What we're watching on TV
- Credit: Ana Cristina Blumenkron
Anatomy of a Scandal, streaming now on Netflix
Self-assured, slick, competent...feminine. Michelle Dockery opens Netflix’s on-screen telling of former courtroom reporter Sarah Vaughan’s best-selling novel, with aplomb. As prosecutor Kate Woodcroft, she’s just smashed a case, returning home to find something really very intriguing on her desk.
On the other side of the city MP James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend) is forced to tell wife, university sweetheart, and mother of his two children Sophie (Sienna Miller) his five-month-long affair with a young colleague is about to break in the press.
And so it begins.
A he-said, she-said account of an affair that allegedly ended with Whitehouse raping researcher Olivia Lytton (Naomi Scott) in a lift.
There are lots of moving parts here, as the storyline straddles Whitehouse’s life now with his raucous years at Oxford University as a Libertine with mate (now PM) Tom Southern (Geoffrey Streatfeild).
Two episodes in, and the acting is seriously on point.
- 1 Broads Authority moves to prosecute pub over caravans - again
- 2 Part of A47 closed in both directions after crash
- 3 See inside this idyllic family home up for sale with NO nearby neighbours
- 4 EXCLUSIVE: The faces behind City's prospective US investment
- 5 Man claims supermarket fuel was contaminated as he reveals £200 repair bill
- 6 Former coastal restaurant up for auction
- 7 Thousands expected to attend huge four-day steam extravaganza
- 8 M&S to close 32 stores as part of move away from town centres
- 9 Motorcylist in 50s in hospital with serious injuries after tyre shop crash
- 10 Multiple fire crews tackle farm blaze overnight
Sienna Miller is stoic as just one of the wronged women, grappling between sheer bloody-minded ignorance, and throwing up in the sink.
Friend and Streatfeild play the Oxbridge lads-will-be-lads culture to a tune.
And Joshua McGuire (as spin doctor Chris Clarke), is skin-crawlingly slimy, hell-bent on twisting the narrative to the government’s benefit – no matter who gets stung in the crossfire.
I haven’t read the book yet, so have no idea how this drama will come off in the end. But so far, it seems no one will remain unscathed.
Call My Agent! Four seasons, streaming now on Netflix and soon on Amazon Prime
The UK remake of Netflix’s lockdown breakout French comedy Call My Agent! arrives on Amazon Prime in a couple of weeks’ time.
Set in a talent agency, Ten Percent (named after the cut that showbiz agents take from their clients), is the latest series from John Morton, creator of Twenty Twelve and W1A (so that’s all good).
Lydia Leonard and Jack Davenport head the cast and there are starry cameos to look forward to from the likes of Kelly Macdonald, Dominic West, Emma Corrin, David Harewood, Phoebe Dynevor and Helena Bonham Carter playing exaggerated versions of themselves as the agency’s clients.
In the meantime, if you haven’t already, why not acquaint yourself with the original French series?
Andrea (Camille Cottin), Mathias (Thibault de Montalembert), Gabriel (Gregory Montel) and Arlette (Liliane Rovere) are agents at the Paris talent agency ASK (Agence Samuel Kerr).
Their personal lives are just as messy as their professional ones – and the two frequently overlap.
The series begins with one of its stars, Cecile de France (an actress in real life), losing a role in a new Quentin Tarantino franchise (a figment of the writers’ imagination).
Shining a spotlight on ageism in the movie industry – especially where women are concerned - while Cecile isn’t yet 40, it transpires that she didn’t get the part because the producers felt that she was too old and wanted a younger actress.
The agents find themselves in a tricky situation when Cecile accidentally finds out.
And when ASK’s founder dies suddenly in a freak accident on holiday, it’s not just their clients’ raging egos they’ve got to worry about – but whether the agency itself will survive.
After the first series, which is a bit of a slow burn, more celebrities start to get the joke, with Monica Bellucci, Juliette Binoche, Beatrice Dalle, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jean Reno and Sigourney Weaver among the game A-listers willing to send up their public personas in the name of satire.
The Ultimatum, all of season one streaming on Netflix
Anyone who loved Netflix’s Love is Blind season two needs to watch the streaming service’s latest car crash TV gem. The Ultimatum hit Netflix a couple of weeks ago, and has had the internet in a right stir.
As the name suggests, The Ultimatum sees six couples arrive after one of the partners has given the other a ‘marry me or else’ ultimatum.
But there’s a twist.
These couples all date within the group and eventually swap partners, living with someone for a few weeks as a ‘newly-married’ couple to see if they want to stay with their original partner and get married, or partner up with someone else entirely once the experiment is over. The premise is insane, and does make you wonder who’d sign up to go on such a show.
As per all American reality shows, a lot of the contestants are pretty bonkers and most of the couples as pretty toxic and dysfunctional (you’d have to be to want to go on a show like this) – but it sure does make for some wonderfully trash viewing.
Without giving away too many spoilers, be sure to keep an eye out for the particularly nutty Alexis who can’t seem to handle rejection, the dysfunctional dynamics of Colby and Madelyn, and April who’s obsessed with having a baby at the age of 23. And there’s also a couple of random proposals that no one was expecting...
Much like Love is Blind, The Ultimatum is hosted by real-life couple Nick and Vanessa Lachey, who throughout the show help coach and guide the couples through the mentally-taxing process – but honestly some of these couples are far beyond any help that these armchair psychologists can provide.
There’s 10 episodes in total, so if you find yourself without any plans this weekend, this can easily be binged over a couple of days. And wait for the reunion – I think you might be shocked at who stays together and who goes their separate ways...