This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
As I write this, I realise that we have watched an awful lot of TV due to the lack of summer. So I have tried to give a cross-section of the best TV series, films and documentaries to keep you entertained this Autumn.
HIT AND RUN | AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
In this new action thriller, the life of a happily married man (Lior Raz) is turned upside down when his wife is killed in a mysterious hit and run accident in Tel Aviv. Grief-stricken and confused, he searches for his wife’s killers. Finally, with the help of an ex-lover (Sanaa Lathan), he uncovers disturbing truths about his beloved wife and the secrets she kept from him.
From the producers of Fauda so this was bound to be good. And it is. It had my husband and me on the edge of our seats for every episode.
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS | NETFLIX
Nicole Kidman is back in this new mini-series. Based on Liane Moriarty’s best-seller, Nine Perfect Strangers is the new series from the team behind Big Little Lies – and it’s come along just in time to transport us away from our grim locked-down lives to a beautiful place that promises nothing less than total transformation.
These guests (the nine perfect strangers) are in need of some healing.
One family is grieving after a child’s suicide. Another is addicted to prescription meds after a sporting career goes off the rails. Another can’t recover from the pain of a broken marriage.
But each guest has not only a wound (a secret pain, a secret vulnerability or just a plain old-fashioned secret) but a limit to what they’ll accept from Masha (Nicole Kidman) and the unconventional retreat. Part of the suspense of watching Nine Perfect Strangers is seeing when each guest breaks.
MODERN LOVE SEASON 2 | AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
If you haven’t watched season 1, start with that, as these vignettes are so appealing. But, of course, we all love a Love Story.
This anthology series explores love in all of its complicated and beautiful forms. Each episode brings to life a different story that has been inspired by the New York Times’s popular Modern Love column. A collection of stories about relationships, connections, betrayals and revelations. Each episode stars a well-known actor, including my favourite starring Dev Patel. Season 2 has one episode starring the British actress Minnie Driver.
BAPTISTE | BBC IPLAYER
It’s the last series, and we have all fallen a little in love with Baptiste, his unconventional ways of solving a crime. He gets under peoples’ skin but remains appealing. Once again, he is on the hunt for missing persons whilst still battling with hisinternal demons.
THE CHAIR | NETFLIX
This new comedy-drama Netflix series The Chair, starring Sandra Oh as a professor and chair of an Ivy League–ish English department at the fictitious Pembroke University is fun and a great transformation to see Sandra Oh in a comedic role. The Chair demonstrates the absurdism beneath academia’s shabby-genteel displays of self-importance and intellectual grandiosity amid small, yet nevertheless life-altering, stakes is what The Chair’s co-creators, Amanda Peet and Annie Julia Wyman, who received her Ph.D. in English from Harvard, truly get right.
It has been highly rated by academics in the US and both Grace and I enjoyed it once we got into it as it has a slow start.
DECEIT | CHANNEL 4
DECEIT is Channel 4’s new drama which explores one of the most controversial police operations in modern British history. The four-part series takes a look at the investigation into the murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992, focusing on the honeytrap investigation that saw undercover officer ‘Lizzie James’ tasked with striking up a relationship with suspect Colin Stagg – who it later transpired was utterly innocent.
PROFESSOR T | CHANNEL 4
PROFESSOR T is a detective series starring Ben Miller and Frances de la Tour. It is light-hearted, but as each episode is a stand-alone story, you can keep dipping into it.
THE WHITE LOTUS | SKY ATLANTIC
THE WHITE LOTUS is an American satire comedy-drama series filmed in Hawaii. The six-episode first season focuses on the lives of the staff and guests at a tropical resort in Hawaii over the course of a week. It has just been given the green light for a second series, so it has obviously been popular.
POSE SEASON 3 | BBC TWO
If you haven’t seen the first two seasons, then catch up now because Ryan Murphy and Steven Canals’ groundbreaking FX series Pose, about the 1980s New York’s uptown ball scene, has thrown its final ball. In the series finale, Pose found a way to send off its cast primarily comprised of Black trans and queer performers in a legendary and heartfelt way.
I really enjoyed this series as it is unconventional and enlightening and gives one a view of this world.
GHOSTS SEASON 3 | BBC ONE
GHOSTS is a fun series, and it is hard not to get caught up in the story – a great one to watch with visiting (older) grandchildren.
HALT AND CATCH FIRE | NETFLIX
The show begins in 1983 Dallas at the dawn of the personal computer. Over four seasons, it follows four disparate characters as they navigate the rapidly changing world of tech and computing. Mackenzie Davis’ plays a uniquely gifted programmer, and Kerry Bishé‘s is a housewife and mum with a knack for hardware. You’ll fall in love with these characters incredibly quickly, and by the time the series ends (after a significant time jump), you won’t be ready to say goodbye.
ANNIKA | ALIBI
ANNIKA is a brand new UKTV Original six-part series based on the hugely successful BBC Radio 4 drama, written by Nick Walker and starring Olivier-award-winner Nicola Walker (The Split, Unforgotten) as DI Annika Strandhed, an enigmatic detective heading up a specialist Marine Homicide Unit.
THE BOLEYNS: A SCANDALOUS FAMILY | BBC IPLAYER
I am always up for a bit of Tudor history. THE BOLEYNS: A SCANDALOUS FAMILY focuses more on the whole Boleyn family, which has a slightly different angle than many previous programmes.
VIGIL | BBC ONE
New BBC One drama Vigil comes from the same team who made Line of Duty, Bodyguard and The Pembrokeshire Murders and will be on TV starting 29th August. Filmed in Scotland, Vigil follows an investigation after a crew member is found dead on board the Trident nuclear submarine HMS Vigil – only the sub is still in operation as the UK’s nuclear deterrent must remain unbroken.
It stars Suranne Jones (we all love everything she is in), Shaun Evans and Martin Compston.
I AM…. | CHANNEL 4
This new series of I Am…… starts with Suranne Jones as Victoria. Her story will be about a working mum who is struggling to cope with the little obstacles of everyday life, which becomes a massive problem for her mental health.
The second episode stars Letitia Wright, BAFTA-winning star of Black Panther and Small Axe. This time, she plays the protagonist and gives a likeably low-key performance, all troubled brows, pensive stares, and shy smiles. But, again, this was a more subtle affair, lacking the highly-strung histrionics of last week.
The third film in the series tells the story of Maria (Lesley Manville), who is at a crossroads in life. Feigning happiness in her marriage to John (Michael Gould) has become too suffocating. Her 60th birthday sparks clarity, the suppressed feelings of discontent. She longs for another journey to find liberation and happiness again.
And if none of this appeals to you, here are two blasts from the past:
A PLACE TO CALL HOME
My husband and I came across this 2013 series which nows has six seasons which should keep us busy. So far, we have watched six episodes of Season 1 and are loving it.
It is an Australian television drama series set in rural New South Wales in the period following the Second World War, it follows Sarah Adams (Marta Dusseldorp), who has returned to Australia after twenty years abroad to start a new life and ends up clashing with wealthy matriarch Elizabeth Bligh.
It is a compelling melodrama about love and loss set against the social change of the 1950s.
THE HOUR SEASONS 1 & 2 | BBC IPLAYER
We recently re-watched this series as it is so good. Starring Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Dominic West. The series was centred on a new current-affairs show being launched by the BBC in June 1956, at the time of the Hungarian Revolution and Suez Crisis.
It is one of the best TV series that we have enjoyed. It must have been the launch for Ben Whishaw’s career which is perhaps why there was no season 3 😢