Struggling with what to watch on Netflix tonight? Look no further than the WIRED guide to the best new Netflix TV shows in 2019. Updated weekly
Netflix has something for everyone, but there’s plenty of rubbish padding its catalogue of classic TV shows everyone has heard about. Our guide to the best TV on Netflix UK is updated weekly to help you avoid the mediocre ones and find the best things to watch. We try and pick out the less obvious gems, too, so we’re confident you’ll find a must-watch show you don’t already know about.
h2]Line of Duty[/h2]
Jed Mercurio’s gripping police drama follows the work of AC-12, a police anti-corruption unit working in an unspecified UK city. Originally broadcast on the BBC, the show centres around Steven Arnott, a detective who is transferred to AC-12 from counter-terrorism after a delicate operation goes badly wrong, and colleagues Kate Fleming – an undercover operative – and Ted Hastings. Each set of six episodes covers a different case of potential police wrongdoing, and there are moments of gripping tension that make it perfect for binge-watching. The first four seasons are on Netflix.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Is The Next Generation the best Star Trek series? We’re not getting into that debate, but you can decide for yourself by watching all seven series on Netflix. That said, brilliant though it is, you really shouldn’t watch all seven seasons. The first is pretty turgid and the second is only marginally better, but TNG really hits its stride in season three and never looks back. Handily, the nature of Star Trek means you can safely miss dozens of episodes and miss nothing important, so a little strategic watching is in order. Wired.com’s binge-watching guide will navigate you safely around the land mines, so you can enjoy the absolute sci-fi gems hidden within.
Aired between 2005 and 2012, Weeds carries the hallmarks of a vintage TV series, but luckily it’s one that’s aged well. The premise – a suburban mom who turns to dealing weed for money after her husband dies – might sound vaguely familiar. But this show aired before Breaking Bad, and some consider it a precursor to the far more famous show. Weeds brings together a ramshackle family unit whose farcical slide into big time drug dealing creates the opportunity to introduce a range of bizarre characters and storylines, while still managing to maintain a warm heart.
Rhythm + Flow
Netflix is throwing its hat into the competitive TV show arena and taking on the family-friendly likes of The X Factor and The Voice with an uncensored rival. The ten-episode show sends judges Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. to the US hip-hop epicentres – Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Atlanta – on the hunt for the next big rapper. Or, as T.I. said in an Instagram video to “all of the hoods, all the studios, all the nightclubs. Even the barbershops if necessary.” The four audition episodes are filmed at real nightclubs with live audiences to create a sense of authenticity and test the contestants’ stage presence in front of a crowd.
From the Academy Award-winning directors and writers of The Matrix comes this mind-blowing globe-trotting sci-fi romp. Sense8 sees eight individuals around the world suddenly become telekinetically linked, and unexpectedly able to feel each other’s deepest emotions like love, pain and fear. The show’s not your run-of-the-mill sci-fi flick, instead it’s more of a character study looking at how people connect through empathy. It’s a beautiful, bonkers creation, filmed in over nine cities, with two splendid seasons and one hard fought-for finale. And while it’s now finished, it’s still well worth your undivided attention, if not for that psychic orgy. Yes, you read that right.
When Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) reports that she has been raped, she finds herself thrown into a deeply flawed system that will go on to tear her already traumatic life apart at the seams. Based on a true story, Unbelievable follows the aftermath of Adler’s rape and the two female detectives who years later team up to uncover a series of disturbingly similar crimes. The unvarnished horror of Adler’s ordeal makes this an understandably difficult watch at times but the excellent lead performances and focus on the voices of victims – so often missing in shows that portray violence against women – add up to a nuanced and unmissable exploration of the lasting impacts of sexual violence.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
A big budget prequel to Jim Henson’s 1982 cult classic brings the rich world of Thra to the small screen. Like its predecessor, Age of Resistance is a breathtaking, sweeping fantasy that rivals Game of Thrones in terms of political intrigue. It follows the fortunes of three Gelflings and their struggles against the vulture-like Skeksis. The use of puppets sets it apart from pretty much anything else on Netflix, and there’s a skilled cast of voice actors to accompany the puppeteers, including Taron Egerton, Simon Pegg and Mark Hamill.
Inspired by the real-life story of Israel’s most famous spy, Sacha Baron Cohen successfully goes undercover in Syria in the 1960s. It’s a dramatic turn for an actor who forged his career as a satirical comedian in characters such as Borat and Ali G. In this six-part miniseries, the main character Eli Cohen spends years devoted to his Arab persona, eventually becoming close enough to the high-ranked politicians and military leaders who would later take over the country and ascending to power himself.
The People v. O.J. Simpson
Part of the American Crime Story series, The People v. O.J. Simpson is a gripping ten-episode mini-series which tells the story of the the infamous O.J. Simpson murder case. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Simpson with David Schwimmer is uncanny as Robert Kardashian, whose family needs no introduction. The story is compelling enough on its own and the performances and direction are (John Travolta aside) excellent, as evidenced by the 22 Primetime Emmy Award nominations the series received and its 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Once you’ve burned through this you’ll want to move onto the second season, which revolves around the murder of Gianni Versace.
Now into its second season, David Fincher’s Mindhunter is very ‘Fincher’ and that’s a good thing. The director behind Seven and Zodiac is a producer and directs numerous episodes of the series, which tells the origin story of the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit and its study of serial killers. The second season has fewer of the tense interviews with killers that made season one famous, instead focusing on a prolonged investigation into the serial murders of young African Americans in Atlanta, the first test of the unit’s theories. The second season isn’t quite as tight as the first, but it’s still a hugely compelling watch with top-notch production values.
The Thick of It
Woke millennial websites? Anti-knife campaigns in chicken shops? Watching inept MPs and civil servants fluff it all up might be the last thing you want to see right now but Armando Iannucci’s excruciatingly funny Westminster sitcom (which ran sporadically from 2005 to 2012) might actually be cathartic. Peter Capaldi’s petrifying puppetmaster Malcolm Tucker gets all the best lines (insults) but the bumbling awkwardness from everyone else is just as exquisite. Classic Brexit bunker TV.
If you like your TV moody and brooding, sci-fi series Dark is for you. The first German-language Netflix Original series (don’t worry, there’s an option for English dubbing), Dark opens with a secret liaison, a missing teenager and a spooky-looking cave – which rather sets the vibe for the rest of the show. What initially appears to be a straightforward mystery investigation soon turns into an ambitious time travel plot with bucketloads of atmosphere. The title is appropriate.
Orange is the New Black
Netflix / JoJo Whilden
Orange is the New Black debuted in 2013 – and after seven seasons it is finally coming to a close. The series follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a former small-time criminal turned PR executive, who is held accountable for her past. Chapman is upended from her privileged lifestyle and thrown into a minimum-security prison. She doesn’t fit in. From her first day in prison to the last – and beyond – chaos follows her around. Expect drugs, death, sex and escape attempts.
When Netflix rebooted Queer Eye for the Straight Guy as Queer Eye in February 2018 it was all about the makeover: the hosts – Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Tan France, and Bobby Berk – introduced the French tuck and taught basic moisturiser lessons. Now we’ve reached the fourth season, things have been ramped up. This time around the Fab Five give Van Ness’ school teacher a make-over, help a military veteran and take a man to meet the person that shot him. It’s joyful, moving and inspiring all at the same time.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion has something of a legendary status in anime circles, and deservedly so. The series, created by Hideaki Anno, follows Shinji, a 14-year-old who is called upon to commandeer a giant robot Evangelion in order to defend the city of Tokyo-3 from attacks by assorted monsters called Angels. Shinji reluctantly takes up the task, albeit less out of heroism than a desperate need to please his absent father, who happens to lead the Evangelion program. Despite the giant mecha battles, the series’ real triumph is in its tendency to the introspective; the plot focuses as much on the characters’ inner lives as it does on the battle for Tokyo-3, dealing with trauma, depression and the complexity of human relationships.
Netflix’s nostalgic sci-fi series is back for its third season. The show picks things up in 1985 with El, Mike and the gang teetering awkwardly on the precipice that separates childhood from adolescence. Meanwhile, in Hawkins, things have taken a sinister turn as the town’s residents start to find themselves under the influence of a strange, supernatural force. Oh, and there’s the little matter of the Russian scientists trying to pry open a hole into the Upside Down. This season more than makes up for season two’s missteps, by centering the action on the endlessly endearing relationship between the young characters, while destruction looms in the backward.
Marvel’s alliance with Netflix is coming to an end as its slate of superhero shows – which has included Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil and The Punisher – moves to Disney’s new streaming service. Jessica Jones is the best of the bunch. The title character is a private detective with superhuman strength and a permanent scowl, who quiets her inner demons with alcohol. The first season features a star turn from a brilliantly deranged David Tennant, and the third and final set of episodes has just been released.
When They See Us
The four-part miniseries reenacts the excruciating case of the Central Park Five, a group of black and Latino teens from Harlem, who were wrongly convicted of the rape and attempted murder of a white woman in 1989. Filmmaker Ana DuVernay – with Oprah Winfrey and Robert de Niro among the executive producers – tells a true story of racial profiling, injustice and media misinformation over a 25-year timespan, from arrest to vindication.
Bridget Jones turns into a shrewd billionaire puppetmaster. In her first leading role in a TV series, Renée Zellweger plays Anne Montgomery, a renowned and feared venture capitalist based in San Francisco who promises to rescue research scientist Lisa Donovan’s (Jane Levy) medical startup in return for one night with her newlywed husband Sean (Blake Jenner). The thriller anthology explores the decisions people make and the ripple effects they create. The plot is confusing with weak supporting characters but its trashiness might actually be sort of deliberate.
Dead to Me
Dead to Me is your next Netflix binge. The comedy-drama (the creators refer to it as a “traumedy”) follows newly-widowed Jen (Christina Applegate) as she attempts to come to terms with her husband’s death. At a grief support group she meets Judy (Linda Cardellini) and the two form a fast friendship. From there it’s a wild ride, with one mad twist after another that will have you by turns wide-eyed in shock and doubled over with laughter. A refreshing take on the buddy comedy.
Tuca and Bertie
Ostensibly set in the same animated universe as Bojack Horseman, that show’s art director Lisa Hanawalt has a new cartoon called Tuca and Bertie. Like Bojack, the characters are animals with human hands and feet and a propensity to get real about their feelings in the middle of a scrape. Also like Bojack, the mix of surreal sight gags and dark set pieces feels chaotic but is in fact expertly calibrated. Tuca and Bertie is still its own beautiful beast, though. Tiffany Haddish’s contagious energy and Ali Wong’s neurotic sniggers help to make sure the two main birds (they’re birds) are fully formed from the first episode. Fans of moody teenage talking plants, bad medicine math and pastry puns should check this out.
In this coming-of-age comedy, protagonist Ryan has all the usual concerns of a young gay man, plus one more. He’s desperate to impress at his first unpaid internship, is self-conscious about meeting the men he speaks to on Grindr in real life – and he also has cerebral palsy. In the first 15-minute episode, O’Connell tries to gloss over this last fact, but given his new position is at an online magazine specialising in tell-all personal essays, you can imagine how successful that’s going to be. The series is based on a memoir by Ryan O’Connell, who also plays the lead, and is full of scenes that are by turns touching, awkward and frequently hilarious.
“I’m just a hero for fun” is Saitama’s reason for being, but it’s all gone horribly wrong. In his quest to become the strongest hero he can be, he’s made a fatal error: he’s become too strong (and he’s lost all his hair). What fun can be had for a hero who can defeat any enemy, no matter how preposterously strong, with a single lethal punch? It’s from this premise that One-Punch Man turns every trope of superhero entertainment on its head in a delightfully anarchic series which suffers none of the po-faced seriousness of many Japanese animations. Whether you’re anime veteran or a total newcomer, it’s the kind of show that anyone can enjoy. Take a chance. You won’t regret it.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace
From the same team behind The People v O.J. Simpson comes the true – if slightly embellished – story of the life of Andrew Cunanan, who, in 1997, shot dead the world-famous fashion designer Gianni Versace outside his home in Miami Beach, Florida. This darkly stylish series, which debuted on the BBC in the UK but has now been picked up by Netflix. The narrative jumps around to build up Cunanan’s character, revealing an eccentric, enigmatic and ultimately darkly twisted individual who is superbly played by Darren Criss – best-known as Blaine Anderson in Glee. From start to finish, this show is compelling, binge-worthy viewing.
Netflix’s first ever Original is a brilliant crime and fish-out-of-water black comedy that’s worth trying if you never saw it first time around. Stevie Van Zandt, best known for his role as a mob boss in The Sopranos, plays an eerily familiar mobster who chooses to move to Norway when he turns state’s witness. He ends up in Lillehammer, which he remembers from the 1994 Winter Olympics, and predictably begins building a mafia-style criminal empire, complete with seedy bar, in partnership with some of the less than scrupulous locals.
Formula 1: Drive to Survive
Daniel Vojtech / Netflix
Netflix’s anticipated Formula 1 docu-series gives a behind the scenes glimpse into a sport that is high-drama, high-stakes and incredibly fast-paced. With insights not only from drivers but also team owners and managers, the series gives a real and holistic sense of what it takes to put on the global racing phenomenon, from boardroom politics to race day pit-stops. Some characters come off better than others, and it’s the rivalries between both teams and individuals that makes the series thoroughly binge-worthy, whether you’re an existing fan or an F1 newbie.
Dogs are too good for us. There’s proof enough in the first very first episode of Dogs, a tale of a service animal trained to detect seizures in a young girl, giving her back the freedom to be alone. While the episode about groomers in Japan has its fair share of adorable, Dogs is much more than a series of cute Instagram-worthy clips. Instead, these slow, quietly told stories reveal how devotion and love bring out the best in us humans, be it at the world’s largest shelter in Costa Rica, fishing on an empty Italian lake, or the tense trip a husky takes from Syria to reunite with his owner, a refugee now living in Berlin. By the time the final episode about adoption rolls around, you’ll want one of your own – but not feel quite worthy.
In Russian Doll, Nadia has two problems. One: she keeps dying. Two: she keeps coming back (in a Groundhog Day kind of way, not a Walking Dead scenario). The first episode opens with a birthday party thrown for Nadia, played by the glorious Natasha Lyonne, who is also a co-creator on the show. That same night, she dies – and then finds herself back at the party again. The rest of the series follows Nadia as she continues to party/die/repeat, all the while trying to figure out exactly what was in that joint she smoked or what else could be causing this weird blip in the fabric of spacetime. The result is both funny and thought-provoking, without over-egging the potential for philosophical musing.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
If you are looking for genuine terror, let it come in the form of a documentary series about the life of the man whose psychopathic cruelty traumatised America in the 1970s: namely, Ted Bundy. Based on his interviews with Stephen Michaud, which were held and recorded in jail while he was on death row, and in which the reporter asked him to respond to his questions in the third person to – curiously – increase the authenticity of his answers, the show recounts Bundy’s confession to the murder of 30 women. And to the barbaric violence with which he carried them out. It was a subject of morbid fascination for the public at the time, and it remains so almost 40 years later. Do not watch alone.
JoJo Whilden / Netflix
This eight episode series is one of the more unusual and original Netflix shows in recent memory. It opens with Prairie Johnson, played by co-creator Brit Marling, reappearing having been missing for seven years. She won’t explain where she was or the biggest mystery of all: how she came to regain her sight. What follows is an absorbing supernatural mystery that stretches credulity at times, but keeps you hooked all the same. An absorbing second season was released in 2019 to well-deserved critical acclaim.
The very first episode of the eight-part Sex Education opens with a scene of two teenagers having awkward, unsatisfying sex and things just get more cringe-inducing from then. At the heart of the series are the gawky Otis (Asa Butterfield), so unable to confront his own desire that he can’t masturbate, and his sex therapist mother (Gillian Anderson) who thinks her son’s insecurities are ideal breakfast table conversation starter. The setting is jarring – it’s basically the school from The Breakfast Club transplanted into the British countryside – but the series’ wide-eyed honesty is a refreshing and poignant look at the bewildering world of teenage desire.
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
A book about tidying might not seem natural Netflix fodder, but this TV spin-off of Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a veritable delight. In each episode, Kondo visits a US family whose home is in need of a spring clean, and helps them get back to basics by teaching them the KonMari method of throwing out anything that doesn’t “spark joy”. The format of the show is very similar to Queer Eye, with the main interest coming not from Kondo’s tidying wisdom but the emotional journey of her clients. Come for the folding tips, stay for the warm fuzzy feeling you get watching couples bond over bin bags.
The Last Kingdom
Based on a series of novels by Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom is set in late 9th-century England, long before the country was unified. The competing kingdoms have been invaded and occupied by Vikings, leaving Wessex under the rule of King Alfred as the last standing against the plundering hoards. It’s an entertaining historical drama centred on Uthred of Bebbanburg, an Anglo-Saxon who is kidnapped as a boy, raised as a Viking and finds himself playing both sides to try and regain the land and title stolen from him. It never quite reaches the heights of Vikings, which is available on Amazon Prime, but it’s a more than adequate substitute while you wait for its final season. There are three seasons on Netflix with a fourth on the way.
If you’ve run out of episodes of Black Mirror, it’s well worth diving into the Charlie Brooker back-catalogue. Dead Set, a five-part mini-series which was originally broadcast in 2008, isn’t quite as slick and polished as its higher budget successor, but there are clear signs of what was to come from Brooker in its darkly twisted premise.
The show, which was uploaded to Netflix for the first time this month, follows the contestants and producers on a fictional series of Big Brother, who become stranded on set as a zombie outbreak ravages the world outside. There are appearances from Riz Ahmed – later of Rogue One and Four Lions – and Warren Brown (Idris Elba’s detective partner on Luther), as well as a zombified Davina McCall. There’s even a blink and you’ll miss it zombie cameo from Brooker himself – taking on a rare acting role in addition to writing and producing.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Those who grew up with Melissa Joan Hart’s well-loved Sabrina in Sabrina the Teenage Witch may have been wary of a new TV take on the comic book witch, but Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a delight for fans both old and new. Funny, dark, and at points actually quite scary, the series follows a 16-year-old Sabrina Spellman forced to choose between witch life and her mortal friends. Kiernan Shipka brings a mix of familiarity and fresh spirit to the role, portraying a spunky, modern Sabrina with a taste for the occult. Episodes oscillate from evil to irreverent, while glorious gothic design makes for indulgent viewing. It might even make you jump.
Star Trek: Discovery
It could have been terrible, but thankfully Star Trek: Discovery is absolutely terrific. While at times it oscillates awkwardly between big-budget drama and cheap sci-fi thrills, for the most part this is a thoughtful, visually stunning expansion of Trekkian lore. Its obsession with winking and nodding to that lore will delight fans of the show, but at its core Discovery is a brilliant character drama, set against some clever and mind-bending sci-fi plot twists. It’s now back for season two.
Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany puts on the mask of a 2018 sci-fi version of Veronica Mars with a slightly more whimsical vibe and a fake British accent. If that doesn’t sell it for you, it is likely that Maslany’s stunning performance as Sarah, an unfortunate byproduct of scientific experiment on cloning, will win you over. Upon witnessing the suicide of a woman looking suspiciously similar to her, Sarah decides to take on her identity and is quick to realise that there is a lot more at stake than forming herself to her doppelgängers’ profession – police officer. She discovers that she is part of a large-scale experiment with clones, and that identical versions of her are running around all over the country. We’ll leave you to find out what complications that entails.
Now in its fifth season, now is the perfect time to get into one of best things on Netflix ever. Period. Back in the 1990s BoJack Horseman was the star of a hit TV sitcom. A lot has changed since then. The animated series picks up with BoJack 20 years after his peak as he sinks deeper into middle age and an endless cycle of substance abuse. In a LA half-populated by human-animal hybrids, BoJack comes to terms with his existential dread in this bleak and darkly funny comedy. The first half of season one is a little heavy on the bleakness and light on laughs, but once it hits its stride this surreal comedy comes into its own with stellar voice performances from Amy Sedaris, Will Arnett and Aaron Paul.
“Now the story of a family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together” – sounds pretty ordinary for a tagline, but that is probably the only thing that is normal about Arrested Development. The series follows the Bluth family, a horde of nutty, selfish sociopaths who attempt to look after themselves after Papa Bluth goes to prison and cash starts being short. The only relatively functional member of the family, Michael – whose son is rightfully named George Michael – desperately tries to live up to his favourite adage that family is what counts the most. His struggles between a manipulative, emotionless mother and his professionally qualified magician brother make for an easy watch and puns that get even better as the series continues.
The world of advertising is intense. It’s no more intense than in the 1960s office of the ad agency Sterling Cooper on Madison Avenue, New York. Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the creative director of Sterling Cooper, is fighting to retain clients and also control himself. Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) joins the agency as Draper’s secretary but has big ambitions. She sets about rising through the ranks at the firm. Although, things aren’t as easy she initially hoped.
The Good Place
After suffering an improbable and humiliating death, Eleanor finds herself in ‘The Good Place’, a perfect neighbourhood inhabited by the world’s worthiest people. But there seems to have been some administrative error, as Eleanor is not a good person by any measure. Desperate to not be sent to ‘The Bad Place’, she tries to correct her behaviour in the afterlife, with the help of the teachings of her assigned soulmate, philosophy professor Chidi. There’s a sprinkling of ethical teaching in every episode, which the stories themselves extend into something more easily understood and enjoyed by the average viewer.
Tommy Shelby is a man on a mission. The former WW1 soldier, and his highly dysfunctional family members, have returned to a gritty Birmingham after WW1. Now, he wants power for himself and will overthrow everyone that gets in his way. There’s excessive drinking, fighting and swearing as the Shelby family becomes the most well known in the UK’s second city. And the police aren’t even a concern. If you get on the wrong side of the family there will be trouble.
A serial killer targeting children is on the loose in 1890s New York. The local police department is playing down any connections between the deaths of the young boys, who all work in the sex industry. Based on Caleb Carr’s novel, the series sees criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler team up with a New York Times illustrator called John Moore and Sara Howard, NYPD’s first female employee who has aspirations of becoming a detective. The trio work under the radar with new police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt in an attempt to track down the deranged serial killer using psychological analysis – a largely unheard of technique at the time.
Nick Sax is a detective turned hitman who revels in his completely dysfunctional life. Then, after suffering a heart attack during a hit, he wakes up to find he is now accompanied by Happy, a small blue flying unicorn. He’s the imaginary friend of his kidnapped daughter Hailey, and believes that Nick is the hero that will come to her rescue.
What follows are a large amount of serious violence and disturbing scenes, which will likely be off-putting to some viewers. That said, the story, adapted from a short comic series with the same name, is an amusingly twisted version of serious crime dramas, with a dark sense of humour that stands up even when you’ve wiped all the blood away.
Some of the jokes are based on the obvious contrast between Nick’s indifference to the horrors of the criminal world and Happy’s childish naivety, but that dynamic changes through the eight episodes of the series, before viewers can get tired of it.
Manhunt: Unabomber is a crime drama based on the FBI’s hunt for serial bomber Ted Kaczynski (played by Paul Bettany), who mailed a string of homemade bombs to targets including academics, airlines and executives between 1978 and 1995. The series focuses on FBI profiler James Fitzgerald (Sam Worthington), who attempts to find linguistic clues in the bomber’s political writings in order to identify him. It’s a fast-paced, high-stakes investigation, and the show gets under the skin of both protagonists, who we are led to believe have a lot more in common than they would perhaps like to admit.
Travellers is something of a hidden gem, albeit one that’s increasingly not hidden as people realise the genius of this tight, entertaining Canadian sci-fi series. Run by Brad Wright, one of the co-creators of Stargate SG-1, the show follows a team of time travellers sent back to “the 21st” to prevent the post-apocalyptic future from which they came. The twist is how they travel. The Travellers have their consciousness transferred into the bodies of people shortly before their death, adopting their identities and living their lives between missions. It’s an often thrilling, sometimes complicated watch that treads the line between serious sci-fi and accessible entertainment perfectly.
Better Call Saul
Flawed characters make good drama and boy are the characters in Better Call Saul flawed. A prequel to the legendary Breaking Bad, it’s the story of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), the morally flexible dial-a-lawyer better-known as Saul Goodman. Ostensibly it’s about how Jimmy became Saul, but there’s more to the show. It also fills out the story of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), the ex-cop and bag man, and the Chicken restaurant drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Mostly, though, it’s about Jimmy and his relationship with his brother Chuck McGill, played brilliantly by Michael McKean. Their inherent differences drive drama across three seasons, although it can be a little slow to get started.15 of the best films on Amazon Prime UK right now
The End of the F***ing World
“I thought she could be interesting to kill. So I pretended to fall in love with her.” Thus begins the inner monologue of James (Alex Lawther), a dysfunctional 17-year-old who is convinced he’s a sociopath. His target is Alyssa, played by Jessica Barden (Hanna) the new girl at school with terrible parents and a special talent for annoying people. They run away together and the corresponding crime spree draws them closer and has the law following in their wake. This pitch perfect black comedy from Channel 4 will leave you wanting much more, not least as its eight episodes are just 30 minutes apiece. You’ll blast through The End of the F***ing World in a weekend, perhaps even an evening, and be better for it.
It might be designed by the same company that brought you Hello Kitty, but the Netflix original series Aggretsuko uses its super cute animal wrapping to cover identifiable stories of working life frustration. Retsuko, a dedicated employee(and also a red panda) of a company that does not respect her at all, seeks different forms of escapism through the series, finding new interests and making new relationships in the hope they will be her path out of her current job. The only one that consistently keeps her going is her secret passion for death metal karaoke singing. The style, short episodes and frequent use of exaggerated humour makes this a very easy show to watch quickly, but there may be moments you will want to pause to reflect on your own experiences.
This “mockumentary” follows student documentarian Peter Maldonado, who embarks on an investigation into the expulsion of fellow student Dylan Maxwell for spray-painting dicks on the cars of 27 teachers. American Vandal will draw you in with its smart satire, which pokes fun at both the recent trend for true-crime documentaries and the modern stereotypes of American high schools, before hooking you with the fast-unravelling mystery story. A few episodes in, you’ll genuinely be on the edge of your seat wondering: Who drew the dicks?
If Netflix had released this nostalgic, lycra ridden 80’s show a little sooner, we have no doubts that the term ‘Glow Up’ would have a very different origin story. It focuses on a group of ‘unconventional women’ who are, quite simply, looking for a break. When these wannabe actresses respond to an ad for talent, they are inducted into the neon lit, soap-opera splendour of America’s most misunderstood sport. Through nothing but sweat, tears and an iron determination to break a chair over the back of inequality, they become the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling. GLOW does what very few shows do – dedicating itself to a powerful ensemble of actresses and allowing them space to breathe.
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