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BAD SISTERS (APPLE TV+)
Based on the 2012 Belgian series Clan, this 10-episode black comedy has made a successful transition to contemporary Ireland. With a tone and style reminiscent of John Michael McDonagh’s magnificent screenplay, The Guard, Motherland, Shining Vale and Catastrophe, writer Sharon Horgan makes excellent use of her Emerald Isle backdrop and the truly impressive assembled set. to weave its story about four siblings who may – or may not – have conspired to kill a fifth’s husband.
Perhaps all best known as dramatic actors – Anne-Marie Duff was in Shameless, Sarah Greene starred in Penny Dreadful and Normal People, Eva Birthistle is known for her period drama work and Eve Hewson’s CV includes our very own The Luminaries – they’re all here demonstrating terrific comedic timing, both separately and as a sometimes hilarious, disparate feuding group.
And while Claes Bang delivers another of his charismatically obnoxious bucks (John Paul is like a British version of Sasha Mann obsessed with The Affair), he’s eclipsed by the acerbic insurance broker Brian Gleeson (Domhnall’s brother, son of Brandan). Whether it’s playfully teasing his pregnant wife about “causing structural damage to the house” if she moves out, or trashing wake sandwiches on the way out, he’s a scene-stealer extraordinaire, in a darkly humorous show that delivers just as much intrigue, just as it does witty one-liners.
FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL (APPLE TV+)
It was the storm some had long feared. A Category 5 hurricane that would kill more than 1,800 people and cause approximately $125 billion in damage.
Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Katrina’s devastating landfall on August 29, 2005, it was still easier to navigate many New Orleans neighborhoods by outboard motor canoe than by car.
As John Ridley and Carlton Cuse’s haunting and sometimes heartbreaking adaptation of Sheri Fink’s Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book opens, health officials arrive at the now abandoned Memorial Medical Center.
However, among the debris and expected water damage, there is a shocking discovery – 45 bodies, spread between the chapel and the second floor walkway. As investigators subsequently question veteran internal medicine specialist Dr. Horace Baltz (Robert Pine) about how this could have happened, he recounts the nightmarish 120 hours of staff, patients and thousands of people who house them endured as one of the worst storms in US history took its toll on the 80-year-old building.
A cross between various departments, crises big and small, and the mounting chaos surrounding them, Five Days at Memorial may remind you of the greatest American medical drama of all time – ER. Ridley and Cuse quickly establish the disparate personalities of their main characters, making sure to humanize them, while keeping the focus on the unfolding disaster.
Eight great shows to stream this week.
* Five fabulous and underrated Melanie Lynskey performances (and where you can watch them)
* No, Bullet Train and Disney+’s Prey among August’s must-see movies
* Disney’s She-Hulk, Neon’s House of the Dragon, Netflix’s Sandman among August must-sees
Lost Ollie is now available to stream on Netflix.
OLLIE LOST (NETFLIX)
Just when you thought Netflix forgot how to give audiences the thrills.
Created by Shannon Tindle, the maker of one of the most underrated animated feature films of the last decade, 2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings, only the hardest of hearts won’t be moved by the warm premise. and blurred in the center of Ollie Lost.
Based on the 2016 children’s book Ollie’s Odyssey by William Joyce, this seemingly seamless four-part mix of live-action and computer animation takes place in a shadow of under three hours in total – more than enough time for it to make a deep impression on you and give your nasolacrimal ducts a thorough workout.
In truth, the scene and the tone are set from the opening quote by WS Merwin, which reproduces his 1993 poem Separation in full: “Your absence has passed through me like a thread through a needle. Everything I do is sewn with her color. This is quickly followed by the melodious and soulful tones of Jonathan Groff (Frozen’s Kristoff) as the eponymous long-eared, patchwork, plush bunny.
PAPER GIRLS (PRIME VIDEO)
With its two protagonists, 1980s setting, American Midwestern backdrop, and sci-fi stylings, it’s hard not to see this as Amazon’s answer to Stranger Things.
And indeed, the eight-part adaptation of Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang’s Paper Girls comic book series definitely leans into any comparison, filling its initial setting of 1988 Cleveland, Ohio with a plethora of pop culture references. , by Freddy Krueger and Teen From wolf costumes to walkmans and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.
An appealing mix of The Goonies, Stand By Me, and the Terminator and Back to the Future series, Paper Girls delights with its diverse characters and twist on traditional tropes of ’80s teen and tween movies. on more than one note, displaying plenty of sass and chutzpah, while laying bare their respective hopes, fears, and encounters with racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of abuse.
While perhaps not as slick — or scary — as the Duffer Brothers’ world-conquering Netflix series, Paper Girls is perhaps a more inclusive and thought-provoking coming-of-age tale — and all the more impactful for that.
THE SAND MAN (NETFLIX)
It’s the comic book adaptation that many thought would never see the light of day.
The one whose author once remarked that he would rather “no film” be made of it, rather than a “bad film”. A project that, when first hinted at, was being considered around the same time that Warren Beatty was playing Dick Tracy, Jennifer Connelly was dating The Rocketeer, and production on Bat’s first big-budget sequel had slipped.
But despite a wait of more than three decades and a change of format for a 10-episode first TV series, Netflix’s version of Neil Gaiman’s beloved Sandman is an evocative, atmospheric and lavish triumph.
Based on the first two volumes – Preludes and Nocturnes and The Dollhouse – Gaiman and fellow writers David S. Goyer of The Dark Knight and Allan Heinberg of Wonder Woman initially do a fairly brilliantly succinct job of world-building. Filled with impressive visual effects, top-notch production design, and a dark aesthetic that just might give you nightmares, Sandman delivers top-notch fantasy for both avid fans and more casual streamers alike. .
SHE HULK: LAWYER (DISNEY+)
Disney+’s latest Marvel deserves to be a smash hit.
Ambitious, occasionally hilarious, and hugely entertaining, this delivers its story with a sustained swagger, chutzpah, and focus that’s been lacking in at least the past two cinematic outings.
While on the one hand this nine-part origin story is an avowed “funny legal show” (thankfully more Boston Legal than Ally McBeal), it also takes on the difficult task of attempting to redeem one of most unloved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. – 2008’s The Incredible Hulk – bringing back Tim Roth antagonist Emile Blonsky aka Abomination.
However, while boosted by the presence of Avengers-era Hulk himself Mark Ruffalo, it’s very much Tatiana Maslany’s (Orphan Black) playground – and she delivers a powerful performance that’s as much a showcase for her comedic timing than his physical presence.
Tatiana Maslany stars in She-Hulk: Lawyer
THE UNDECLARED WAR (TVNZ+)
A smooth and solid drama, which, like the magnificent years and years of Russell T. Davies, beautifully extrapolates the growing concerns of modern times into a near nightmare, while grounding the story in a family crisis, this six-part crime drama works best when focused on the rapidly unfolding political crisis.
It’s the year 2024, and as the general election nears, a top-notch team of analysts is secretly battling a Russian cyberattack on the country’s electoral system.
Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz) and Adrian Lester (Hustle) provide solid anchors, while Alex Jennings (The Lady in the Van) and Mark Rylance (The Phantom of the Open) add weight and gravity to the mix impressive.
VICTORIA’S SECRET: ANGELS AND DEMONS (PRIME VIDEO)
As this fascinating, illuminating and sometimes shocking three-part documentary series points out, behind the “boobs and glitter” of the mega-popular annual parade was a darker side, as the infamous Jeffrey Epstein used his connections to the CEO The Wexners for his own nefarious purposes. Posing as a recruiter, his behavior was the subject of numerous complaints as early as 1993, with Wexner being accused of either ignoring them, sweeping them under the rug, or both.
However, while much like the 10-part Secrets of Playboy series earlier this year, Matt Tyrnauer’s investigation rightly exposes the seedier side of this business empire, it also offers a fascinating look at the rise and the downfall of an iconic fashion brand. How an Ohio businessman turned a faltering husband and wife passion project into a $7.5 billion business, and how a seemingly female-focused business didn’t failed to adapt and become so out of step with the times and the demands of women to look outside of the “narrow band of beauty” they were apparently selling?
Through new interviews with employees, fashion experts, designers and models, as well as extensive archive footage including insider videos and a 2017 encounter with Wexner himself, you’ll learn about the fascinating story of the man and the brand.