Things to watch: Apple’s Loot, Netflix’s Umbrella Academy among big shows to stream
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THE SERPENT OF ESSEX (APPLE TV+)
Back in the spotlight for the first time since her eight award-winning seasons as troubled CIA agent Carrie Mathison in Homeland, Claire Danes is at the top of her game in this new Victorian drama.
Based on the critically acclaimed 2016 novel of the same name by Sarah Perry, the six-part tale sees the three-time Emmy winner playing Cora Seaborne.
Recently widowed, she decides to move to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical snake. Once there, she forms a surprising bond of science and skepticism with a local pastor (Tom Hiddleston), but when tragedy strikes, the locals accuse her of luring the creature.
Following a formidable trio of evocative feature films – The Selfish Giant, Dark Water and Ali & Ava – that showcase a sense of space and place, as well as complex human interactions, director Clio’s television series debut Barnard are a stunning work that draws you in with its provocative premise, lavish costumes and production design, and the promise of an intriguing mystery to unravel.
FOR ALL HUMANITY (APPLE TV+)
The 10-part third season of this critically acclaimed alternate-reality sci-fi series jumps to 1995.
The red planet has now become the new frontier of the space race, not only for the United States and the Soviet Union, but also an unexpected new entrant with much to prove – and even more at stake. come face to face as their ambitions for Mars collide and their loyalties are tested.
“The series continues to excel in balancing its sprawling cast of characters, all driven by a dizzying array of motivations, with the precise textural demands of a well-dressed period piece,” wrote Alexis Gunderson of Paste magazine. .
Eight great shows to stream this week.
* Neon’s First Lady, Amazon’s Outer Range, Apple’s Roar among April’s must-watch shows
* Downton 2, Fantastic Beasts 3, New Zealand-shot X among must-see movies in April
* Question team: Richard Ayoade and his friends “hilariously rewrite the panel show”
* The Chase USA: more money, more danger, but not as much fun
* Winning Time: Neon’s hugely entertaining look at a crazy decade
Irma Vep is now available to stream on Neon and Sky Go.
IRMA VEP (NEON)
Frenchman Olivier Assayas directs this eight-part remake of his 1996 film of the same name, itself based on the seven-hour, 10-part silent series Les Vampires, as well as 1973 Oscar winner Day For Night and from the legendary Beware of a Holy Whore by German director Rainer Fassbinder.
While its sometimes cynical (and sometimes excoriating) examination of modern filmmaking won’t appeal to everyone, it does offer plenty of intrigue and a terrific turn of Alicia Vikander in the lead role. If you enjoyed Assayas’ polarizing collaboration with Kristen Stewart – 2016’s supernatural psychological thriller Personal Shopper – then you better clear your calendar for it.
At times sounding like the best French farce, at others the European equivalent of Robert Altman’s The Player or Barry Levinson’s Wag the Dog, Irma Vep is definitely not short on humor, or bad manners.
LOOT (APPLE TV+)
Maya Rudolph of The Bridesmaids stars in this 10-part comedy about a billionaire whose dream life crumbles when her husband betrays her for 20 years.
In a public spiral, she heads for the bottom when she learns that she actually has a charitable foundation that desperately wants her to stop making negative headlines. Embark on a journey of self-discovery as she discovers the benefits of giving back to others.
“Philanthropy as a whim? It’s pretty funny and gives Rudolph plenty of room to play grandiose while poking fun at the lives of filthy rich people,” wrote Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe.
Night Sky is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
NIGHT SKY (AMAZONE)
Sissy Spacek and JK Simmons play Irene and Franklin York, an elderly couple who years ago discovered a chamber leading to a deserted planet in this eight-part drama.
They’ve carefully guarded their secret ever since, but when an enigmatic young man enters their lives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is quickly turned upside down…and the mysterious room they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could never imagined.
“Ultimately, this series addresses the restorative power of taking a leap of faith and the lingering mystery of the unknown, and honors the ability of two exceptional actors…to hold the story together with their emotional gravitational pull,” wrote The Wrap. Thelma Adams.
THE RESPONDENT (TVNZ ON REQUEST)
While it’s not as dark as Cracker or Luther, nor does it boast the attention to detail and police politics of Line of Duty, it is nonetheless an absorbing character study and a stunning thriller. .
Cleverly crafted by former Merseyside police officer Tony Schumacher, it deliberately leaves only hints of troubled police officer Chris Carson’s high-flying past and falls out of favor, leaving the viewer desperate for more. , while not sure how Martin Freeman’s character will play things. .
It also speaks to Freeman’s skill as an actor, making you forget about his past baggage as Baggins and Dr. Watson and ensuring you care about his ultimate fate, even if you’re not convinced that he will end up on the right side of the law.
Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy is now available to stream on Netflix.
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (NETFLIX)
As the third season of this popular superhero series begins, the Umbrella siblings find themselves in an altered timeline after their “adventures” in Dallas. It is revealed that after they met in 1963, Sir Reginald chose not to adopt them, but 6 other children instead, turning them into a skilled and popular team of superheroes dubbed “The Sparrow Academy”.
However, as they reach an uneasy deal, a time anomaly caused by running out of time threatens them all.
“Think Wes Anderson meets Curb Your Enthusiasm – with a pinch of ‘biff pow!’ comic book excitement kicked in,” wrote Ed Power of The Daily Telegraph.
UNDER THE SKY BANNER (DISNEY+)
The latest adult drama to make its unlikely home on Disney+ is further proof that Andrew Garfield is in the actor form of his life.
Based on the 2003 investigation by Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild, Into Thin Air) into the 1984 murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty, Under the Banner of Heaven sees Garfield, 38, born in the United States and raised in England , playing East Rockwell, Utah detective Jeb Pyre.
Like 99 percent of the town, he is a God-fearing Latter-day Saint (LDS) member, using the teachings of Joseph Smith to guide his actions and lifestyle. But he is deeply shaken by the “house of horrors” he encounters one evening, a 24-year-old young woman and her 15-month-old daughter brutally murdered, their blood spattering over a wide area.
Cast off religious trappings and investigate the history of a particular faith and, at its heart, Under the Banner of Heaven is simply a tremendous dramatization of true crime. Gripping and dripping with dramatic tension, it feels like a lost True Detective series.