I’m sure there’s theory for it, but when it gets darker and colder – I crave crime-related telly. If you’re the same, then this week’s 6 picks are for you….
Slow Horses (Apple TV+: 2022: 6 x 50 mins)
River Cartwright (Jack Lowden) was an up-and-coming MI5 Agent until he made a serious mistake during a live training exercise, and found himself relegated to dead end work at Slough House. Ruled over by the curmudgeonly Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman), it’s usually the home of dead end missions – until something dangerous comes headed quickly their way. The stacked cast also includes Olivia Cooke, Kristin Scott Thomas and Jonathon Pryce – to name but a few. An excellent addition to the espionage genre.
Inside Man (BBC iPlayer: 2022: 4 x 60 mins – two episodes shown so far)
Speaking of stacked cast, we turn here to David Tennant, Dolly Wells, Lydia West and Stanley Tucci fronting this intriguingly intricate crime drama. Tucci plays Jefferson Grieff – a law lecturer turned criminal on death row. His unique skillset has people turning to him to solve crimes. Lydia West plays Beth Davenport, a journalist who’s come to interview Jefferson and is also planning to use the opportunity to ask for his help with finding new friend Janice (Wells) who was last seen going to tutor the son of Rev Harry Watling (Tennant). Pulpy and properly compelling.
Am I Being Unreasonable? (BBC iPlayer: 2022: 6 x 30 mins)
The show’s title comes from the message board of the infamous Mumsnet, an online forum where mums around the world vent about their lives – which inspired Daisy May Cooper during her own unhappy marriage that she went on to co-write a show with her best friend Seline Hizli. Nic is depressed and mourning the secret lover her oblivious husband (Dustin Demri-Jones) knows nothing about. Lonely and isolated, Nic makes friends with a new school mum. Jen (Hizli) is unlike all the other mums in the village, and her friendship quickly becomes everything Nic has ever wanted – except it seems like Jen isn’t all that she appears… Savagely funny and dark as anything, a special mention has to go to young actor Lenny Rush who is incredible as Nic’s son.
Sicario (Netflix: 2015: 121 mins)
Taylor Sheridan has written some of the most underappreciated crime movies of the 21st Century, a run that kicked off with this film. Add in the iconic director Denis Villeneuve at the helm. Round it off with cast members Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benico Del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya and Jon Bernthal – I don’t think I need to say much more aside from the fact you need to be prepared for this dark and murky thriller.
Cruel Summer (Prime Video:2021: 10 x 45 mins)
In the summer of 1993 Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) was nerdy and invisible. In summer 1994 she was the most popular girl in school. By 1995, the loser outcast. Over the course of the ten episodes we hop between the three years as things begun to become more apparent. Whilst it clearly has something to do with the disappearance of beloved Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), how exactly is Jeanette involved? Deviously twisty and turny.
Romcom of the week – While You Were Sleeping (Disney+: 1995: 103 mins)
The fun thing about this film is, it’s on the cusp of creepy and it’s down to the charm of the leads that it really isn’t and ends up being one of the finest romantic comedies of the 90s. A hopelessly romantic Chicago Transit Authority token collector (Sandra Bullock) has been lusting over commuter Peter (Peter Gallagher) for as long as she can remember. When an accident occurs, and Peter ends up in a coma, she finds herself being mistaken as his fiancée. Enamoured with his close-knit family, she decides to play the role – although a growing connection with his brother Jack (Bill Pullman) may just jeopardise everything. I know, just trust me with this one. If you’re not sure, Bill Pullman as a plaid lumberjack shirt wearing grumpy love interest should be reason enough.