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A Man in Full to Shardlake: the seven best shows to stream this week
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A Man in Full to Shardlake: the seven best shows to stream this week

Pick of the week
A Man in Full

Charlie Croker is a boorish property developer who trusts his charisma and deal-making smarts will carry him through any crisis. Based on Tom Wolfe’s 1998 novel of the same name, the drama stars Croker (Jeff Daniels) as a more nuanced figure than the book’s Trumpian character. As his business falls apart and former allies turn against him, viewers might feel their sympathies split – the forces facing Croker feel just as absurd and malign as the man himself. The adaptation (which also stars Diane Lane and William Jackson Harper) doesn’t quite manage the state-of-the-nation heft of the novel. But it’s still a nicely satirical study of American hubris.
Netflix, from Thursday 2 May


Sean Bean as Thomas Cromwell in Shardlake.View image in fullscreen

The isolation, arcane rituals and eccentric inhabitants of monasteries create a promising setting for drama. This adaptation of CJ Sansom’s historical mystery novel stars Arthur Hughes as Matthew Shardlake, a barrister turned investigator sent by Thomas Cromwell (Sean Bean) to shut down a Benedictine monastery and commandeer its assets. It’s a very personal assignment for Shardlake, who has kyphosis – curvature of the spine – and was told as a child that he could never be a priest as “God made us in his own image”. But he’s also a rationalist, trying to keep calm in the face of dogma and hysteria.
Disney+, from Wednesday 1 May


Knuckles voiced by Idris Elba.View image in fullscreen

The film spin-off of the era-defining Sonic the Hedgehog game grows an animated TV arm, with Idris Elba reprising his voice role as the comically serious and dangerously hot-tempered anthropomorphic echidna. After moving to Earth at the end of the last Sonic film, Knuckles attempts to adjust to life in the home of patient human host Maddie (Tika Sumpter). Knuckles is terrifyingly strong and doesn’t always use his powers for good – but he soon has a dimwitted disciple in the shape of Adam Pally’s deputy sheriff Wade Whipple.
Paramount+, from Saturday 27 April


Leslie Medina and Pierre Niney in Fiasco.View image in fullscreen

A knockabout French meta-comedy starring Pierre Niney as Raphaël Valande, a geeky, nervous first-time film director who is trying to shoot a cheesy but impossibly ambitious wartime epic as a tribute to his grandmother. However, as mishaps mount and another member of his team launches a coup, things start to unravel. Could salvation be at hand courtesy of a flashy but confident new investor? Almost certainly not. The comedy is surprisingly broad but it’s a fun premise and Valande is a likably befuddled lead.
Netflix, from Tuesday 30 April

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Clarkson’s Farm

From left: Gerald Cooper, Charlie Ireland, Lisa Hogan, Kaleb Cooper and Jeremy Clarkson in Clarkson’s Farm.View image in fullscreen

Hobby farming’s banter king returns with another season of stagey chaos. As we rejoin Jeremy Clarkson, he’s had a setback, as an official enforcement notice has ordered him to stop using any part of his property as a cafe. But he isn’t short of innovative ideas, even if they aren’t fully fleshed out. These include growing mushrooms, hoovering blackberries off their bushes and, perhaps more sensibly, giving Kaleb more responsibility. It’s daft, low-stakes fun but be prepared for a surprisingly heartbreaking incident with a very cute piglet.
Prime Video, from Friday 3 May

Selling the OC

From left: Sean Palmieri, Alexandra Jarvis, Tyler Stanaland, Polly Brindle and Alex Hall in Selling the OC season three.View image in fullscreen

As this hyper-glossy California reality series reaches its third season, the gargantuan real estate deals are increasingly little more than a backdrop to the high-octane personal drama as the members of the Oppenheim Group revel in their workplace entanglements. This time, expect much of the action to revolve round Alex and Tyler, whose prospective romance seems to have hit the buffers. It’s also clear that Austin and Sean are embarking upon a flamboyant feud. A few beachfront properties get sold, too, but that’s largely beside the point.
Netflix, from Friday 3 May

Welcome to Wrexham

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.View image in fullscreen

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’s footballing odyssey returns for a third season. And even though it’s sometimes hard to completely buy into the underdog narrative (the wealth of these men is essentially a cheat code for a club at Wrexham’s level), it’s tough not to be seduced anyway. After all, as Reynolds wisely puts it: “People expected to see a documentary about us changing Wrexham. But instead, it’s a documentary about Wrexham changing everyone else.” As we rejoin them, the club is finally back in the football league. But can it make the step up?
Disney+, from Friday 3 May

Source: theguardian.com