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Why you should watch: Based on JP Pomare’s novel, In The Clearing, which draws inspiration from the real-life workings of an Australian cult, ‘The Family’. Freya is forced to confront the nightmares of her past in order to stop a secret cult intent on gathering children to fulfil its master plan. Miranda Otto and Guy Pearce in the lead roles augered well for this drama series and it does have its moments, but it is very drawn out. A lot of the story is told in flashback, and this does become confusing. If this is a format that annoys you, this isn’t for you. It is a good, if not disturbing, story but could have done with some editing.
Director: GRACIE OTTO, JEFFREY WALKER
Cast: MIRANDA OTTO, GUY PEARCE, TERESA PALMER, ERROLL SHAND, ANNA LISE PHILLIPS, KATE MULVANY, DORIS YOUNANE
A SMALL LIGHT
Why you should watch: There are so many stories of ordinary people doing courageous deeds during WWII and this is one of them. This poignant story follows Miep Gies who, when her boss Otto Frank came to her and asked her to hide his family from the Nazis during World War II, didn’t hesitate. For the next two years, Miep, her husband Jan, and the other helpers watched over the eight souls (Otto Frank, his wife Edith and daughters Anne and Margot as well as four others) in hiding in the Secret Annex. And it was Miep who found Anne’s Diary and kept it safe so Otto, the only one of the eight who survived, could later share it with the world as one of the most powerful accounts of the Holocaust.
Director: SUSANNA FOGEL, TONY PHELAN, LESLIE HOPE
Cast: BEL POWLEY, JOE COLE, LIEV SCHREIBER, AMIRA CASAR, BILLIE BOULLET, ASHLEY BROOKE, NOAH TAYLOR, IAN MCELHINNEY
THE FULL MONTY
Why you should watch: The Fully Monty boys are back, albeit somewhat older than we remember. The story follows the original band of brothers as they navigate Sheffield and its crumbling healthcare, education and employment sectors, exploring the brighter, sillier and more humane way forward where communal effort can still triumph over adversity.
Director: ANDREW CHAPLIN, CATHERINE MORSHEAD
Cast: ROBERT CARLYLE, MARK ADDY, PAUL BARBER, STEVE HUISON, HUGO SPEERS, LESLEY SHARP, TOM WILKINSON, TALITHA WING
Why you should watch: There has been a considerable amount of contention surrounding the release of this documentary. It is to celebrate the 100th birthday of Stan Lee, the man behind Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers and many more. The Marvel franchise has now gone beyond anything Stan would have envisaged.
Director: DAVID GELB
Why you should watch: Staying in the Marvel Universe, I had somehow missed viewing this series. It’s not as popular as other Marvel series, but I found it very entertaining. The war is over and almost everyone has experienced a loss. Agent Peggy Carter has lost the love of her life. To top it off, when billionaire Howard Stark is accused of treason, he secretly employs her to clear his name. With the help of Stark’s butler, she embarks on a whimsical journey full of deceit, murder and controversy with a side of wise-cracking roommates.
Director: JENNIFER GETZINGER, METIN HUSEYIN, DAVID PLATT, LAWRENCE TRILLING, CRAIG ZISK, STEPHEN CRAGG, PETER LETO
Cast: HAYLEY ATWELL, JAMES D’ARCY, ENVER GJOKAJ, DOMINIC COOPER, KURTWOOD SMITH, LOTTE VERBEEK, BRIDGET REGAN
Why you should watch: Fury is back! Set in the present-day MCU, Fury learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. He joins his allies, including Everett Ross, Maria Hill, and the Skrull Talos, who has made a life for himself on Earth. Together they race against time to thwart an imminent Skrull invasion and save humanity.
Director: ALI SELIM
Cast: SAMUEL. L. JACKSON, BEN MENDELSOHN, COBIE SMULDERS, OLIVIA COLMAN, EMILIA CLARKE, KILLIAN SCOTT, KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR
THE FALCON & THE WINTER SOLDIER
Why you should watch: I have to confess the Falcon and the Winter Soldier are my personal Marvel favourites so what a treat to have a series of their very own. Following the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities, and their patience. Highly entertaining, but perhaps I’m a little biased.
Director: KARI SKOGLAND
Cast: ANTHONY MACKIE, SEBASTIAN STAN, WYATT RUSSELL, DANIEL BRUHL, INDYA BUSSEY, DESMOND CHIAM, DANI DEETTE
Why you should watch: The third season of the series The Mandalorian has landed. Pedro Pascal stars as the title character, a bounty hunter traveling to Mandalore to redeem his past transgressions with his adopted son Grogu and being aided on their journey by fellow Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze.
Director: PEDRO PASCAL, KATEE SACKHOFF, EMILY SWALLOW, CARL WEATHERS, BRENDAN WAYNE, TAIKA WAITITI, TAIT FLETCHER
ED SHEERAN: THE SUM OF IT ALL
Why you should watch: I must confess I’m not a huge fan of Ed Sheeran, but I realise there are a lot of you out there who are, so putting aside my personal preferences, this one’s for those who love Ed. This documentary series follows Sheeran’s personal life as he discusses how this trying time has affected him and his new music. It will spotlight how an unlikely child with a stutter rose to fame and how his chart-topping hits were born.
Director: ZACHARY HEINZERLING
Why you should watch: It’s always good to be able to look at the funny side of parenting, even though most of the time you feel like you’re running around in never ending circles. This series does just that. Paul and Ally struggle to balance their full-time careers while dealing with the trials and tribulations of raising their children. So, yeah, there is a funny side, at least on TV. You’ve gotta larf!
Director: CHRIS ADDISON, BEN PALMER, OLLIE PARSONS
Cast: MARTIN FREEMAN, DAISY HAGGARD, PATRICK VALADI, ALUN ARMSTRONG, ALEX EASTWOOD, JOANNA BACON