If you have recovered from all of my costume drama recommendations from Best TV for March or as my friend calls them, the Bonnet TV series, then we are back on track with thrillers, docudramas, documentaries, and some Oscar-winning films.
I want to apologise to all those who watched Seaside Hotel, the Danish series, on More4 but got left at the end of Season 3 as, at the moment, Series 4 onwards is not streaming and you can only get it on DVD. I will keep you posted if it is picked up by a streaming service or More4 again.
WECRASHED | APPLE TV
This new eight-part series charts the rise and “partial fall” of WeWork, the office space company that was once valued at $47bn. As the title rather gives away, the company came crashing down – though it still exists, but without its founder and original CEO, the charismatic Israeli ex-naval officer Adam Neumann played by Jared Leto. Anne Hathaway stars as his wife, Rebekah. For all the talk of rental leases and IPOs, the Neumanns’ “oddly sympathetic love story” is the focus of the drama.
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL | NETFLIX (15th April)
Based on the international best-selling novel by Sarah Vaughan, this series delves into the life of a happily married Parliamentary minister who is accused of a terrible crime. From the creator of “Big Little Lies” and “The Undoing”, this six-part series stars Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott and Josette Simon.
This is the one everyone will be talking about as a lying Prime Minister might be considered a little close to the bone!
THE SPLIT (season 3) | BBC
This is the third and final series of The Split, and according the BBC is the “most dramatic and heartbreaking series to date”. The Split is set in the fast-paced, complex world of London’s high-end divorce circuit and follows the lives of the three Defoe sisters, Hannah (Nicola Walker), Nina (Annabel Scholey) and Rose (Fiona Button).
In the new series, we’ll see the return of Christie, the catalyst of Hannah and Nathan’s marriage breakdown, and watch the formerly solid couple unravel as they try to come to an amicable separation agreement. The show, which marks creator Abi Morgan’s directorial debut, also promises a “shocking revelation” that “dramatically changes the stakes”. We can’t wait!
GENTLEMAN JACK (season 2) | BBC (10th April)
I could watch this series just for the opening credits and music.
Based on the true story of Anne Lister and inspired by two books by academic Jill Liddington, Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Vigil) takes the principal role as Lister, the “first modern lesbian”. Writer Sally Wainwright has hinted that there are “big, bold stories” coming in the second series, which explores Lister’s relationship with Ann Walker and the challenges they faced in 1830s Yorkshire.
SAS: ROGUE HEROES : BBC (17th April)
The six-part drama is based on Ben Macintyre’s SAS: Rogue Heroes book, which charts the creation of the famed Special Forces unit. With a star-studded line-up and Peaky Blinders director Steven Knight behind the show, the series is bound to be worth a watch.
NO TRAILER AVAILABLE YET
OUR GREAT NATIONAL PARKS (13th April) | NETFLIX
Narrated by former president Barack Obama, this series features some of our planet’s greatest national parks and wild spaces (and is a timely reminder of all that we stand to lose if we don’t hasten our fight against climate change).
THE BUBBLE | NETFLIX (1st April)
This Judd Apatow comedy about a group of actors stuck inside a pandemic bubble at a hotel attempting to complete a sequel to an action franchise film about flying dinosaurs sounds…well, not exactly escapist, but definitely fun.
THE CRIMSON RIVERS (season 3) | MORE4
Detective Pierre Niémans and his partner Camille Delauney return for a third season of WALTER PRESENTS: THE CRIMSON RIVERS, kicking off with a double episode as they investigate a series of gruesome murders in remote regions of France.
In season 3, the detectives are confronted with more complex cases of atrocious brutality. They discover a horrific double murder in the church of a small Belgian village which takes them to the sinister world of neo-pagan rituals and leather tannery. The duo tracks down a serial killer who chooses his next victim based on the order of the zodiac calendar. They must also stop a psychopath threatening to infest all of Paris with a deadly plague. And when an inmate is severely injured and Niémans ends up on the other side of the prison wall, Delauney must risk everything to rescue her mentor. Will their bond remain strong enough to keep their sanity?
The series is based on the 2000 blockbuster of the same name (starring Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno).
VERDICT | AMAZON PRIME VIDEO (15th April)
The case that was a war between two communities, two moral beliefs, two sexes, and two brilliant lawyers of the nation; the case that divided India, reopens. Binge on #TheVerdictStateVsNanavati, based on one of the most controversial jury trials in India, and decide for yourself if Kawas Nanavati was guilty or innocent.
WALTER PRESENTS: INSIDE | MORE4
Committed to a psychiatric clinic against her will, Ana, 28, is found murdered the day before her release. A young cop, Angèle, is sent to investigate. It is her first case and, to top it all off, she is told she will be working alone. The inquiry proves even trickier than she expected. How can she rely on the statements of patients with mental issues? And is the killer a patient or actually a staff member who disguised the murder as an act of somebody who is criminally insane? In order to solve the case Angèle must get inside the clinic and question the patients. All the suspects are mentally disturbed, yet they are endearing and funny. Angele gets involved to the point where she starts feeling more comfortable around patients rather than “normal” people – but will she let her own feelings cloud her judgement?
JERICHO | BRITBOX
Set in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1870s – a sort of British Western, this thrilling period drama follows the lives of a community that will live, thrive and die in the shadow of the viaduct they’ve been brought together to build.
Starring Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) this series is gorgeously filmed, with first-rate production values and an outstanding cast. This thrilling drama also stars Sophie Thompson (Detectorists) and Jeany Spark (Wallander).
TOUCHING EVIL | BRITBOX
Another old detective series – starring a young Nicola Walker and Robson Green, this chilling thriller follows a rapid response police force as they try to solve Britain’s most disturbing crimes. As the cases keep coming in and the pressure mounts, can the squad keep their cool and serve justice?
WHITE HOT: THE RISE AND FALL OF ABERCROMBIE & FITCH | NETFLIX (19th April)
To be a late-’90s/early-aughts teenager was to worship at the altar of Abercrombie & Fitch, but behind the scenes of the popular mall store, exclusion and discrimination ran rampant; this documentary examines the contrast behind the brand’s unsavoury machinations and its all-American public image.
FILMS ON STREAMING SERVICES
CODA – APPLE TV
I am so happy that this film won the Oscar for Best Film as it truly deserves it. It is a feel-good teaar-jerker that has you captivated from the start. CODA stands for Child of Deaf Adults. The daughter, Ruby, is played by Aled Jones’ daughter, Emelia Jones, and so we soon gather she has inherited his vocal ability. The actor, Troy Kotsur, who plays her father won Best Supporting Actor and became the first deaf man to win an acting Oscar.
This film ticks so many boxes so sit back, with a box of tissues, and enjoy.
KING RICHARD – AMAZON PRIME (to rent)
King Richard tells the story of the often controversial and abrasive Williams (Will Smith), who had a plan (85 pages) for his daughters even before they were born. In Compton, Los Angeles, Williams and his wife, Oracene/Brandy (Aunjanue Ellis), coach Venus and Serena, while holding day jobs as security guard and nurse respectively. Williams tries hard to get the girls a coach. He finally convinces Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn), while he is coaching John McEnroe (Christopher Wallinger) and Pete Sampras (Chase Del Rey), to have a look at Venus and Serena.
Cohen is impressed and but agrees to coach only Venus for free. That does not stop Williams who records everything and has Brandy train Serena based on the recordings. Williams’ constant comments and corrections during coaching do not particularly endear him to Cohen. Just as Venus is hitting the big league in junior tournaments, and sponsors come sniffing around, Williams decides to pull her out of tournaments fearing that she will be taken advantage of by smooth-talking white businessmen.
Rick Macci, who runs a tennis academy in Florida and trains Jennifer Capriati, offers Venus a place in his academy. Williams drives a hard bargain and the family move to Florida.
Will Smith won the Oscar for best actor so this film is definitely worth watching. It has the Williams sisters’ blessing and is possibly a version of the truth.
ALL THE OLD KNIVES | AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
When the CIA discovers one of its agents leaked information that cost more than 100 people their lives, veteran operative Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) is assigned to root out the mole from among his former officemates at the agency’s Vienna station. His investigation takes him from Austria to England to California, where he is reunited with his one- time colleague and ex-lover Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton).
The pair are forced to blur the lines between profession and passion in this riveting tale of global espionage, moral ambiguity and deadly betrayal. Directed by acclaimed Danish director Janus Metz and screenplay by Olen Steinhauer, the film also stars Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce.
THE OUTLAWS | AMAZON PRIME VIDEO (1st April)
A contemporary British comedy thriller about a disparate group of lawbreakers thrown together to complete a Community Service sentence. Seven strangers from different walks of life – people who would never normally interact – are forced to work together to renovate a derelict community centre. They resent the menial physical labour and they resent each other. But when one of their number gets dragged into a dangerous world of organized crime, they unite in ways none of them thought possible.
Written by Stephen Marchant and Elgin James.
Check out our Reviews category for past viewing recommendations