Shows to put a spring in your step: Our TV picks for this season
Shows to put a spring in your step! Crime thrillers and comedies, a racy Bridgerton prequel and an A-list Dickens adaptation are all coming this season
- Weekend magazine has rounded up a selection of the best TV shows this spring
- READ MORE: Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story FIRST LOOK: Netflix’s teaser
1. A TOWN CALLED MALICE
SKY MAX, 16 MARCH
The Lords’ heyday as a feared south London crime family is behind them, so when young Gene Lord (Born To Kill’s Jack Rowan) survives a gangland battle he and his fiancée Cindy (Tahirah Sharif) escape to the Costa del Sol.
Relatively levelheaded compared to the rest of his family, Gene wants a quiet life in the Spanish sunshine – but his peace is soon shattered when his relatives turn up, keen to re-establish the family as the criminal powerhouse they once were.
‘It’s Dallas meets Pulp Fiction to a Duran Duran soundtrack,’ says Nick Love, who created this sizzling eight-part thriller set in the 80s. The cast also includes Jason Flemyng as Gene’s father Albert Lord and Dougray Scott as Uncle Tony, a moustachioed villain with a penchant for violence.
The Lords’ heyday as a feared south London crime family is behind them, so when young Gene Lord survives a gangland battle he and his fiancée Cindy escape to the Costa del Sol
2. THE DIPLOMAT
In this stylish six-part series set in Spain, a young Brit dies in an apparent jet-ski accident – but his father believes there’s a more sinister explanation.
British consul Laura Simmonds (Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle) is determined to uncover the truth – even if it implicates some powerful and dangerous figures.
In The Diplomat, British consul Laura Simmonds (Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle) is determined to uncover the truth
‘Laura is impressive under pressure and is rarely prepared to simply accept what she’s told, which she certainly doesn’t do in this case,’ says Sophie.
3. RABBIT HOLE
PARAMOUNT+, 27 MARCH
Kiefer Sutherland as secret agent John Weir in the new Paramount+ series Rabbit Hole
Kiefer Sutherland, star of the heart-stopping thriller series 24, is no stranger to playing secret agents – and he’s at it again in this slick eight-part story set in the high-stakes world of corporate espionage.
His character John Weir, a master of deception when it comes to the dark arts of big business, is framed for murder by mysterious forces with the power to influence and control entire populations. Can he outwit them and clear his name?
APPLE TV+, 17 MARCH
Anthology series Extrapolations tells eight different stories about climate change and how it will affect us all over the next 50 years. Pictured: Kit Harrington stars
As the writer of Contagion, the film that foresaw Covid and was even watched by Government ministers trying to deal with the pandemic, Scott Z Burns has become almost as well-known as the shows he writes.
Once again mixing real scientific research with compelling drama, this anthology series tells eight different stories about climate change and how it will affect us all over the next 50 years.
It’s told in chronological order with a few recurring characters, and has attracted a starry cast including Meryl Streep, Sienna Miller, Kit Harington and Heather Graham, but despite its powerful message Burns insists it’ll still be entertaining.
‘We set out to tell intriguing stories that will make people feel as much as think. Comedies, thrillers, love stories, they’re all going to exist in the future, but how will they be affected by a changing climate?’
5. FATAL ATTRACTION
PARAMOUNT+, 1 MAY
A lot has changed since 1987’s Fatal Attraction became a huge box-office hit – not least the way in which film depicts women. Was the original bunny boiler Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) evil, or driven mad by a gaslighting adulterer?
This eight-part series retells the erotic psychological thriller for the modern day with Lizzy Caplan as Alex and Joshua Jackson in the Michael Douglas role of Dan Gallagher.
6. QUEEN CHARLOTTE: A BRIDGERTON STORY
NETFLIX, 4 MAY
Queen Charlotte. India Ria Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte in the new Bridgerton prequel series, out in May
What joy! This year we get not one but two Bridgerton series, with this prequel warming us up for the next series proper due later this year. It shows how the Queen (played by India Amarteifio, right, and in later life by Golda Rosheuvel) fell in love with King George (Corey Mylchreest) before he went mad.
We also meet the young Lady Danbury (Arsema Thomas) and Bridgerton matriarch Violet (Connie Jenkins-Greig) before she became a Lady. Expect fabulous costumes and a lot of romping in this eight-parter.
7. GREAT EXPECTATIONS
One of Dickens’s best-loved stories gets a re-telling from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight.
Director Sir Ridley Scott and actor Tom Hardy are producers, while Olivia Colman stars as the tragic Miss Havisham
He has a very personal reason for wanting to make a new version of the classic novel – like Pip, the orphan hero of the story, Knight was raised by a blacksmith.
And he’s assembled an A-list team to make the six-episode series. Director Sir Ridley Scott and actor Tom Hardy are producers, while Olivia Colman stars as the tragic Miss Havisham.
Dunkirk actor Fionn Whitehead plays the older Pip, with The Tourist’s Shalom Brune-Franklin as complicated Estella.
Given that Knight’s hit 2019 take on A Christmas Carol sparked complaints over its violence and swearing, expect this to tell the story in a very different way.
ITV, COMING SOON
Although this drama starts with a woman’s corpse, it promises to be an intriguing take on that well-worn theme. Suranne Jones and Eve Best play sisters Becca and Rosaline, who have grown apart but are forced back together when their mother Mary’s body is found on a beach.
They learn about Mary’s strange double life and how she’d built herself a new world full of mystery and deceit.
9. THE POWER
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, 31 MARCH
Imagining what the world might look like if women were more powerful than men, this nine-part series follows what happens when girls suddenly gain the ability to electrocute anyone they want through their fingers.
Starring Toni Collette, it’s likely to be one of spring’s most talked-about shows.
10. THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME
APPLE TV+, 14 APRIL
Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine snapped up the rights to Laura Dave’s bestselling mystery thriller and cast Jennifer Garner as Hannah, a woman searching for her missing husband in this six-parter.
Key to tracking him down, she believes, is his 16-year-old daughter Bailey, so stepmother Hannah rapidly attempts to befriend her in an effort to solve the puzzle.
11. BEST INTERESTS
Nicci (Sharon Horgan) and her husband Andrew (Michael Sheen, above with Horgan) must take their battle to keep their daughter alive to the courts
Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan says her heart almost broke when she first read the script for this deeply moving four-part drama in which she plays Nicci, the mother of a disabled girl called Marnie who’s been given a terminal diagnosis and who doctors believe should be allowed to die. Nicci and her husband Andrew (Michael Sheen, above with Horgan) must take their battle to keep their daughter alive to the courts.
12. LOVE RAT
CHANNEL 5, LATE SPRING
Scammed out of her life savings by a charming but corrupt Cypriot hotelier, Emma is on a mission to claw back her cash – with help from the man she recently divorced. The Madame Blanc Mysteries star Sally Lindsay plays Emma in this fast-moving four-parter, with Neil Morrissey as her ex-husband Pete as they embark on a risky scheme to reclaim her money.
13. TEN POUND POMS
BBC1, COMING SOON
Australia desperately needed workers after World War II, and in 1945 it offered employment, affordable housing and sunshine to weary Britons if they paid £10 for the fare (about £450 today). But the reality often fell short.
This six-part series stars Michelle Keegan as Kate, a nurse who decides to migrate without her fiancé, and then meets Annie and Terry (Faye Marsay and Warren Brown) at her hostel as they struggle with the poor living conditions and unwelcoming attitudes of the locals.
14. SIX FOUR
ITVX, 30 MARCH
Over the four-part series, Chris O’Neill (Kevin McKidd) investigates links to a historical missing-girl case
Here’s an unusual crime drama based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Hideo Yokoyama. Set in Glasgow, it focuses on detective Chris O’Neill (Kevin McKidd) and his wife Michelle (Vinette Robinson), a former undercover police officer, whose daughter goes missing.
Over the four-part series, Chris investigates links to a historical missing-girl case while Michelle, frustrated by the pace of the police operation, heads into the criminal underworld to see if she can find some clues.
15. THE LOVERS
SKY ATLANTIC, COMING SOON
In this bittersweet romance, Janet (The Dry’s Roisin Gallagher) is a Belfast shop worker, Seamus (Operation Mincemeat’s Johnny Flynn) is a London-based political broadcaster, and they couldn’t be more chalk and cheese.
But unless Seamus’s celebrity girlfriend gets in the way, they could be the perfect match. Holding’s Conleth Hill plays Janet’s boss Philip.
16. ROBSON AND JIM’S FLY FISHING ADVENTURE
Robson Green and James Murray made a series full of warmth and humour as they travel to rivers such as the Dee in Scotland
Robson Green’s long been a keen fisherman, but his hobby took on crucial importance during the pandemic when he discovered its therapeutic joys.
James Murray – who played Prince Andrew in the most recent series of The Crown – became Robson’s chum after they worked on the 2018 drama series Age Before Beauty, and joined Robson on fishing excursions.
Now they’ve made a series full of warmth and humour as they travel to rivers such as the Dee in Scotland. ‘I get a great deal of satisfaction from fishing and I hope that passion comes over on screen,’ says Robson.
17. THE FAMILY STALLONE
The eight-part fly-on-the-wall series not only opens the door on the private world of the legendary Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone, an Oscar nominee for boxing blockbuster Rocky
Watch Sly and the family Stallone as they enjoy their luxury lives at their homes in Florida and California.
The eight-part fly-on-the-wall series not only opens the door on the private world of the legendary Hollywood star, an Oscar nominee for boxing blockbuster Rocky, but also offers a ringside seat on his relationship with his wife Jennifer, co-founder of a successful skincare company, and their three daughters, Sophia, Scarlet and Sistine.
18. MY KIND OF COUNTRY
APPLE TV+, 24 MARCH
Music scouts (including Mickey Guyton and Jimmie Allen) travel the world looking for the best amateur country singers
Actress and producer Reese Witherspoon and singer Kacey Musgraves have created this talent show with a difference. Music scouts (including Mickey Guyton and Jimmie Allen) travel the world looking for the best amateur country singers, then bring them to Nashville to compete. The winner gets a deal with Apple Music.
19. PAINTING BIRDS WITH JIM AND NANCY MOIR
SKY ARTS, APRIL
This series sees Jim and his wife Nancy, as well as a few of their celebrity pals, exploring some of Britain’s best beauty spots to identify and paint birds (stock image)
Perhaps it was inevitable that after his Shooting Stars partner Bob Mortimer had a massive and unexpected success with his show Gone Fishing, Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves) would also tap into nature.
This series sees Jim and his wife Nancy, as well as a few of their celebrity pals, exploring some of Britain’s best beauty spots to identify and paint birds.
Chef Tom Kerridge has a new series out soon
20. TOM KERRIDGE: AT YOUR SERVICE
BBC2, COMING SOON
It’s been a tough few years for the hospitality industry, and in this eight-part series Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will travel around the UK to discover how the best of British cafes, restaurants, pubs and caterers are going above and beyond in order to survive, highlighting the long hours and constant stresses experienced by those who keep us fed and watered.
21. SARAH BEENY: BREAST CANCER, MY FAMILY AND ME
CHANNEL 4, COMING SOON
Sarah Beeny – who graced the front cover of Weekend in November, bald but defiant – is keen to find out whether the treatment she’s now receiving might have saved her mum
There will be few more powerful documentaries this year than this one, as property expert and presenter Sarah discusses the breast cancer diagnosis she received last August, which she’d been dreading for years after seeing her mother Ann succumb to the disease 40 years ago.
Sarah – who graced the front cover of Weekend in November, bald but defiant – is especially keen to find out whether the treatment she’s now receiving might have saved her mum, who died at the age of 39 when Sarah was just ten, after the cancer in her breast spread to her brain.
How far has the battle against the condition progressed over the past four decades? This one-off documentary, the latest show in Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer campaign, is both powerful and poignant, as it also looks at Sarah’s diagnosis and treatment through the eyes of her husband Graham and their four sons.
22. SIGNS FOR CHANGE
Former EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, reveals the daily challenges, barriers and discrimination faced by people who are deaf in a new show
Former EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who is deaf, was responsible for one of the most memorable moments in Strictly history when she and her partner Giovanni Pernice danced in silence back in 2021, and she’s hoping this one-off documentary will have the same kind of impact.
Rose reveals the daily challenges, barriers and discrimination faced by people who are deaf and asks if the world is becoming a more accommodating place for them. ‘It will not paint me as an inspiration, but lift the lid on the gritty stuff that we desperately need to confront,’ she says.
23. SKINNER & MINA’S LITERARY ROAD TRIP: POPE & SWIFT
SKY ARTS, 14 MARCH
Comedian Frank Skinner and novelist Denise Mina explore friendships between great writers. The show’s already been a joy twice with episodes on Boswell and Johnson and Wordsworth and Coleridge, and now the pair look into Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, two of history’s most influential humorists.
24. THE DUCHESS
CHANNEL 4, COMING SOON
This six-part documentary following the Duchess of Northumberland (above, with the Duke) and her attempts to build a ‘Fairy Kingdom’ attraction
Alnwick Castle, the second-largest inhabited fortress in the UK (Windsor being the first), has appeared in Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films.
But now we get a peek inside the real castle in this six-part documentary following the Duchess of Northumberland (above, with the Duke) and her attempts to build a ‘Fairy Kingdom’ attraction, complete with the world’s largest play structure, in the grounds.
25. CHANGING ENDS
The six-part series follows Alan Carr’s journey from childhood to self-discovery against a backdrop of school, family and football
Graham Carr is a local hero who played football for Northampton Town in their 1960s heyday and went on to become the club’s manager. His son Alan was less keen on the beautiful game, and would usually have his nose in an Agatha Christie novel when everyone else was cheering his dad’s team on at the County Ground.
Alan Carr is now, of course, one of Britain’s best-loved TV entertainers, and this is his love letter to the 80s and his adolescence as a gay teenager. Alan plays himself in scenes set in the present, with Oliver Savell (cheeky Ronnie Boyd in Kenneth Branagh’s movie Belfast) playing the younger version of the Chatty Man host.
The six-part series follows his journey from childhood to self-discovery against a backdrop of school, family and football. ‘It’s about being part of a family that’s Match Of The Day when you’re a bit Miss Marple,’ explains Alan, who co-wrote it with Simon Carlyle, one of the creators of sitcom Two Doors Down.
26. BILLY CONNOLLY DOES… THE DECADES
GOLD, 30 MARCH
Billy Connolly filmed the show at his home in Florida, and says, ‘Who knew the secret to making TV was eating biscuits, drinking tea and blethering on about the past?’
Using his unique anecdotal style and clips from his glory years, the Big Yin looks at how politics, celebrity, sex, television and football have changed for all of us over the last 50 years in this three-part series.
Billy filmed the show at his home in Florida, and says, ‘Who knew the secret to making TV was eating biscuits, drinking tea and blethering on about the past?’
Catherine Tate makes her long-awaited return to TV comedy in this six-part sitcom
27. QUEEN OF OZ
Catherine Tate makes her long-awaited return to TV comedy in this six-part sitcom as Princess Georgiana, the black sheep of a fictional Royal Family.
Her scandalously wild behaviour has done so much damage to the family’s reputation that her father, the King, abdicates the throne in Australia and insists that Her Royal Highness rule there – as far away as possible from her many indiscretions.
Will some real responsibility make her change her ways?
28. RAIN DOGS
BBC1, COMING SOON
Two-time BAFTA-winner Daisy May Cooper stars as Costello Jones, a writer and single mother desperate to provide a decent life for her ten-year-old daughter Iris in this sassy eight-part series.
She’s aided and abetted in her quest by her public school-educated soulmate Selby (Jack Farthing, who played villainous George Warleggan in Poldark), and Iris’s godmother Gloria (Ronke Adékoluejo), a woman who is as chaotic as Ab Fab’s Patsy Stone.
29. TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS
DISNEY+, 7 APRIL
Based on the stories of real-life agony aunt Cheryl Strayed, this gorgeous eight-episode series follows floundering writer Clare (Kathryn Hahn) who’s given a lifeline in the form of a job as an advice columnist.
The irony is that Clare’s own life is falling apart, but as she starts to dispense advice to others, she learns to help herself.
SKY COMEDY/NOW, COMING SOON
Eldest sister Trish (Freema Agyeman) and her little sister Mel (Lily Allen) in new show Dreamland
Based on a BAFTA-winning short by Catastrophe and Bad Sisters writer Sharon Horgan, this new six-part sitcom looks at the complex relationships between sisters and their mother.
Eldest sister Trish (Freema Agyeman) is pregnant with her third child and, deciding she wants a girl, she hosts a ‘manifesting’ party (where she hopes positive thinking will make her wish come true) with two of her sisters, her mother and her gran… but then there’s a surprise appearance.
When little sister Mel (Lily Allen), the black sheep of the family, turns up, all their lives are suddenly turned upside down.
Source: Read Full Article