Here's a list of shows to watch while we spend the next few weeks indoors.
BIG LITTLE LIES S1-2
Season 2 has a new director in Oscar winner Andrea Arnold, while three-time Oscar winner and four-time Golden Globe winner Meryl Streep joins the star-studded cast of Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, Golden Globe winner Laura Dern, People’s Choice winner Shailene Woodley and Teen Choice nominee Zoe Kravitz.
On the surface, in the tranquil seaside town of Monterey, California, everything seems the same. The mothers continue to dote, the husbands support, the children remain adorable and the houses are just as beautiful. But the night of the school fundraiser changed all that, leaving the community reeling as the ‘Monterey Five’ – Madeline, Celeste, Jane, Renata and Bonnie – bond together to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
Season 1 won 4 Golden Globes and 8 Emmy Awards; Season 2 was nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Drama, Best Actress (Kidman) and Best Supporting Actress (Streep)
Laugh-out-loud funny, not afraid to be controversial and unprecedented in sketch comedy TV history, A Black Lady Sketch Show is created by, written by, directed by and stars a stellar array of the most talented black women in American comedy. Creator Robin Thede (host of BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede and head-writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore) executive produces, writes and stars, with Issa Rae (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s Insecure) producing and guest starring.
Each episode consists of four to six sketches framed within an ongoing end-of-the-world storyline that showcases the comedic talents of Thede and her core cast: Emmy winner Ashley Nicole Black (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, S.W.A.T.) and Quinta Brunson (Quinta vs. Everything).
The all-star guest line-up includes Oscar nominee Angela Bassett, Golden Globe nominees Maria Gibbs and Jackée Harry, Emmy winners Lena Waithe and Loretta Devine, Emmy nominees Laverne Cox and Amber Riley, Imagen Award winner Gina Torres, Nailed It! star Nicole Byer, Grammy winner Kelly Rowland and even Grammy hall-of-famer Patti LaBelle.
Hollywood Reporter hailed the show as “energetic, funny and wonderfully distinctive” and PopBuzz as “sharp, entertaining and seriously overdue.”
Younger follows Liza Miller (Sutton Foster in a Critics Choice-nominated performance), a talented editor navigating the highly competitive world of publishing — while juggling the complications of mixing business with pleasure and facing the lie she created about her age to land her dream job. In Season 6, Kelsey (Hilary Duff in a People’s Choice-nominated role) is leaning into her new role as publisher at the freshly minted Millennial Print, while Liza and Charles (Peter Hermann from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) get used to their new normal now that he’s no longer running the business.
From the creator of Sex & The City, Younger is a hit romcom set in the publishing industry. Sutton Foster and Miriam Schor were nominated for Critics Choice awards as Liza and Diana, while Hilary Duff was up for People’s Choice and Teen Choice awards as Kelsey.
Younger has a 99% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and has been nominated for Critics Choice, People’s Choice and Teen Choice awards.
In Season 3, June (two-time Golden Globe winner Elisabeth Moss) finds herself once again in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Gilead has returned to ‘traditional values,’ with women treated as property of the state. Despite the overwhelming odds, June is struggling to strike back against the regime… Season 1 was based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel of the same name, which won the first Arthur C. Clarke Award.
The Handmaid’s Tale has won Golden Globes for Best TV Drama and Best Actress (Moss), as well as 14 Emmys, including Best Drama.
Created by A Black Lady Sketch Show exec producer Issa Rae and Black-ish exec producer Larry Wilmore, Insecure centres on friends Issa (Rae in a Golden Globe, Emmy and Critics Choice nominated performance) and Molly (Black Reel awards nominee Yvonne Orji). The show has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus hails Insecure as “an insightful, raunchy, and hilarious journey through the life of a twentysomething black woman that cuts through stereotypes with sharp wit and an effusive spirit.”
As The Peabody Awards put it, “Rae delivers a ground-breaking series that captures the lives of everyday young black people in Los Angeles with a fresh and authentic take. Breaking away from tired and familiar representations of ‘diversity’ on television, this series offers a fun and intimate portrayal of work, relationships, and the ordinary experiences of the two young black women at its center.”
Insecure was nominated for two Emmys for cinematography and for Show of the Year at the MTV Movie and TV Awards. It was also named TV Program of the Year at the 2018 American Film Institute Awards.
The adults-only HBO drama series follows a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of addiction, intimacy, trauma and social media. Zendaya (K.C. Undercover, Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Greatest Showman) stars as 17-year-old Rue, who returns home from rehab with no plans to stay clean, and strikes up a friendship with the new girl in town, Jules (played by trans superstar Hunter Schafer).
Nicky Idika of Pop Buzz picked Euphoria as her favourite show of last year, praising the performances of its lead stars as “phenomenal” and saying, “The show's cultural impact is already apparent. Euphoria deliberatel
Zendaya won the 2019 People's Choice Award for Favourite Drama TV Star for her role on the show, which has an 8.4/10 rating on IMDB.
GOOD TROUBLE S2
A spinoff from the multi-award-winning The Fosters, Good Trouble explores the trials and tribulations of the tenants of Downtown LA’s hippest residence, The Coterie. This season, software engineer Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), law clerk Callie (Maia Mitchell) and the rest of The Coterie crew will continue to navigate their early twenties as they deal with breakups, demand equality, find happiness and discover what it means to fight for what you believe in.
Good Trouble was nominated for three 2019 Teen Choice Awards: Drama and Best Actress (both Cierra Ramirez and Maia Mitchell). Season 1 has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan’s editor in ch
Aisha Dee, Katie Stevens and Meghann Fahy have all been nominated for Teen Choice Awards as Kat, Jane, and Sutton respectively. Emmy nominee Melora Hardin (The Office) plays Jacqueline, with Sam Page (Mad Men) as Richard.
The new season sees Peter Vack (Homeland, Mozart in the Jungle) join the show as the new head of Scarlet’s digital department, Patrick Duchand. Could his arrival suggest the clock is ticking for both the magazine’s female leadership and its future as a print publication?
The Bold Type has a 98% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been nominated for seven Teen Choice Awards, including three for Best Summer TV Show, two Best TV Actor noms for Aisha Dee, and one each for Meghann Fahy and Katie Stevens, Glamour calls The Bold Type “one of the most delightful shows on TV,” while The New Yorker says it’s “a show to warm a jaded heart.”
This unfailingly prescient spinoff of The Good Wife follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski in an Emmy-nominated role) to historically black law firm, Reddick, Boseman, & Kolstad, after she loses everything in a financial scam. The powerful cast includes Cush Jumbo (in a Critics Choice nominated role), Emmy winner Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Screen Actors Guild nominees Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty), and Golden Globe nominee Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex).
The hit legal drama has a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was tied at #19 (with The Walking Dead and Rectify) on Metacritics’ list of the best series of the last decade.
MRS. FLETCHER S1
Mrs. Fletcher is a dual coming-of-age story chronicling the personal and sexual journeys of an empty-nest mother and her college freshman son, who both embrace their newfound freedom with mixed results. Emmy nominee Kathryn Hahn (Transparent) stars in the title role.
The seven-part series is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers, Little Children).
South African Liesl Tommy (Insecure, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones) is part of the all-female directing team, which also includes Oscar nominee Nicole Holofcener (Orange Is The New Black), nine-time Emmy nominee Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Transparent) and Gillian Robespierre (Silicon Valley).
As Indiewire wrote after its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival this year, “I could watch 100 episodes of Mrs. Fletcher… A smart, thoughtful, and hopelessly addictive adaptation… Ultra-charming.”
Mrs. Fletcher has an 84% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been nominated as Best Series at both the 2020 GLAAD and Queerty awards.
A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES S1
Adapted from Deborah Harkness’s bestselling All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches is a modern-day love story set in a world where witches, vampires and daemons secretly live and work alongside humans, hidden in plain sight. The hit series stars Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four, Warm Bodies) as academic and historian Diana Bishop, a witch denying her magical heritage until the discovery of an ancient manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library throws her into the heart of a dangerous mystery – and into the path of enigmatic geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode from Downton Abbey and The Crown).
The hit show has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
NOUGHTS + CROSSES
From 2330 on Thursdays. Binge from 16 April
“Over 700 years ago, the Aprican Empire invaded Europe. Aprica colonised the continent and reached as far as Albion. Albion has been under Aprican rule ever since.”
So begins Noughts + Crosses, a controversial six-part BBC One series based on Malorie Blackman’s multi-award-winning novel.
South African Masali Baduza (Trackers) and BAFTA winner Jack Rowan (Born To Kill, Peaky Blinders) play Sephy and Callum, two star-crossed lovers in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet. Sephy is the privileged daughter of the Home Secretary, Kamal Hadley, while Callum’s mother, Meggie, is the Hadleys’ housekeeper. While Sephy and Callum grew up together, they may as well have lived in different worlds.
Shot largely in Cape Town, the series also stars Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, The Leftovers) and South African actress Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus, Wallander) as Sephy’s parents, Kamal and Jasmine, with BAFTA nominee Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet, Emily in Friends) and Tribeca winner Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter) as Callum’s parents, as well as Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The End of the F***ing World) as his brother Jude.
This sexy half-hour drama focuses on two Mexican-American sisters from the East Side of Los Angeles who couldn't be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighbourhood, where they are confronted by the past and the discovery that their deceased mother was in a lesbian marriage.
Vida won the audience award at SXSW in 2018 and has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The first two seasons of Harlots revolved around rival brothel owners, Margaret Wells (Oscar nominee Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Oscar nominee Lesley Manville), in 18th century London – an era when one in five women earned a living as a prostitute in the city. At the start of Season 3, it seems the Wells girls can finally free themselves of their mother's feud, helped by allies such as Lady Fitz (Liv Tyler). But Charlotte Wells (Jessica Brown Findlay from Downton Abbey) soon learns that running a lucrative brothel brings enemies as well as friends, including the new pimp in town, Isaac Pincher (2019 Emmy nominee Alfie Allen from Game of Thrones).
Harlots has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian calling it “obscenely enjoyable.”
ZAC & MIA S1-2
Zac & Mia, based on the multi-award-winning novel by AJ Betts, centres on two teenagers battling cancer in the same hospital. In the everyday world, Zac and Mia would have nothing in common, but in the hospital, where they're the only teens on the ward, they develop an unbreakable bond.
In Season 2, Zac looks forward to things going back to normal as he returns home, but soon discovers that normal is not what it once was. Mia embarks on physiotherapy and is learning to adjust to life after her operation, but she has a long, hard road ahead of her. The one thing they have is each other, but could what brought them together become the thing that tears them apart?
The first season won two Emmys: for lead actress Anne Winters (Chloe from 13 Reasons Why) and its script, which also won a Writers Guild of America award. The show was also nominated for four more, including Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series, Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Lead Actor for three-time Teen Choice winning YouTuber Kian Lawley (superkian13, with 3.35million followers).
Common Sense Media rates the show as 13+, saying Zac and Mia “examines the inner turmoil that comes with having a serious illness, but also the hope and clarity that can be found when people get real with one another.”
They also give the show kudos for “showing the mental health repercussions that come along with trying to be ‘strong’ for your family and friends, and how even the most stoic among us need the permission to fully express and experience our emotions.”
Sharp Objects follows a reporter (Golden Globe winner Amy Adams) who confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her hometown to cover a violent murder.
As her mother, Patricia Clarkson won Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes, where Sharp Objects was also up for Best Limited Series and Best Actress (Adams). The series was also nominated for eight Emmys, including best Limited Series.
Set in 1832, Gentleman Jack focuses on real-life English landowner Anne Lister (BAFTA Award winner Suranne Jones from Doctor Foster) and her determination to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall, by reopening her coal mines and marrying well. However, the charismatic, single-minded Lister – who dresses in black from head-to-toe and has charmed her way into high society – has no intention of marrying a man. Instead, she is determined to stay true to her nature by marrying Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle from Peaky Blinders and Bodyguard), a sheltered heiress who happens to be a seriously wealthy woman. A remarkable and unlikely love story, Gentleman Jack was created, written and co-directed by four-time BAFTA Award winner Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax).
Gentleman Jack won the 2020 Royal Television Society Award for Best TV Series and has a 90% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Emmy-nominated comedy series follows 13-year-old besties Maya and Anna [played by 32-year-old co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle) as they navigate – and try to survive – seventh grade and puberty. AV Club called it “one of 2019's most delightful surprises ... a hilariously insightful and refreshingly heartfelt look at adolescence in the early 2000s.”
Pen15 has a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was #12 on Metacritic’s aggregated list of TV Shows Mentioned on Most Critic Top 10 Lists for 2019.