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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Pentaverate to Tehran: the seven best shows to stream this week | Television & radio

Pick of the week

The Pentaverate

From left: Mike Myers as Ken Scarborough, Lydia West as Reilly Clayton and Mike Meyers as Anthony Landsdowne in The Pentaverate.
From left: Mike Myers as Ken Scarborough, Lydia West as Reilly Clayton and Mike Meyers as Anthony Landsdowne in The Pentaverate. Photograph: Netflix

Thanks to the two-pronged assault on conventional reality perpetrated by Donald Trump and Covid-19, we’re in a golden era for conspiracy theorists. Ripe for parody, then. But is Mike Myers – who has been noticeably absent from our screens the last decade – the man with the takedown? The premise of this six-episode run is simple (or is that just what they want us to think?) as the titular secret society – which has been controlling world events since 1347 – faces exposure thanks to a Canadian journalist. As is often the case with Myers, the performances (he plays eight characters) outstrip the material but it’s not without its moments, with help from Jennifer Saunders and Lydia West cameos.
Netflix, from Tuesday 3 May


Tehran

Glenn Close and Niv Sultan in Tehran.
Glenn Close and Niv Sultan in Tehran. Photograph: Domniki Mitropoulou/Apple TV+

This complex Israeli thriller returns, and after the chaos at the end of season one it really had no choice. Following the botched attack on the Iranian reactor, Mossad presents sleeper agent Tamar (Niv Sultan) with a fait accompli: if she and Milad (Shervin Alenabi) want to be extracted from Tehran, she’ll have to help rescue the captured Israeli pilot. “This is one of the most important operations in Israel’s history,” she’s told. Can she really trust her handlers? Tehran’s secret is its ability to cross the narrative streams; between the demands of global realpolitik and the individuals adrift in its currents.
Apple TV+, from Wednesday 4 May


Blood Sisters

Ini Dima Okojie in Blood Sisters.
Ini Dima Okojie in Blood Sisters. Photograph: Netflix

The platform’s first Nigerian original drama is a gripping and slightly melodramatic affair following best friends Sarah and Kemi (Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime) as Sarah’s wedding day takes a turn for the unexpected. Partly due to family pressure, Sarah is preparing to marry Kola – despite his private propensity for physical and emotional abuse. However, events soon push the two women towards the Thelma & Louise option. It’s a pacy tale of family, friendship and trust, with Lagos a vivid and intensely lively backdrop to the action.
Netflix, from Tuesday 3 May


The Sound of Magic

Choi Sungeun as Yoon Ah-yi in the Sound of Magic.
Choi Sungeun as Yoon Ah-yi in the Sound of Magic. Photograph: Lim Hyo Sun/Netflix

Lavishly adapted from the webtoon Annarasumanara, this Korean coming-of-age drama explores a common paradox: many people spend their youth longing to grow up, and their adult years wishing they were young again. There’s a strong element of magic realism in the style and premise – Yoon Ah-yi (Choi Sung-eun) is a lonely teenage girl; bullied, unhappy and dreaming of escape. In an abandoned amusement park, she finds the mysterious Lee Eul (Ji Chang-wook), a magician who dispenses pithy wisdom and consolation in equal measure.
Netflix, from Wednesday 4 May


The Dry

Roisin Gallagher as Shiv Note in The Dry.
Roisin Gallagher as Shiv in The Dry. Photograph: Peter Rowen/BritBox

As we meet Shiv Sheridan (Roisin Gallagher), she’s gazing longingly at a man – more accurately, a man’s breakfast pint – at Dublin airport. She’s been sober for five months and 17 days but it isn’t easy. Back in Ireland for her grandmother’s wake, she also wants to try to rebuild bridges with her resentful family. But how much of the past can she leave behind? Melancholy and darkly funny by turns, The Dry is from the team behind Normal People. It shares a perceptive eye for emotional nuance – in this case, Shiv’s relationship with the rituals of drinking.
BritBox, from Thursday 5 May


Clark

Bill Skarsgård and Adam Lundgren in Clark.
Bill Skarsgård and Adam Lundgren in Clark. Photograph: Netflix

If you’ve ever wondered about the origin of the phrase “Stockholm syndrome”, this drama will explain everything. Telling the story of the infamous but charismatic Swedish gangster Clark Olofsson, one of Clark’s central events is the Norrmalmstorg robbery of 1973, which resulted in an apparent bond forming between the criminals and their hostages. But it soon becomes clear that there’s a lot more to Olofsson than this; his picaresque story of drugs, sex, crime, childhood trauma and glorious 70s fashionwear is brought to life with rakish glee by Bill Skarsgård.
Netflix, from Thursday 5 May


Soho Theatre Live

Natalie Palamides.
Natalie Palamides. Photograph: Amazon Prime Video

A welcome third series for this comedy showcase, which gives exposure to standups just below Live at the Apollo status and also offers a chance to see more established names in a small-ish room. Previous runs have seen sets from the likes of Nish Kumar, Desiree Burch, Catherine Bohart and Sindhu Vee, so there’s a fair chance at least a few big names will emerge. This time, look out for the sometimes confrontational stylings of Natalie Palamides (above) and ponder Olga Koch and Michael Odewale’s musings on identity.
Amazon Prime Video, from Friday 6 May

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