself surrounded by other women also dealing with the same thing, and the result brings her a sense of support and hope that was previously missing.

Gemma-Leah Devereux, who wowed as Liza Minnelli in 2019’s Judy, is fantastic, playing Kate with unwavering, heartfelt commitment.

ALL 4

THE CHALET | ALL4

A summer getaway becomes a fight for survival in this twisty French thriller.

Friends meet up for a reunion in the Alps, but events take a deadly turn when they get cut off from the outside world.

As long-buried secrets come to light, do mysteries of the past hold the key to events of the present?

THE WAGNER METHOD | ALL4

Police captain Cesar Wagner has been transferred to his hometown in WALTER PRESENTS: THE WAGNER METHOD – but there’s one slight niggle; he’s a huge hypochondriac.

After being recently transferred to Strasbourg’s judicial police department in eastern France, police captain Cesar Wagner settles in with the new team. Assisted by Elise Beaumont, an uninhibited medical examiner, Wagner tries to impose his own distinctive style: a confirmed bachelor, big-hearted cop and compulsive hypochondriac who also has an obsession for his work, Wagner unsettles not only the suspects but also the members of his own squad. He must win their trust, and for his first mission, Wagner ignores appearances and decides to investigate the apparently accidental death of a rising star of local football.

DOCUMENTARIES:

ONCE UPON A TIME IN LONDONGRAD | SKY

Documentary charting the uncomfortable relationship between the UK’s reliance on Russian money and the missed opportunities to contain Putin.

THE LANCASTER AT WAR (6 June) | NETFLIX

Using firsthand accounts from pilots, this documentary tells the story of a World War II bomber that played a crucial role in defeating the Third Reich.

LONG MARCH TO FREEDOM (6 June) | NETFLIX

Survivor interviews and dramatic reenactments chronicle the brutalities endured by Allied POWs during a forced march to Poland in January 1945.

50 LITERS LIFE (6 June) | NETFLIX

This documentary examines the severe drought in South Africa and what life looks like when each citizen is allowed just 50 litres of water a day.

For previous screen recommendations look here