Nolly to Gunther’s Millions: the seven best shows to stream this week
By Phil Harrison,2023-01-27
Pick of the week
“We all have equal status,” says Crossroads matriarch Noele Gordon (a beguiling Helena Bonham Carter) to a new cast member. “The star of the show is the motel.” But that wasn’t entirely true, as ATV found out in 1981 when they tried to sack “Nolly” to precipitate the end of the show. Gordon was evidently the star – in fact, she was the only thing holding the cheerfully low-rent and extremely popular daytime potboiler together. This drama, written by Russell T Davies , makes something sweetly melancholy out of seemingly trivial source material. Ostensibly, the story is about the machinations of the TV industry, but really it’s about mortality and wounded pride.
ITVX, from Thursday 2 February
Gunther owns several properties in Italy and a massive yacht, has financed a pop group who treat him like a guru, and lives a life of unimaginable luxury. Gunther is a dog. His former owner, a countess, left him $400m when she died. Needless to say, Gunther also has an entourage of humans who all claim to be acting in his best interests (“I wanted to be a tick on that dog’s ass for the rest of my life,” says one) but don’t always see eye to eye. This barking mad documentary series follow an utterly bizarre story as a cult forms around the hapless hound. But is Gunther actually the “good boy” that he seems?
Netflix, from Wednesday 1 February
For The Love of Dilfs
This dating show leans into stereotypes about gay men but it still maintains a decent balance between snark and romance. The issue at hand? “Can a daddy and a himbo fall in love?” Donald Trump’s friend Stormy Daniels is the host as said daddies and himbos hook up, fall out and hopefully fall in love. Not all will survive – every week someone will be eliminated and some “fresh meat” will arrive at Dilf Mansions. Side note: one of the daddies isn’t out to his family – their reaction to this show would make for an excruciating and fascinating follow-up series.
Froot TV, from Tuesday 31 January
Netflix’s cult coming-of-age comedy-drama On My Block has a follow-up of sorts. This new series is named after its fictional LA neighbourhood and features a new bunch of sparky teenagers but has a recognisable tone. As is currently obligatory, Freeridge has a supernatural subtext: this group of kids have purchased a box that may or may not have landed them with a curse. In truth, the curse narrative is less interesting than the normal teen tribulations, which are brought engagingly to life by a cast including Keyla Monterroso Mejia and Bryana Salaz.
Netflix, from Thursday 2 February
The return of the tense crime drama starring Bryan Cranston who, in a not entirely unfamiliar scenario, plays an essentially decent man forced into impossible moral compromises under brutal pressure. In another echo of Breaking Bad , Cranston’s New Orleans judge Michael Desiato is dragged deeper still into the murky world of organised criminality as a chance arises to wreak vengeance upon the Baxter family. But what depths will Desiato be forced to plumb? It’s twisty, well performed and certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Paramount+, from Friday 3 February
A second season for this pacy comedy-drama (from Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver) following the lives and loves of four thirtysomething Black women in New York. As ever, it’s risque, fast-talking, affirmative fun, albeit with a glossy slickness that can sometimes grate. As we catch up with the group, Camille (Meagan Good) is at a crossroads. She’s blown up her career and her love life, but what will she now build in their place? Meanwhile, Shoniqua Shandai’s Angie sees some career progress – will there be a catch?
Prime Video, from Friday 3 February
Inspired by a real-life plane crash in 2010 in which a nine-year-old boy was the sole survivor, Ann Napolitano’s novel Dear Edward tells the story of Edward Adler, a 12-year-old who survives a plane crash that kills both his parents and his older brother. This adaptation from the maker of Friday Night Lights stars Colin O’Brien in the lead and Taylor Schilling as the troubled but well-intentioned aunt, Lacey, who took him in after the tragedy. Understandably, given the subject matter, it’s an intense emotional journey as the bereaved pair attempt to rebuild their lives.
Apple TV+, from Friday 3 February
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