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Insomnia to Buying London: the seven best shows to stream this week
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Insomnia to Buying London: the seven best shows to stream this week

Pick of the week


What’s bothering Emma Averill (Vicky McClure)? Is it her domestic life, which has been disrupted by the return of her feckless sister Phoebe? The stress of her high-powered work as a custody lawyer? Buried childhood trauma connected to her seemingly malignant family? Emma can’t sleep and is obsessed with the idea that her mental health might be disintegrating in the same way her mother’s did. This drama, based on Sarah Pinborough’s novel, takes itself awfully seriously, but does a fine job of capturing the slightly out-of-focus alienation of sleeplessness, filtering it through Emma’s increasingly confused mental state as she searches for answers in the past.
Paramount+, from Thursday 23 May

Buying London

Daniel Daggers in Buying London.View image in fullscreen

“Surprisingly, you get very little for your money.” The last thing these words, uttered by high-end estate agent Daniel Daggers (astoundingly, this seems to be his real name), suggest is a particularly keen eye for the London property market: is there anyone in the city who couldn’t have told you this a decade ago? This attempt to transfer the aesthetic and value systems of the Selling Sunset franchise to London was probably inevitable. But what may just about seem seductive at a distance feels enraging in the up-close context of the hardship inflicted by London’s outrageous housing situation.
Netflix, from Wednesday 22 May


Sira-Anna Faal and Nikeata Thompson in Pauline.View image in fullscreen

The titular 18-year-old in this daft German comedy-drama is a girl (played by Sira-Anna Faal) who makes a mistake with consequences. She meets Lukas on a dating site, they share a one-night stand and she becomes pregnant. But that’s not all – she’s also developing supernatural powers. While this could be handy for a young single parent, it’s soon clear that there was more to Lukas than met the eye; he turns out to be the son of the devil and, accordingly, her child is at the centre of a battle between good and evil with the fate of the world at stake.
Disney+, from Wednesday 22 May


Chris O’Connor and Shane Gillis in Tires.View image in fullscreen

In 2019, Shane Gillis’s nascent career as a Saturday Night Live writer was banjaxed when a series of racist and homophobic remarks he’d made on a podcast came to light. He’s now back with a chunky Netflix deal, which includes this sitcom. Tires stars Steven Gerben as Will, the nerdy, underqualified heir to an auto repair chain who is forced to lean on Gillis’s Shane – his cousin, his employee and also the purveyor of ripe jokes and unreconstructed social attitudes. The jury is out on whether Gillis manages to have his cake and eat it.
Netflix, from Thursday 23 May

Garouden: The Way of the Lone Wolf

Garouden: The Way of the Lone Wolf.View image in fullscreen

This animation series, based on the manga of Baku Yumemakura, follows a group of martial arts fighters as they attempt to prove themselves in the underground fight scene. They all have dramatic backstories – one killed an intruder with his bare hands, another no longer dares to use his deadly skills on humans and now only fights bears – but all are brought together by a desire for combat ultimacy. There are hokey moral messages about learning to control “the beast inside you”, but mainly it’s just beautifully realised, cleverly choreographed ultraviolence.
Netflix, from Thursday 23 May


Nat Faxon, Sam Richardson, Dana Carvey and Chrissy Teigen in Mulligan.View image in fullscreen

Season one of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s animated sitcom didn’t quite live up to the impressive pedigree of its creators. Nevertheless, this second batch of episodes has arrived. Nat Faxon voices Matty Mulligan, a deeply average man who finds himself leader of the human race after an alien attack destroys most of civilisation. Now, Mulligan is assembling a new cabinet, with power outages ongoing and further attacks likely. The strong voice cast (Daniel Radcliffe, Ted Danson and Fey herself) struggle to redeem the underwhelming script.
Netflix, from Friday 24 May


Aylin Tezel (far left) in Unbroken.View image in fullscreen

An intense drama from Germany, courtesy of Channel 4’s reliably intriguing Walter Presents strand. Aylin Tezel stars as Alex Enders, a hardbitten detective who is drugged and kidnapped while heavily pregnant. She eventually comes to, only to find that, while she remembers nothing of her ordeal, she has given birth and her baby is missing. It’s a nightmarish scenario and nothing about Enders’s unfolding agony is underplayed – soon, she’s struggling with the inevitable trauma while the hunt to find her child becomes increasingly frantic.
Channel 4, from Friday 24 May

Source: theguardian.com