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Dark Matter to Hollywood Con Queen: the seven best shows to stream this week
Culture TV and Radio

Dark Matter to Hollywood Con Queen: the seven best shows to stream this week

Pick of the week
Dark Matter

We meet physicist Jason Dessen (Joel Edgerton) teaching students the theory of Schrödinger’s Cat: can two states of existence run concurrently? If so, can either of them be said to be “real”? In this moody adaptation of Blake Crouch’s sci-fi novel (by the author himself), Dessen is about to experience a brush with quantum mechanics. He visits a bar to celebrate a friend winning a prestigious science award. On his way home, he is abducted. He loses his phone, his wedding ring, even his clothes. What unfolds is a freaky, scary journey through multiple versions of himself as Dessen tries to find his way back to a reality he recognises. Labyrinthine but gripping.
Apple TV+, from Wednesday 8 May


Hollywood Con Queen

Hargobind Tahilramani in Hollywood Con Queen.View image in fullscreen

Fyre and Tiger King director Chris Smith has a good handle on the outlandish stories thrown up by modern life. This tale of a worldwide scam perpetrated on usually low-ranking figures in the film industry is another weird and wild affair. By impersonating some of Hollywood’s most powerful women, Hargobind Tahilramani lured hundreds of victims to Indonesia on the promise of life-changing film work. The scam seems oddly unwieldy in financial terms but this simply adds to the enigma. What actually motivated the person behind it?
Apple TV+, from Wednesday 8 May


Bodkin

Siobhán Cullen as Dove in Bodkin.View image in fullscreen

An intriguing and dryly amusing comedy-drama in which permanently grumpy Dublin investigative journalist Dove (Siobhán Cullen) is reluctantly sent to the small Irish town of the title to assist a couple of podcasters who are making a series about a historical murder case. The hapless pair are initially typically gormless tourists (“Oh my God. A nun, in a pub! I love this country!”) but it soon becomes apparent that the locals are deliberately leaning into the Irish cliches as a defence mechanism. Something fishy is actually going on in Bodkin, and the story may be more alive than it seems.
Netflix, from Thursday 9 May


Star Wars: Tales of the Empire

Star Wars: Tales of the Empire.View image in fullscreen

With The Bad Batch nearing its end, the Star Wars universe needs a new way of keeping the pot boiling. This animated miniseries expands the dimensions of the galaxy via a series of interconnected stories of a much bleaker nature. It focuses on Morgan Elspeth – a witch, in cahoots with Grand Admiral Thrawn and the troubled one-time Jedi padawan Barriss Offee who has, it seems, gone to the dark side after leaving the order. But how did she get here? Expect plenty of character development as the background to her bombing of the Jedi temple is explained.
Disney+, out now

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Abbott Elementary

Lisa Ann Walter, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tyler James Williams and Janelle James in Abbott Elementary.View image in fullscreen

“I’ve learned what it truly takes to do the job of a principal.” This statement should bode well, but coming from inept head Ava Coleman it sounds more like a threat than a promise. Sure enough, Ava’s management style hasn’t got much less catastrophic – in no time, the gang are drowning in tough love. Elsewhere, Janine and Gregory’s almost-romance simmers sweetly, though how much longer will the writers be able to maintain this teasingly flirtatious status quo? However, for now, this remains one of the most effortlessly charming shows on TV.
Disney+, from Wednesday 8 May


Maxton Hall: The World Between Us

Maxton Hall: The World Between Us.View image in fullscreen

“Someone like you can’t touch people like us.” This German high-school drama, adapted from a series of YA novels by Mona Kasten, comes with a side order of class war. Scholarship student Ruby Bell (Harriet Herbig-Matten) learns an explosive secret about cartoonishly appalling posho James Beaufort (Damian Hardung) shortly after arriving at an exclusive school. Ruby clearly isn’t about to be bought off by James’s money – but might something other than scorn spark between them? A slightly hackneyed premise but the lead performances are engaging.
Prime Video, from Thursday 9 May


The Ultimatum: South Africa

The Ultimatum: South Africa.View image in fullscreen

Whenever a show is described as “a social experiment”, it’s usually a fairly safe bet that a hot mess of mildly exploitative reality action is on the horizon. So it is with this South African version of Netflix’s conflict escalation series, hosted by Salamina and Tshepo “Howza” Mosese, which puts six couples under the microscope. In each case, one partner wants to marry while the other is happy to wait. What better way to resolve this tension than by splitting the couples up and placing them with different partners while the cameras roll? Inevitably, chaos ensues.
Netflix, from Friday 10 May

Source: theguardian.com