Hot Five: this week’s not-to-miss TV
Colin Firth's true crime gripper, Mike Myers witty return to screen and a shock-doc on a familiar high street fashion chain.
PICK OF THE WEEK: The Staircase, Sky TV/Now,
The latest revisiting of the beguiling story of Kathleen Peterson’s death has a stellar cast – Colin Firth opposite Toni Collette – and while we all know the tragic ending, exactly what happened and how she died remains unsolved. This eight-part series, made since the release from prison of Michael Peterson, is gripping, and told from all sides. It even features the filming of the family for Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s 2004 documentary and the pressure this adds to the already traumatic situation.
Tehran, Apple TV+, 6 May
If you loved this tense and intricate Israeli thriller last time, you’ll be ready for the fingernail-shortening return of Mossad sleeper agent Tamar (Niv Sultan) who agrees to another dangerous mission in a bid to be extracted from Tehran. Glenn Close joins as a Mossad spy chief who seems to be hiding something, while lead character, Tamar, is also conflicted, having been born in Iran and now re-immersing in the culture as part of her cover. Gripping and well performed.
Pentaverate, Netflix, 5 May
Been missing the comic genius of Mike Myers, last seen both fighting and perpetrating crime back in the 90s? Well, you can get a bucketload of him with this six-episode series about a secret society that has been running the world for centuries, which sees him play eight of the characters. He’s protagonist Ken Scarborough, an old-school Canadian news journalist but also head of the secret society, baddy Lord Lordington (yup, you get the vibe), as well as a conspiracy theorist, media mogul, Russian oligarch, and a tech guru – so that’s the zeitgeist covered then? Expect an entertaining rumpus of a ride, plus Robe Lowe, Jennifer Saunders and Lydia West.
The Dry, Britbox, 5 May
“Are you sure this is the right place for you to stay sober?” asks ex boyfriend Jack when Shiv (Roisin Gallagher) returns to Dublin hoping that she’s finally on top of her addiction to partying and alcohol. But it turns out there’s unresolved issues at home and staying off the booze is no easier here. TV and film veterans Ciaran Hinds and Pom Boyd excel as Shiv’s parents who have problems of their own in this very human and at times darkly comic drama from the team behind Normal People
TK Maxx: How Do They Do It?, Channel 5, 1 May
If you’ll forgive the classic Channel 5 shock doc format and cheap graphics, what this gritty documentary has to say, not just about the inner workings of TK Maxx, but about fashion retail as a whole, is a red alert for shoppers, especially those of us who like a bargain. I won’t spoil all the jaw droppers, but it turns out TX Maxx produces much of the stock that looks like boutique labels but is actually mass produced for the store. A former employee also dishes the dirt, including an insider tip on what code to look for on the label that indicates a genuine designer bargain.