Stream On – Vol 3

Five tv and film watching suggestions on your favourite streaming sites. What more could you want? More you say? You’re so greedy – I love it! Well, here’s volume one and two.

Fire of Love (2022: Disney+: 83 mins)

Undoubtedly in my top ten films of the year, this is a sublime documentary. Boy who loves volcanoes meets girl who loves volcanoes. They fall in love, get married and spend their lives researching volcanoes, taking incredible risks to discover as much as they can about one of nature’s most destructive forces. Told only via archive footage and voiceover, with no talking heads, this is an insanely beautifully story on two levels. One, the love story that drives it and two, their footage of the volcanoes is unlike anything ever seen before. Total must-see.

Killer Sally (2022: Netflix: 3 x 50 mins)

Now onto a docuseries that is far less subtle but is still extremely compelling. Along with family and friends, former professional bodybuilder Sally McNeil charts her rocky marriage and its end in a Valentine’s Day murder. A well-constructed series, the very fact the ‘killer’ in question is at the centre of telling ‘her’ story makes for an increasingly intriguing watch.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022: Amazon Prime: 106 mins)

Nicolas Cage. Pedro Pascal. Need I say more?

County Lines (2020: BBC iPlayer: 83 mins)

One of the most essential British movies in recent years, a 14-year-old boy (Conrad Khan) is groomed into a lethal nation-wide drug-selling enterprise which exploits vulnerable children and traffics them across Britain. Simon (Harris Dickinson) is the malevolent heart of the operation. Blistering performances tell a story that writer-director Henry Blake witnessed first hand as a youth worker in a Pupil Referral Unit. For those who work alongside young people, I cannot implore you to watch this enough.

The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019: All4: 114 mins)

And now for something entirely different, an incredibly warm-hearted adaptation of Charles Dickens. Dev Patel is the eponymous character, with an insanely good ensemble cast made up of Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Peter Capaldi, Fisayo Akinade, Gwendoline Christie, Darren Boyd, Morfydd Clark and Daisy May Cooper to name but a few. Perfect watching for a Sunday afternoon, a proper comfort-watch.

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Stream On Vol #2

Five tv and film watching suggestions on your favourite streaming sites. As I write, the weather is incredibly miserable and the want to do anything but watch telly is low – so why not check out these things you may have missed? Not enough for you? Here’s volume one.

Reboot (2022: Disney+: 8 x 30 mins)

With all the recent reboots of beloved sitcoms, it’s no surprise we’ve now got a show about a rebooted sitcom. Thankfully this one is pretty good too! In the mid-noughties Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville and Judy Greer were the biggest stars on TV – until they show got cancelled. 15 years later, they’re making a comeback – courtesy of impassioned showrunner Rachel Bloom. With only 8 episodes in its first season, this feels like a grower not a show-er. But, with some great gags and plotting, this is a charming one-to-watch.

SAS: Rogue Heroes (2022: BBC iPlayer: 6 x 60 mins)

How do you follow up Peaky Blinders? Well, apparently you make a show about the creation of the SAS. Any doubt or confusion you have as to why this is a natural progression will be shattered in the first 5 minutes. Because these men are as wild as Tommy ‘fucking’ Shelby and co. It’s 1941 and the possibility of Great Britain losing the war seems to be increasing every day. And so a couple of men decide to come with a ‘little experiment’ involving parachutes. Witty, funny and very violent, it’s the lead trio of Connor Swindells, Jack O’Connell and Alfie Allen that really give this its edge. Airing every on BBC1 every Sunday in it’s prime 9pm slot, all six episodes are already on iPlayer if you can’t wait.

The Bastard Son & The Devil Itself (2022: Netflix: 8 x 30 mins)

As a *massive* fan of Being Human, it feels like it’s been too long since we’ve had a Brit-based fantasy drama. Just like Being Human, we have impeccable building of both world and lore, a great cast – particularly Jay Lycurgo, who is going to be a star – and it’s regularly laugh-out-loud funny. This world of witchcraft is also really appealing because of how effectively it moves along, it’s extremely pacey – more things happen in an episode that entire series of some shows.  It’s not yet been renewed for season two, so please join me in watching and championing it!

See How They Run (2022: Disney+: 99 mins)

Never has a film been so perfectly made for a lazy Sunday afternoon in the rainy time. As a mega Agatha Christie-superfan, I was always going to be here for this. In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. Sam Rockwell is the curmudgeonly lead detective in charge of breaking the case, Saoirse Ronan the unexperienced officer who gets assigned to shadow him. Beautiful costumes and setting, with a story told with so much charm. As my Welsh Grandma would say, ‘S’lovely!’

Velvet Goldmine (1998: Netflix: 119 mins)

Heh heh heh. You there! Do you like David Bowie? How about Iggy Pop? Now, how do you feel about seeing a heavily stylised fictionalised film about their lives? In 1984, Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale) is the journalist writing an article about the withdrawal from public life of 1970s glam rock star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) following a death hoax ten years earlier. He’ll discover the role Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor) had to play in proceedings. Directed by Todd Haynes, this film is camptstic and so delicious. In case you were wondering, the title comes from this Bowie song – Bowie refused the rights to six of his songs being used in this film and after seeing it said “When I saw the film I thought the best thing about it was the gay scenes. They were the only successful part of the film, frankly.”

Stream On #1

Right, as I’ve been failing with posting on Wednesdays – lets give Stream On, posted every Sunday, a go! Here’s five recommendations of film and telly that might tickle your fancy. And, if you’re a fellow teacher, may serve as a distraction from the looming back-to-school dread. Not enough for you here? Check out my previous posts here.

The Bear (2022: Disney+: 8 episodes)

Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) is used to working in the finest restaurants in the world. But, after the sudden death of his brother, he finds himself back in Chicago running his brother’s sandwich shop. A comedy drama that is able to do both tense seriousness and joyful humour, genuinely one of the finest shows this year.

A Friend of the Family (2022: Sky/NOW: 9 episodes, 6 aired so far)

In an incredibly unusual move, this true story opens with a direct to camera address from the woman at the centre of the story, Jan Broberg, who calmly informs us that what we are about to see is true from a time very different to our own – the 1970s. Over a period of a few years, Jan was kidnapped on multiple occasions by a family friend. Jake Lacy plays him in all his charismatic horror. Colin Hanks and Anna Paquin are wonderfully understated as Jan’s lost parents. Hendrix Yancey and Mckenna Grace are incredible as younger and slightly older Jan. A mind-boggling story that has to be seen to be believed. New episodes drop every Friday.

The Peripheral (2022: Amazon: 8 episodes, 3 aired so far)

If you’re looking for your next hit of sci-fi, you’ve come to the right place. Based on a novel by the legend that is William Gibson, Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) lives in a future not too dissimilar from our own. She and her brother Burton (Jack Reynor) are doing all they can to look after their ill mother – their main revenue being participating in virtual games. However, Flynne quickly discovers there’s more truth than fiction in their latest acquisition. Impecable world-building, I can’t wait to see how this pans out. New episodes drop every Friday.

The Vow (2022: Sky/Now: season 1 = 9 episodes, season 2 = 11 episodes, 2 aired so far)

The Vow was one of the most jaw-dropping true crime docuseries we’d had in years, as the self-improvement group NXIVM imploded, with charges including sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy brought against its highest members and founder Keith Raniere. Season two now sees Keith’s trial fully under way, as we continue to pick through the wreckage of the group. Another one that has to be seen to be believed. New episodes drop every Tuesday.

Wendell & Wild (2022: Netflix: 105 mins)

Henry Selick’s first movie since 2009’s Coraline. His fifth stop-motion masterpiece. A collaboration with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Arriving Halloween weekend. Dropped with next-to-no fanfare. Let’s see if we can rectify that! Two scheming demon brothers, Wendell (Key) and Wild (Peele), enlist the aid of 13-year-old Kat Elliot (Lyric Ross) to summon them to the Land of the Living. A stop-motion animation treat aimed for 9 years+.

What To Watch Wednesday #8

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….

Here’s What To Watch Wednesday #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7.

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.

What To Watch Wednesday #5

Right. Start of September. It’s getting darker quicker, the world starts to feel a little smaller, scarier and bleaker. You need some comfort telly, which I am more than happy to provide!

Here’s What To Watch Wednesday #1, #2, #3 and #4.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022: Prime Video: 139 mins)

An aging Chinese immigrant (Michelle Yeoh) is swept up in an insane adventure, in which she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led. One of the most profound and moving sci-fi films I’ve ever seen, as well as being mental and a lot of fun.

If you like this, you might like: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022), Minari (2020)

Paper Girls (2022: Prime video: 8 x 40 mins)

What if your preteen self, collided with your early 40s self? On Hell Day 1988, whilst doing their paper round, four girls unwittingly time travel to 2019. While searching for a way home, they come face-to-face with their adult selves and learn how to work together to save the world. Thought-provoking and endearing sci-fi.

If you like this, you might like: A League of Their Own (2022-), The Umbrella Academy (2019-)

Son of Rambow (2007: Netflix: 96 mins)

During a long English summer in the early 1980s, two schoolboys from differing backgrounds (Bill Milner & Will Poulter)  set out to make a film inspired by First Blood. One of the most delightful things you could ever possibly show your eyeballs.

If you like this, you might like: Submarine (2010), Boy (2010)

Drag SOS (2019: Netflix: 6 x 45 mins)

Drag collective The Family Gorgeous help unlikely protégées to unlock their long-lost confidence and become bolder, braver drag-enhanced versions of themselves. Wonderful feelgood telly.

If you like this, you might like: Queer Eye (2018-), We’re Here (2020-)

Romcomdram of the week: The Edge of Seventeen (2016: Netflix & BBC iPlayer: 97 mins)

When this film arrived, it felt like it could be heralded return of the impeccable teen movie. Whilst a few others folded, they didn’t equal this one. High school misfit Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) only has one friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), an older brother who has always eclipsed her and a crush on a boy who doesn’t knows she exists. Life is unbearable, but at least she has an ambivalent teacher (Woody Harrelson) to listen to her complaints… A proper coming of age story that isn’t afraid to show teen years for how crappy they really are.

What To Watch Wednesday #4

I don’t usually do a theme to one of these posts, but the last day of the summer holidays felt like it warranted a theme. So, this week’s edition is feelgood films – six (I know, giving you a bonus one this week!) films that are chicken soup for the soul. For all you teachers out there, good luck with the new academic year…

Here’s What To Watch Wednesday #1, #2 and #3.

The Way, Way Back (2013: Disney+ & Amazon Prime: 104 mins)

It’s always been 14 year-old Duncan (Liam James) and his mum, Pam (Toni Collette), against the world, but her overbearing new boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), is having none of that. Trent takes the pair, along with his daughter, to stay at his summer home to trial at being a family, where a chance encounter with water theme park manager Owen (Sam Rockwell) may just be the thing to help Duncan find his place in the world. The incredible ensemble is rounded out by Alison Janney, Maya Rudolph, Amanda Peet, Rob Corddry, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash – the pair making their debut as co-writers and co-directors.

If you like this, you might like: Kings of Summer (2013), Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

Instant Family (2018: ALL4: 119 mins)

Inspired by the real adoption experiences of writer-director Sean Anders, a married couple Pete (Mark Whalberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to foster three siblings – Lizzy (Isabela Merced), Juan (Gustavo Escobar) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz). A real surprise when it came out, a film as full of laughs as it is heart.

If you like this, you might like: Blockers (2018), Game Night (2018)

What We Do In The Shadows (2014: BBC iPlayer & Amazon Prime: 86 mins)

If you’ve not seen this already, or the spin-off show now in it’s fourth season, ‘Where the bloody hell have you been?’ It’s fine though, we can get that fixed now – and in less than 90 minutes too! A mockumentary following four flatmates who live in Wellington, New Zealand. Viago (Taika Waitit), Vladislav (Jermaine Clement), Deacon (Jonathon Brugh), and Petyr (Ben Fransham) also happen to be vampires. Saying any more would be a spoiler, suffice to say what follows is very, very funny.

If you like this, you might like: Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016), This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Good Vibrations (2012: Disney+ & MUBI & Britbox: 111 mins)

Based on a true story, Belfast punk impresario Terri Hooley (Richard Dormer) becomes the unlikely leader of a motley band of kids and punks, who join him in his mission to bring his city back to life. If you’re a fan of Teenage Kicks by the Undertones, you’re going to want to see this. Jodie Whittaker plays his long-suffering wife with Adrian Dunbar, Liam Cunningham and Dylan Moran also playing supporting roles. Packed full of riotous heart and soul, there’s a sequence here that never fails to make me flood with happy tears.

If you like this, you might like: Ali & Ava (2022), Sing Street(2016)

Pride (2014: Disney+ & Amazon Prime & Netflix: 120 mins)

In 1984, gay activist Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) realised that the brutal attention of the police had shifted from the gay community and onto the miners’ strikes. Striking to prevent colliery closures that would destroy small communities throughout the United Kingdom, they faced an onslaught both in press and in person that was all-to-familiar to Mark and his friends. This was the start of beautiful friendship – two marginalised groups finding each other- and thus ‘Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners’ (LGSM) was formed. Not only is the most joyful film in existence, listen up for its cast – George MacKay, Andrew Scott, Joe Gilgun, Freddie Fox, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Jessie Cave, Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy. It’s just so bloody lovely.

 If you like this, you might like: Kinky Boots (2005), Rocketman (2019)

Romcomdram of the week: The Lunchbox (2013: Disney+: 104 mins)

An unlikely mistake by a tiffin carrier service results in Ila’s (Nimrat Kaur) tiffin, that was made for her husband, being delivered to Irrfan (Saajan Fernandes). An unusual correspondence soon develops between the two. A tale of love, loss and longing – simply beautiful.

What To Watch Wednesday #3

Welcome back! Just like my Stream On feature from last year (all 19 editions available here), every Wednesday I’ll put up some suggestions of TV & Films you may be missing on your various streaming services. Here’s What To Watch Wednesday #1 and #2.

The Con (2020: Disney+: 8 x 45 mins)

Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, each episode focuses on a different con – from more familiar stories such as Fyre Festival and the 2019 college admissions scandal, to the story of a manipulative love bombing surgeon and a film-industry producer whose scam has to be seen to be believed.

If you like this, you might like: Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist (2022), The Tinder Swindler (2022)

Hobby Man (2022: All4: 4 x 60 minutes – two episodes aired already, two to go)

Alex Brooker has realised he’s a 38-year-old man with the same interests he had as a child, ‘football and Ghostbusters’. So, paired with a different friend each week, he tries out three different hobbies and meets the incredibly passionate people who are involved in them. The end result is an incredibly charming show full of joy, a celebration of oft underappreciated and undercelebrated people & their passions.

If you like this, you might like: The Great Pottery Throw Down (2015-), The Great British Sewing Bee (2013-)

Boys State (2020: Apple TV+: 109 mins)

‘Won’t somebody please think of the children?!?’ In the heart of Texas, there’s something on an unusual rite of passage for a select 1,100 teenage boys. A chance to come together and build a representative government from the ground up, over the course of a week. It’s a fascinating experiment to behold, with truly unpredictable consequences.

If you like this, you might like: Minding the Gap (2018), Accepted (2021)

Bad Sisters (2022: Apple TV+: 10 x 45 mins – two episodes aired, eight to go)

John Paul Williams (Claes Bang) may very well have been the worst brother-in-law in the world. But he didn’t deserve to die, did he…? The Garvey sisters – Eva (Sharon Horgan), Becka (Eve Hewson), Ursula (Eva Birthistle), Bibi (Sarah Greene) and Grace (Anne-Marie Duff) always swore to look out for each other. But just how far have they taken this promise? A pitch-black revenge comedy, deliciously well-cast this is a must-watch.

If you like this, you might like: The Resort (2022), In Bruges (2008)

Romcom of the week: Set It Up (2018: Netflix: 105 mins)

Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) are both overworked and underpaid assistants. Their respective bosses, Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and Richard (Taye Diggs) make their lives miserable – seemingly because they’re miserable themselves. Thrown together in unlikely circumstances, the two assistants decide to set their bosses up together – it looks set to work a treat, although it involves Harper & Charlie working very closely together. So closely, in fact, their may be even more attachments forming… Cinematic comfort food at it’s finest, both Deutch and Powell are charisma machines and a total joy to watch.

What To Watch Wednesday #2

Welcome back! Just like my Stream On feature from last year (all 19 editions available here), every Wednesday I’ll put up some suggestions of TV & Films you may be missing on your various streaming services. Here’s What To Watch Wednesday #1.

A League of Their Own (Amazon Prime: 8 X 60 mins)

Chicago, 1943. With so many men fighting in the war, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is formed by a confectionary tycoon. The intent is to make money and create entertainment. For the women who attend the try-out, this is their big moment. After spending their entire lives being told they cannot take part, this is finally their chance to spend their lives doing what they love. For Carson Shaw (Abbi Jacobson) it’s a chance to feel alive whilst also, literally, running away from home & her husband. For Greta Gil (D’Arcy Carden) it’s a chance for fame and adoration. But,  for Max Chapman (Chanté Adams), she quickly realises how little it changes as there may now be space for white female players – there isn’t for black women. Often funny, but rooted in carefully handled serious issues, along with the queerness, – the show hits home thanks to a roster filled with all-stars and a field rich with possibilities.

If you like this, you might like: A League of Their Own (1992), The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel (2017-)

A Secret Love (Netflix: 83 minutes)

Then, when you can’t get enough of a wonderful baseball drama that is about more than just sport, check out a true story from the time period. This understated and moving documentary is about two women who met while taking part in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, fell in love and then kept their love a secret for seven decades. A moving and profound love conquers all story.

If you like this, you might like: Circus of Books (2020), The Pass (2016)

Big Boys (All4: 6 x 30 mins)

Jack (Dylan Llewellyn) is finally starting university after a gap year. His dad died a year ago after a long illness, starting uni so soon after would not have been possible. He arrives to campus, driven by his doting mum Peggy (Camille Coduri) only to find that he’s not been given campus accommodation and his housemate is not only a mature student but a bit of a lad. However, there’s more to Danny (Jon Pointing) than first appears. When Jack inadvertently comes out to Danny, as unlikely friendship follows as Danny devotes himself to supporting Jack. Based on comedian Jack Rooke’s real life experiences, this show is funny, moving and a total joy.

If you like this, you might like: Dead Pixels (2019-), This Is Going to Hurt (2022)

Prey (Disney: 99 mins)

The Great Plains, 1719. Naru (Amber Midthunder) is a a young Comanche woman trained as a healer, yet dreams of becoming a great hunter like her brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers). When part of a search party for the mountain lion that attacked one of the tribe’s hunters, Naru quickly realises something far scarier is hunting them. A prequel to the Predator franchise, this taut and thrilling is atmospheric and exceptionally well-told.

If you like this, you might like: Edge of Tomorrow (2014), District 9 (2009)

Romcom of the week: Wedding Season (2022: Netflix: 98 mins)

Pressured by their parents to find spouses, Asha (Suraj Sharma) and Ravi (Pallavi Sharda) pretend to date during a summer of weddings, only to find themselves falling for each other. It may tick all the tropes of the romcom bingo card, but when it does it this charmingly – who are we to complain?!?

What-To-Watch Wednesday

My weekly recommendations are back, baby! Just like my Stream On feature from last year (all 19 editions available here), every Wednesday I’ll put up some suggestions of TV & Films you may be missing on your various streaming services.

The Newsreader (BBC iPlayer: 6 X 50 mins)

Set in Melbourne in 1986, The Newsreader follows a daily news team through their trials & tribulations – both professional and personal. The sets & costumes are so evocative, the storylines so well rendered but it’s the cast that are standout. Anna Torv (Fringe, Mindhunter) plays the station figurehead, a ‘difficult’ woman who wants to cover real news. Sam Reid (The Limehouse Golem and the upcoming tv adaption of Interview With the Vampire) is the up-and-comer desperate to break through. Covering the AIDS crisis, Chernobyl, Halley’s Comet and the Challenger space shuttle explosion – The Newsreader is a compelling drama series grounded in reality.

What this if you like: The Newsroom (2012), Please Like Me (2013)

The Resort (Sky/Now: currently airing season 1, 4 x 30 mins aired already, 4 left of season 1)

A bitterly frustrated couple go on vacation to celebrate their ten-year anniversary. Neither Emma (Cristin Milioti – Palm Springs, HIMYM) or Noah (William Jackson Harper – The Good Place, Love Life season two) seem able to acknowledge to each other just how unhappy they are. When Emma falls off a quad bike during a day trip, she finds an abandoned  and extremely outdated mobile phone. Intrigued by the mystery, she discovers it belongs to Sam (Skyler Gisondo – Booksmart, The Righteous Gemstones) who disappeared from the resort fifteen years prior. Emma & Noah decide to solve the case together which may just force them to answer some far bigger questions along the way. Part comedy, part love story, part thriller and part sci-fi tinge – this is exactly what you might expect from the writer of the wonderful Palm Springs.

What this if you like: The White Lotus (2021-), Palm Springs (2020)

Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 (Netflix: 3 x 45 mins)

The 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a coming together of likeminded souls, spirits joined in a search for peace, harmony, and good vibes. To commemorate its 30 year anniversary, the organisers decided to throw Woodstock ’99 in an act of celebration. As you probably guess from the title, it didn’t go well. Each of the three episodes focuses chronologically on a separate day of the festival – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – whilst also intercutting the now with some past decisions that emphasises the hubris and obviousness to the awfulness to come. This one really needs to be seen and talked about, particularly when it comes to accountability of mob mentality and the pervasive nature of sexual assault at music festivals.

What this if you like: Fyre (2019), Keep Sweet: Pray & Obey (2022)

Instant Hotel (Netflix: 15 x 45 mins)

This Australian series may just be the greatest example of perfect reality tv. Using all the formats and formulas you know and love, this show manages to be the pinnacle of how it’s done. Five couples tour the country visiting each other’s ‘Instant Hotels’ (think Air BnBs). As you’d expect, there’s personality clashes galore and all manner of surprises along the way. Chuck in the various glamourous, and not so glamourous settings, you’re in for a treat.

What this if you like: Selling Sunset (2019-), Four In A Bed (2010-)

The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020: Netflix: 108 mins)

Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan – Blockers, Miracle Workers) is devastated after her boyfriend breaks up with her. But when she meets Nick (Dacre Montgomery – Stranger Things, Elvis), a hotelier, she decides to create a gallery where people can leave memorabilia from their past relationships. Funny, charming and a total joy.

Stream On Vol.19

Welcome to volume nineteen of Stream On, where I recommend 5 things you could watch on some of your favourite streaming sites.

Not enough for you here? Try the previous volumes –volumes 1234567891011121314 , 1516, 17 & 18.

Midnight Special (2016 – BBC iPlayer – 105 mins)

A father (Michael Shannon) and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child’s special powers. Also starring Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver – this is a poignant fantastic fantastical science fiction drama.

Force Majeure (2014 – All4 – 120 mins)

Forget Downhill, the Will Ferrell led remake from 2020 (in all fairness, you probably have). If you’re going to watch a drama about a family vacationing in the French Alps who are confronted with a devastating avalanche that exposes the façade that surrounds them – make it this one. Just brilliant.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003 – Netflix – 128 mins)

Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet and Frances McDormand in a romantic comedy classic about a swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women who falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age.

Summerland (2020 – SKY/NOW – 100 mins)

Gemma Arterton is simply wonderful as a curmudgeonly woman who learns opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him in this moving journey of womanhood, love and friendship.

Evolution (2001 – Amazon Prime – 101 mins)

A fire-fighting cadet (Seann William Scott), two college professors (David Duchovny and Orlando Jones), and a geeky but sexy government scientist (Julianne Moore) work against an alien organism that has been rapidly evolving since its arrival on Earth inside a meteor. The kind of mid-budget science fiction comedy they just don’t seem to make enough of any more.