Pass the remote! 7 great things to watch this week
Fancy something to settle down with? Hey, we all need a bit of me-time. From a sultry new Tudor drama to quirky Netflix comedies, don't miss Muddy's pick of the week.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Sherwood, BBC1, 13 June
Just go ahead and pencil in some time to watch this now because it’s a must-see. Written by Olivier award-winning playwright James Graham (you know, he also did ITV’s Quiz), Sherwood is purportedly a crime drama, but it doesn’t rely on any familiar pattern — it takes its time. The murders are almost secondary to the web of small village interactions, motivations, and resentments. This is impressive given that the murderer is a guy with a bow and an arrow and we’re based in Nottinghamshire… somehow the Robin Hood gimmick isn’t what makes Sherwood tick. No: you’ll want to watch for the acting, the well-crafted drama, the intense setting of old mining village with long-standing grudges. The first two episodes air one after another on Monday and then Tuesday; there are six in total.
Becoming Elizabeth, StarzPlay, 12 June
The Tudors — most over-visited period of British history? — return to our screens in a familiar haze of sex and political intrigue via this eight-part look at the early life of Elizabeth I. German actress Alicia von Rittberg plays the Virgin Queen (supposedly 13 to start, though clearly late 20s) as cunning yet claustrophobic in her role as princess. Romola Garai (The Hour, 2009’s Emma) is a scene-stealing Mary Tudor, and Downton Abbey‘s Tom Cullen is an unsettling Thomas Seymour. What it lacks in accuracy it makes up in drama.
Extraordinary Portraits, BBC1, 13 June
This disarmingly successful series, presented by Tinie (will he ever successfully leave ‘Tempah’ behind?), returns to shine more spotlights on contemporary heroes. The premise sees a gifted painter matched up with an ordinary but inspirational person in order to capture their likeness. It’s a formula that’s proved wildly charming, aided by the left-field choice of one of Britain’s most successful rappers as presenter. No surprise this second series follows so hotly on the heels of the first.
God’s Favourite Idiot, Netflix, 15 June
Melissa McCarthy stars alongside her real-life husband Ben Falcone in this wacky new sitcom about a soft, ordinary sort of man who is unexpectedly chosen by God to stop the apocalypse. You know: relatable comedy. It’s an effective mix of mindlessly mundane corporate America and grand mortal peril. Satan’s a woman in heels, the four horsemen of the apocalypse rock up in a supermarket — you get the gist.
The Lazarus Project, Sky Max and NOW TV, 16 June
Though loosely just another spin on the whole Groundhog Day time loop thing, The Lazarus Project takes the familiar trope in an interesting new direction. When our main character George (I May Destroy You‘s Paapa Essiedu) finds himself repeating time, he is recruited into a secret organisation that uses time manipulation to prevent mass tragedies. Coming in eight parts, it’s an ambitiously sprawling plot, and suitably gripping.
Love & Anarchy, Netflix, 16 June
This Swedish workplace comedy isn’t what you’d expect from the phrase ‘workplace comedy’. The first series (which dropped on Netflix back in 2020) introduced us to Sofie and Max, respectively a married publishing consultant and a young IT guy, who begin a weird office flirtation via dares, challenges, and pranks. It’s raunchy, often second-hand embarrassing, very funny, and a refreshingly uncliched romance. Series two sees things escalate, with real-life consequences.
The Real Derry, C4, 16 June
The knockout success of Derry Girls has, unsurprisingly, seen more than one documentary about the Northern Irish city appear. The show’s own Jamie-Lee O’Donnell heads this one, which explores how things have changed since her childhood in Derry/Londonderry. It manages to balance the necessary element of warm wit in her presenting style with a raw reality of lingering scars. No easy task: this makes an interesting, informative watch.