It seems like the cold snap is on its way out, it’s definitely feeling a bit warmer today. Sadly it appears to have been replaced with horrible, drizzly rain, so we think it’s still perfectly acceptable to spend as much time as possible curled up on the sofa with the duvet and a hot beverage. And if that’s your plan for the evening, you’re going to need something to watch to keep you entertained right? Being the caring, sharing kinda guys that we are we’ve taken the time to check out what’s coming up on the telly and streaming services so you’ll know what to look out for…
The BBC have been knocking out some top quality drama recently, right up there with the greats from HBO and Netflix. McMafia is a few episodes in already but the whole series is still on the iPlayer so you’ve still got time to catch up. Despite what some folk in the office here thought it’s not a Scottish mafia series; the ‘Mc’ refers to the increasingly blurred line between big business and organised crime, as Russian exile Alex is drawn into the murky world of global crime as he tries to protect his family. It’s a gorgeous looking show, confidently weaving complex plotlines through grey moral ground.
Hard Sun is a little bit crazy, mashing together the best bits of shows like Luther and Utopia. It can sometimes be a bit overbearing, and there’s sometimes some clunky exposition but it feels like it crams more into a single episode than most shows manage in a whole series. We won’t spoil the central plotline just in case you don’t know it already, but it makes for an interesting watch.
If you haven’t seen Channel 4’s fantastic The End of the ***king World then you should do so immediately (it’s also on Netflix if you don’t like adverts). It takes a few episodes to really get going, but in fairness they are only 20 minutes long each. Once it does though, you’ll be hooked until the end. It’s the story of two young misfits who run away from home, and the spiralling consequences of a chain of bad decisions.
If comedy is more your thing then we can’t recommend Would I Lie to You highly enough. It’s probably our favourite panel show at the moment, with the perfect blend of comedians and a silly – but brilliant – concept. Lee Mack and David Mitchell play off against each other perfectly, with Rob Bryden providing the perfect foil. Add in some top guests (Claudia Winkleman was predictably brilliant, but that episode is about to fall off the iPlayer!) and you have award-winning comedy brilliance.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to Sky (and especially if you’re missing your yearly trip to Westeros) then you could do a lot worse than checking out the similarly themed Britannia. Historical accuracy is low, but gory violence, magic and treachery is high.
If you like your drama a little more grounded (and much grimmer) then the third season of the mighty Gomorra starts at the end of January, giving you plenty of time to catch up with the first two. Regularly described with words like ‘gritty’ and ‘brutal’, this Italian crime drama plays out like a brutally gritty Shakespearean tragedy. Kinda.
If you’re a Netflix user then you’re really spoilt for choice at the moment. There’s literally days worth of Marvel ‘Street Level’ shows, culminating in the awesome team up of The Defenders, not to mention the unflinchingly violent Punisher.
The new Star Trek: Discovery series manages to somehow stay closer to the spirit of the original series than the recent movies whilst simultaneously exploring complex moral themes. It’s great fun with shades of Battlestar Galactica (now on Amazon Prime, and well worth a watch if you’ve not seen it already – it’s a bit like Game of Thrones in space).
Most excitingly, Netflix have just added season 3 of the mighty Fargo. We’ve not seen the third season yet, but if the first two are anything to go by we’re fully expecting a tour-de-force of complex, nuanced characters played by actors at their very best and embroiled in a deep and satisfying plot. Possibly with UFOs.
Arguably the greatest show on Netflix right now – and possibly the greatest TV show ever, in our humble opinion – is the truly magnificent Bojack Horseman. You might write it off because it’s a cartoon about a half-man half-horse called Bojack, but do so at your own peril. It’s actually one of the funniest, most insightful and at times heartbreakingly sad studies of the human psyche you’re ever likely to see. And it has a drone throne.
They’re also cranking out some top quality drama series to keep you entertained on the long winter nights. The Man in the High Castle, loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, is a tense drama set in an alternate version of 1962 where the Nazis have won the second world war. It’s powerful and intriguing stuff, and will get you rooting for characters that you never thought you would be.
Preacher, this time based on Garth Ennis’ graphic novels, is another brave series. Dominic Cooper plays a small town West Texas preacher named Jesse Custer who inadvertently receives ‘the word of God’; a power that enables him to command anyone to do precisely his bidding. As the story unfolds he and his ex-girlfriend Tulip and best friend Cassidy (who is a vampire) are thrown into all sorts of adventures involving shady organisations, angels and a soulless assassin. One character even takes a tip into Hell.
Hopefully there should be something there to keep you entertained until the weather picks up, but if not why not let us know what you’ve been watching?