Friday, December 4

This week’s home entertainment: from Stateless to Trump in Tweets | Television & radio


Television

The Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski swaps Gilead for an immigration detention centre in this unflinching drama co-created by Cate Blanchett. Strahovski plays Sofie, an air stewardess who ends up detained in the Australian desert after escaping a cult led by Dominic West.
Wednesday 8 July, Netflix

An insightful, timely look at the British ramifications of the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Daniel Henry follows the UK Black Lives Matter movement as a new generation protest in the wake of the Windrush scandal and Grenfell, demanding reparation and representation.
Wednesday 8 July, BBC Three

Alex Brooker: Disability and Me

The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker fronts this emotional and deeply personal documentary chronicling his lifelong relationship to his disability. He asks whether laughter really is the best medicine and what the future holds for his career and role as a father of two.
Sunday 5 July, 9pm, BBC Two





Mrs America.



Women in revolt … Mrs America. Photograph: Sabrina Lantos/BBC/FX

A properly top-tier cast, including Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba and Sarah Paulson, star in this glossy drama about the 1970s movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Blanchett plays the conservative author Phyllis Schlafly, who stood in the way of progress during a culture war that shifted the political landscape.
Wednesday 8 July, 9pm, BBC Two

This 10-episode dramedy – named after a 2007 album by Sara Bareilles, who penned the Broadway musical Waitress and who provides original songs here – follows Bess King (Brittany O’Grady), a talented performer struggling to fulfil her dreams in the crowded New York music scene.
Friday 10 July, Apple TV+

With input from his inner circle, including his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, we explore the former Apprentice host’s “unique” way of harnessing Twitter. From celebrity spats to extraordinary back-and-forths over North Korea, it quickly became the perfect medium for the ultimate narcissist.
Monday 6 July, BBC Three





The Secret She Keeps.



Unknown pressures … The Secret She Keeps. Photograph: John Platt/BBC/Lingo Pictures

Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael stars in this Australian thriller. After Agatha (Carmichael) bumps into affluent blogger and fellow expectant mother Meghan (Jessica De Gouw) in a supermarket, the pair form a bond that eventually brings their lives crashing down.
Monday 6 July, 9pm, BBC One

Keith Haring: Street Art Boy

In his trailblazing decade as an artist, the late Keith Haring became synonymous with taking 1980s New York street culture worldwide. This doc uses lashings of archive and first-hand accounts to sketch out Haring’s enduring legacy.
Saturday 4 July, 9.15pm, BBC Two

Spandau Ballet’s Martin and Gary Kemp star in this fly-on-the-wall spoof hosted by Rhys Thomas. While Bros’s 2018 documentary, After the Screaming Stops, showed there’s ample comedy in post-success reality, here the Kemp brothers ham it up as they forge ahead with new ventures: Martin’s film franchise and Gary’s vegan meat-substitute, Wonge.
Sunday 5 July, 10pm, BBC Two

Drew Dixon, who in the 1990s worked alongside hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons at Def Jam records, forms the backbone of this hard-hitting doc – directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering – about sexual violence and the experiences of women of colour in the #MeToo movement.
Saturday 4 July, 9pm, Sky Documentaries

Podcasts

This fascinating podcast series from Peter Kafka and Rani Molla charts the fortunes of the five tech giants that shape our modern world: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. After last season’s deep dive into Jeff Bezos and Amazon, they turn to the streaming supremo Netflix, looking at how the platform took off and its intensive workplace culture.
Weekly, Vox Media

Photographer Lou Mensah hosts this podcast on the intersection of anti-racism and creativity. Previous guests have included art critics the White Pube on institutional racism in the art world, MP David Lammy on the need for belonging in society, and youth organiser Kenyatta Thomas on queer spaces and how to be an effective white ally.
Widely available





All you need is Lauv … podcast host Ari Leff.



All you need is Lauv … podcast host Ari Leff. Photograph: Lauren Dunn

Hosted by Ari Leff, AKA 25-year-old US singer-songwriter Lauv, this episodic series unpicks the modern condition. The three episodes currently available touch on maintaining relationships, making new friends, and loneliness and self-worth, the latter featuring the former US surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy.
Weekly, widely available

Leah Green hosts this new Guardian podcast taking a sneak peek into the lives of strangers, each episode recounting a particularly memorable story from members of the public. There’s the lowdown on family dramas, distant siblings, neighbourly feuds and surviving lockdown as an alcoholic. It is a must-listen for all nosy parkers.
Weekly, the Guardian

A new charity pod hosted by the journalist Al Horner in which screenwriters discuss the first drafts of their films, tackling inspiration, method and alternative endings. First up is Joe Cornish to talk about Attack the Block; upcoming episodes will look at The Simpsons Movie, A Quiet Place and Under the Shadow.
Weekly, widely available

Films





Family Romance, LLC.



Heavy meta … Family Romance, LLC.

(Werner Herzog) 89 mins
The maverick director is back with another investigation of dream life: here his subject is a Japanese company that hires people out to be stand-in friends and relatives for therapeutic purposes. The twist is to have the real-life company owner play himself in fictionalised situations, including impersonating a husband, a corpse and a disgraced employee.
Digital platforms

(Various) Running times vary
Another of Netflix’s short run-up, under-the-radar projects: an anthology of short (5-12 min) films, made during lockdown, that corrals an impressive collection of director names. The starriest are actors Kristen Stewart and Maggie Gyllenhaal; the auteuriest are Paolo Sorrentino, Nadine Labaki and David Mackenzie.
Netflix

(Fyzal Boulifa) 90 mins
Nichola Burley plays wife and mother Lucy, living on an Essex housing estate in this debut feature drama from Fyzal Boulifa. Lucy’s most intense connection is with best friend Lynn (Roxanne Scrimshaw) and their relationship forms the meat of the film.
Digital platforms

(Hlynur Pálmason) 109 mins
Another in the recent run of impressive Icelandic cinema: a study of a cop who, grief-stricken after his wife dies in a car accident, decides to take it out on the man with whom he suspects she was having an affair.
Digital platforms

(Clio Barnard) 99 mins
Chippy little Arbor and gentle Swifty are two kids scavenging waste metal in Bradford – a pastime that brings them into the orbit of scrap dealer-cum-pony-race organiser Kitten (Sean Gilder). Clio Barnard’s wondrously shot, modern take on Oscar Wilde’s story has heart-melting performances from Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas.
Monday 6 July, 1.10am, Film4



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