The newsletter is back after a little break.
|Oct 18|| 4|
I’m back with your latest Worth Watching email, a list of some things that I have enjoyed recently and reckon you should be watching too. Apologies for no email these past two weeks, I recently experienced a bereavement so decided to take some time out. It’s good to be back.
Giri/Haji (all episodes on BBC iPlayer) - In the last two years there has been an explosion of subtitled foreign language shows, after channels realised that subtitles really don't put viewers off. This detective thriller, set in London and Tokyo, really takes this concept and runs with it. 75% of the first episode is in Japanese, but not because the show was made by a Japan broadcaster first and then shown over here. Nope, it’s British. They’ve done it because they want it to feel as authentic as possible and for the most part it works.
I've yet to watch some of the later episodes, but the Telegraph’s excellent film reviewer Robbie Collin is a fan, tweeting: “Each one cleverly complexifies what you think you’ve already seen. Starts as a missing person procedural, turns into something else entirely. And episode four itself is a knockout.”
Living with Yourself (Netflix from today) - A comedy starring Paul Rudd, Aisling Bea… and Paul Rudd. It's about a guy who accidentally clones himself without his partner knowing; obviously this sitcom could have become a lazy, lowbrow Freaky Friday, but it twists into something rather original, smart and surprisingly heartfelt. And with Rudd playing two versions of himself for nearly the entirety of the show, you’ll marvel at how much effort it must have taken to have made this work - special effects have come on so much that having two versions of the same person in every single scene barely raises an eyebrow.
The Capture (all of it on BBC iPlayer) - Stick with it stick with it stick with it stick with it. This drama about CCTV and criminal justice looks rather two-dimensional for the first 60 minutes, arguably on purpose, but it then spins out into a slick (and fictional) thriller about what the security services might be up to without our knowledge. What I love most is that several scenes in the fourth episode are set in a nightclub at 2am, but instead of recreating a nightclub scene at a great expense, they just got their actors and a steadycam and went right into the crowds who were probably off their tits.
Hayley Campbell and I from the BBC Sounds Must Watch TV review show interviewed Holliday Grainger, Callum Turner and the show’s writer Ben Chanan about The Capturein a special edition of the podcast.Tune in to the regular show every Monday at 2.45pm on 5 Live.
Abstract (available on Netflix) - If you, like me, have gone to the Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Tate Modern purely so you can stand in the corridor in the orange fog for Instagram, you’ll love the documentary on his art in this nifty Netflix series. It not only explains what he's trying to do with his artwork (somehow the exhibition doesn’t do that well), he also turns the television episode into an exhibition. I don’t want to tell you how. Just turn all the lights off in the room before watching.
Stick around for the other episodes too, each a portrait on someone excelling within a creative field. Some episodes are so pretentious though, you’ll scream.
Around the World in 80 Days (BBC iPlayer) - To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Michael Palin travelogue, you can watch every episode of the original series on BBC iPlayer. Marvel not only at the sights and sounds from around the world, but the rather extravagant hotel expenses budget. A perfect show for rainy days.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (BBC iPlayer) - A casual reminder that this show was originally created for the LGBTQIA+ community; the straights are more than welcome to join in, so long as you don’t mock. The UK version works because it has just the right amount of dry self-deprecation and snark - next week is Snatch Game, the week where the Queens do impersonations of well known celebrities. The US version tends to go down the route of celebs you’ve never heard of, so I am HERE for inevitable British Come Dine With Me parodies.
Love in the Countryside (BBC iPlayer) -The first dating show in ages that has caused a bit of a flutter in my heart. Also here for this Sara Cox line: “Have you worn a poo-splattered coat just for me?”
Ian Hislop’s Fake News (BBC iPlayer) - This is a nifty, if at times a little breezy, documentary looking at how the history of fake news dates right back to the early days of newspapers, rather than being a new phenomenon. He also makes this good observation about Trump: “When Trump talks about fake news, which he has done constantly, what he means is real news that he doesn’t like.”
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and see you soon. I am so tired at the moment because of The Circle being on at 10pm each weeknight, I can’t wait to sleep.