Weekly watchlist: the 10 best things on TV
Comfies on! We've compiled 10 of the best things on TV this week, ripe and ready for you to binge. From monster-packed rom-coms to Oscar-buzz dramas, it's your pick...
Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime), Mon 12 Apr
Riz Ahmed is up for an Oscar for his fierce and focused performance in this new drama, having learnt both drumming and sign language especially for it. Sombre, powerful, and a real horror story for musicians, the film follows a heavy metal drummer who suffers largely irreversible hearing loss. A recovering heroin addict, Ruben goes to a radical therapeutic community that aims to teach him how to accept and live happily with the condition, but is in truth desperate to get the money together for a risky surgery that would restore some of his hearing. The film is up for six Oscars, including Best Picture.
Too Close (ITV), Mon 12 Apr
This new, subtle but absorbing psychological thriller follows a forensic psychiatrist (Emily Watson) who is assigned the case of a woman accused of a violent crime she claims to remember nothing about (Denise Gough). A slow-burner, the show is on every night and concludes Wednesday, building and exploring the enthralling relationship between psychiatrist and troubled patient. But you could binge it all on catch-up, of course.
Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World (BBC2), Mon 12 Apr
This new three-part series focuses on the ‘gap year’ that teen climate activist Greta Thunberg took from 2019-2020. She had a break from school to sustainably travel the globe with her father, Svante, and try to provoke action on climate change. It follows the impact of Covid-19 on her efforts, as well as offering a humanising glimpse of her wry relationship with her dad. In the first programme, Greta travels to a UN climate conference in Chile via North America, and clashes with Trump.
All That Glitters: Britain’s Next Jewellery Star (BBC2), Tue 13 Apr
The latest iteration of arts talent shows (see Interior Design Masters, Pottery Throwdown, Great British Sewing Bee, below, etc) promises a glittering, warm-hearted hour of jewellery-making, presented by comedian Katherine Ryan (we loved her in quirky The Duchess). Eight jewellers go up against judges Shaun Leane and Solange Azagury-Partridge, and face some brutal critiques. To the unprofessional eye (i.e, ours) all the jewellery looks gorgeous, but the judges’ comments open up a world of detail and craftsmanship that we never knew existed. It’s strangely addictive to watch.
Love and Monsters (Netflix), Wed 14 Apr
Your kids might recognise Dylan O’Brien from Teen Wolf or The Maze Runner, but this latest title sees him in new territory: dropped in the middle of a monster apocalypse. Separated from his high school sweetheart by miles of monster-infested land, Joel risks everything and leaves his underground bunker to find her. On paper it’s a well-worn teeny premise, but the quick comedy and bumbling heart of the film — which doesn’t take itself too seriously — makes it a charming watch, with a fair amount of action. (And it gets serious points for having a cute dog front and centre.)
Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty (BBC2), Wed 14 Apr
This docu-series examines real-life stories of corrupt police officers in the 1970s London police force, and the team who worked to bring them down. With a jazz-funk soundtrack and great archive clips (real-life Jaguar car chases, anyone?) it plays well on 70s nostalgia and corrupt cop glamour films, accounting examples of bribery and stitch-ups almost too brash to believe.
The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC1), Wed 14 Apr
The beloved Sewing Bee returns for a new season, promising an hour of uplifting, feel-good entertainment. Twelve new amateur tailors are tasked in the first episode with transforming a set of old T-shirts into wild new garments, alongside Joe Lycett’s characteristic playful chat.
Frank of Ireland (C4), Thu 15 Apr
Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Star Wars) and his brother Brian Gleeson co-write and star in this dirty and offbeat Irish sitcom. Made by Sharon Horgan’s production company Merman, the series is an effective mix of idiocy and warm heart. It follows Frank (Brian Gleeson), a feckless singer/songwriter, and his bumbling friend Doofus (Domhnall Gleeson) as they navigate single life in Dublin, vying in the first episode for the affection of a martial-arts instructor.
Leonardo (Amazon Prime), Fri 16 Apr
Aidan Turner in a new period drama? We’re in! Leaving behind the Cornish coast of Poldark fame, this eight-part series turns instead to Renaissance Italy in a dramatized retelling of the life of Leonardo da Vinci. Interestingly, the series is framed as a murder mystery: it claims to use this device to get at the reality of who da Vinci really was. Although it doesn’t shy away from Leonardo’s sexual relationships with men, it’s most interested in his relationship with ‘muse’ Caterina da Cremona, hitherto shrouded in mystery.
Prince Phillip’s Funeral (BBC1), Sat 17 Apr
Okay, so calling this a ‘best thing to watch’ feels a little ill-toned, but it is a sombre national moment that you might not want to miss. Not having wanted a full state funeral, Prince Phillip’s pared-back military service at St George’s Chapel is to be televised from 3pm. A three minute silence will be observed before the service begins, as the coffin is taken on a short procession through the grounds of Windsor Castle. The ceremony will be intimate, recognising the Duke’s more than 70 years of service to the Queen and Commonwealth