This week’s home entertainment: from I May Destroy You to Betty | Television & radio
Bafta-winning actor and writer Michaela Coel returns with this powerful 12-part drama. Coel plays writer Arabella Essiuedu, whose life as the newly feted “voice of her generation” changes irreversibly following a sexual assault. Forced to reassess everything, she goes on a journey of self-discovery that touches on liberation and exploitation.
Monday 8 June, 10.45pm, BBC One
Comedian Phoebe Walsh plays an ageing influencer with IBS in this pilot co-written alongside The Guardian’s Harriet Gibsone. Technically unemployed, Ruby decides to make a real difference in the world via the creation of her achingly woke new “pod” (podcast), Feminism in Your Ears.
Monday 8 June, BBC Three
If reality feels too much to bear at the moment, hark back to a different kind of onscreen reality with the release of the first six seasons of Made in Chelsea and all 25 seasons of The Only Way Is Essex on BritBox. And if that isn’t enough, there are also Love Island spin-off shows from buddies Chris and Kem.
Out now, BritBox
Written by novelist Stephen S Thompson, and based on the life of his brother Anthony Bryan, this deeply moving feature-length drama shines a light on the personal trauma of the Windrush scandal. Having lived in the UK for more than 50 years, Bryan (Patrick Robinson) suddenly finds himself classed as an illegal immigrant and unable to work.
Monday 8 June, 8.30pm, BBC One
This four-part doc reinvestigates the 2001 disappearance of British backpacker Peter Falconio in the Australian outback. Bradley John Murdoch was eventually charged with his murder, but doubt has lingered since the conviction.
Sunday 7 to Wednesday 10 June, 9.15pm, Channel 4
Released at the peak of lockdown-fuelled discontent comes both seasons of this archetypal family feud drama. Sit back and enjoy as Brian Cox’s foul-mouthed Logan Roy makes his underlings cower in fear, while gangly cousin Greg fights his way into a slice of the family business.
Monday 8 June, Sky Ultimate on Demand
The popular spin-off – which features previous contestants chewing up the runway and lip-syncing for their lives for a spot in the Hall of Fame – returns for a fifth season. Guest judges casting an eye over the likes of Mariah Balenciaga include Ricky Martin and Tessa Thompson.
Saturday 6 June, Netflix
David Tennant and Michael Sheen star in this lockdown comedy about a cast of theatre actors who attempt to keep their play rehearsals going after they’ve been furloughed. For full lockdown accuracy, the series co-stars David and Michael’s respective partners.
Wednesday 10 June, 10.45pm, BBC One
A spin-off of Crystal Moselle’s 2018 cult film Skate Kitchen about a young female skate crew, this new comedy series focuses on the group’s efforts to stand out in New York’s male-dominated skateboarding community. The key cast from the film, most of whom were nonprofessional actors discovered by Moselle on a subway, return.
Tuesday 9 June, 9.35pm, Sky Comedy
Following The Stranger, Netflix has adapted another Harlan Coben novel, with this Polish production of his thriller The Boy from the Woods. It follows prosecutor Paweł Kopiński, whose life is changed when a body is discovered in the same spot where his sister went missing.
Friday 12 June, Netflix
Nestled in his writing shed translating the long Middle English poem The Owl and the Nightingale, poet laureate Simon Armitage needs some distraction. Each week that comes in the form of a guest – such as Kate Tempest, Guy Garvey and Chris Packham – as they discuss everything from the creative process to language, accents and the environment.
BBC Sounds, weekly
Time for some audio escapism with this new mystery podcast, which stars Riverdale’s Cole Sprouse as Sam Walker. Having just moved to the sleepy town of Drisking in Missouri, Sam discovers a locally infamous tree that will make you disappear if you don’t carve your name on it. When his sister disappears months later, he begins to investigate …
Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast provides an insightful, fresh perspective on the world’s latest events. Specialist reporters analyse a variety of stories, from the dramatic demise of the nation’s notorious “shock jock” Alan Jones to a residents’ firefighting crew tackling vast bushfires to how coronavirus might be changing the restaurant industry.
The Guardian, daily
Blaine Harrison, lead singer of indie rock stalwarts Mystery Jets, is joined by guests from the world of music (Idles’ Joe Talbot, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien), as well as charity advocates from the likes of Justice 4 Grenfell and Help Refugees, on this new podcast focusing on resilience and social justice.
Widely available, weekly
As plenty on Twitter have noted, a live internet quizshow where the public can win heaps of cash would be a perfect distraction right now. Yet HQ Trivia offered exactly that service and was a brief sensation in 2017 before spectacularly flaming out soon after. This podcast asks: what happened?
(12) (Woody Allen) 89 mins
This has lain unwanted on shelves as the furore around Woody Allen has intensified. But the weird thing is that, while tricked out with his usual directorial tics, it’s not at all bad. Timothée Chalamet stars as Gatsby Welles, a student wandering around the Big Apple while his girlfriend Ashleigh (Elle Fanning) interviews a famous film director.
(12) (Steve James) 171 mins
This mammoth 1994 basketball documentary was restored for its 25th anniversary last year, and now goes to streaming. It focuses in a novelistic way on fringe players who may or may not make it and still looks great, heartbreakingly so; this is a story of nearly-did rather than triumph.
(12) (Simon Bird) 86 mins
The Inbetweeners generated a lot of goodwill in the UK film industry, and this is one of the offshoots: a funny adaptation of Joff Winterhart’s graphic novel, directed by Simon Bird. Earl Cave plays Daniel, a metal kid stuck with his mum (Monica Dolan) for the summer.
Digital platforms, from Monday 8 June
(No cert) (Sam Rega) 83 mins
Spelling competitions have been catnip for documentarians for some time, but this one takes an unusual angle. Why, it asks, have Indian-American kids been national spelling bee champions for the last 12 years? Director Sam Rega looks into this achievement.
(No cert) (Bruno Wollheim)
The director of David Hockney: A Bigger Picture is uploading a few minutes of unused footage from the doc every day. Eighty are planned in total, with the British artist ruminating on everything from dumped fridges to the American west.
(12A) (Ciro Guerra) 125 mins
Colombian director Ciro Guerra’s mystical jungle tale interweaves the journeys of two white explorers venturing through the Amazon decades apart but guided by the same shaman, Karamakate. Shot in a haunting, shadow-thickening monochrome, it calls up the ghosts of Heart of Darkness, Aguirre, Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo.
Saturday, 1.05am, Film4
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