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Eric to Camden: the seven best shows to stream this week
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Eric to Camden: the seven best shows to stream this week

Pick of the week


Vincent Anderson isn’t easy to like. He’s so difficult that people struggle to be civil even after his son Edgar is abducted. Set in 80s New York and starring an abrasive Benedict Cumberbatch, Abi Morgan’s drama is a peculiar and gripping study in regret and redemption. Vincent, who is a kids’ TV puppeteer, starts to believe that making a puppet – named Eric – based on Edgar’s drawings will bring him home. Vincent is a self-involved father who ignored his son’s attempts at creativity so Eric’s emergence is a neat metaphor for his guilt. But Vincent isn’t the only source of dysfunction; subplots about police corruption and the Aids crisis imply he is a product of his malignant environment.
Netflix, from Thursday 30 May


Dua Lipa in Camden.View image in fullscreen

London’s musical centre of gravity is constantly on the move. So with property prices taking Camden Town out of reach of the next generation of hopeful youngsters, this series often feels more like an elegy than a celebration. Directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by Dua Lipa, it explores the ecosystem of scenes and gig venues that represents a route from pub backroom to arena, and hears from the area’s musical veterans. There’s wonderful footage of Madness negotiating with the promoters of the Dublin Castle, but everyone from Coldplay to Amy Winehouse to Little Simz get their moment.
Disney+, from Wednesday 29 May

Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult

Dancing for the Devil The 7M TikTok Cult.View image in fullscreen

It has long been clear that the US will never run out of weird cults for Netflix to make true-crime documentaries about. This three-parter focuses on 7M management – a church that also branded itself as a talent agency specialising in nurturing and promoting dancers discovered on TikTok. If this dual purpose seems like a conflict of interests, that’s because it is: 7M’s owner Robert Shinn essentially groomed dozens of naive and ambitious youngsters – and before long, they were disowning their families and submitting to his control. Grimly intriguing.
Netflix, from Wednesday 29 May

Geek Girl

Zac Looker and Emily Carey in Geek Girl.View image in fullscreen

Harriet Manners is a teenager who cares more about drawing dinosaurs than she does about fashion. When she is spotted by a modelling agency and drafted into the world of high-end couture, it’s something of a culture shock. This adaptation of Holly Smale’s hugely successful 2013 YA novel is a cheerfully gauche affair. Emily Carey is excellent as the slightly flustered and accident-prone girl whose ambivalence towards this seemingly aspirational lifestyle works as a valuable lesson about trusting your instincts and finding your own niche in life.
Netflix, from Thursday 30 May


Joel Basman in Kafka.View image in fullscreen

From Walter Presents, this is a fascinating and slightly surprising serialised biography of the Czech writer starring Joel Basman. Since his death, the word “kafkaesque” has inexorably become shorthand for all manner of intrusive and inescapable bureaucracy: this six-part drama suggests that Kafka was able to write so persuasively about this partly because, as an insurance clerk himself, he was deeply familiar with its construction. It’s a counterintuitive take but consistent with this study of a complex man whose existential struggles came to define him.
Channel 4, from Friday 31 May

Raising Voices

Nicole Wallace and Clara Galle in Raising Voices.View image in fullscreen

There is no shortage of high-school dramas in which groups of close friends navigate the struggles of adolescence. This Spanish series adds an extra layer of horror as besties Alma, Greta and Nata find their lives thrown into chaos after a social media post (from an anonymous source) alleging rape. With no clarity over the identity of either victim or accused, the post seems to implicate everyone. Along the way, it sows seeds of doubt in even the closest friendships. The tone is familiar but the show doesn’t pull its punches in terms of subject matter.
Netflix, from Friday 31 May

How to Ruin Love

Bohang Moeko and Sivenathi Mabuya How to Ruin Love.View image in fullscreen

This South African comedy franchise has offered tips on ruining Christmas and weddings: now it turns its hand to love. Zoleka (Sivenathi Mabuya) is anxious. She and her partner Kagiso (Bohang Moeko) have been going steady for a while. When is he going to propose? With her behaviour becoming ever more comically unhinged, “never” starts to feel like the safest bet. Still, things can always be worse, but they soon are when Zoleka’s eccentric family get involved. The comedy is broad and sometimes basic but the cringe is real enough.
Netflix, from Friday 31 May

Source: theguardian.com