Worth Watching: “DI Ray,” “The Staircase” and “Shining Girls”
It’s your Worth Watching newsletter.
Welcome to Worth Watching. Hope you’re having a good week.
We’re now in May, when television tends to be a lot quieter than at other points of the year, but there are some decent shows out there. Just to flag that I’m dyslexic, there may be the usual mix of grammar and sentence structure errors.
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WORTH A WATCH
The Staircase (NOW TV - all episodes) - I was initially sceptical of this drama looking at the life of Michael Peterson, convicted for murdering his wife Kathleen back in 2001 after she was found dead at their home.
He has always denied being responsible for her death, claiming that she had fallen down the stairs. The subsequent court case was then explored in a documentary series, also called The Staircase, which explored various theories about how she could have died.
I was sceptical of this new miniseries, starring Colin Firth (as Michael) and Toni Colette (as Kathleen), simply because the documentary is so comprehensive and so detailed and so well known, I wasn’t sure what exactly this drama could add. Yet it is a decent watch, simply because you see events primarily from the perspective of their five children, who have to work out themselves whether to believe their own father.
A DARK, UNSETTLING THRILLER
Shining Girls (Apple TV+ - new episodes weekly) - Another week, another decent show worth the subscription alone on Apple TV+. Starring Elisabeth Moss, this thriller is about a woman trying to rebuild her life after a horrific attack, only to find out that the person responsible had subsequently killed another person.
Just when you think the drama is going to feel like a rather conventional thriller, you learn that Kirby’s (Moss) own reality keeps changing. The people she see might not be real, the memories that she has might not be real, the places around her change in look and feel all the time. The result is engrossing and pretty uncomfortable.
A DECENT POLICE PROCEDURAL
DI Ray (all episodes - ITV Hub) - I know what you are thinking. ANOTHER police procedural?! Give us a week off for goodness sake, especially when this is another series executive produced by Jed Mercurio. Yet this series this worth a look, because of the interesting ways it looks at important issues, from racism within the workplace to tokenism. It is written by Maya Sonhit (who starred as PC Manreet Bindra in Line of Duty) and stars Parminder Nagra (who has been in a lot of television and films, but most known for Bend It Like Beckham). Episodes were all out this week, which makes a decent binge.
ON TELEVISION THIS NEXT WEEK:
It is the Eurovision Song Contest next Saturday! The contest comes from Turin and the Semi-Finals will be broadcast on BBC Three this year, rather than BBC Four (so the nonsense won’t directly follow a Bob Ross painting).
Next Friday’s edition of this newsletter will contain a rundown of all of the entries that you should be following. Latvia is quite something.
The BAFTA TV Awards are on this Sunday (08/05). The shows that could come up top are It’s A Sin, In My Skin, Time and Help. The ceremony is back with a full audience and will be on a slight time delay, airing from Sunday at 6pm.
WHERE TO FIND ME THIS WEEK:
I wrote for the New Statesman about the melancholy I felt after watching the Netflix hit Heartstopper (“LGBTQ+ people my age didn’t get to have these experiences of queer joy. The first dances, the hand holding, the ability to be as open about your crushes as your heterosexual peers. These moments were robbed from us, by homophobia and the rotten legacy of Section 28, which prevented “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.”)
It echoed some sentiments that I had shared during Must Watch that week. I also got a message from Heartstopper’s Joe Locke on the latest episode.
Elsewhere I was on The Sunday Times Culture Show to talk about some of the big releases in the last week, including DI Ray and the film Wild Beasts.
I leave you with this bit of absolute nonsense that took place during the BBC’s election coverage this morning.
I then asked the internet whether they could edit Huw Edwards talking about eating a little bit of a croissant to the BBC News headlines and the BBC delivered.
Thanks so much for reading. See you next week.
Scotty / @scottygb