selection of the week
A must see series of travelogues of a pleasant working holiday in Italy by a trio of English celebrities. First up: Jack Whitehall laying down his mannered, slightly charming posho car for the benefit of Tuscany’s foodies. He’s shown around by Italian TV presenter Chiara Maci, who occasionally seems stunned by the “silly British boy” but tutors him in culinary propriety (everything looks absolutely delicious). Whitehall returns the favor by cooking for the flirty nonnas, gelato makers, and intensely animated butchers he meets. In future episodes, Maya Jama explores Italian music culture and Lawrence Dallaglio takes on some athletic challenges.
Prime Video, starting Friday, March 10th
Chris Rock: Selective outrage
A first on Netflix, this comedy standup special will be broadcast live and streamed around the world. As it’s aligned with the 10pm US primetime slot, UK audiences will need to keep their eyes peeled until 3am to attend (or just catch up after) this global event. However, there will almost certainly be an exciting flurry of possibilities surrounding the set – this is Rock’s first standup special since 2018’s Tambourine. And, more importantly, it’s also his first since that unfortunate incident with Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars, which we can certainly expect to be addressed in some form.
Netflix, starting Sunday, March 5th
MH370: The plane that disappeared
“It’s not just an unsolved mass murder,” says a contributor to this documentary series, “it’s a possible act of war.” With no debris found until more than a year later, the 2014 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was the Trigger for thousands of conspiracy theories. Was the plane hijacked? Did it have suspicious cargo? Will we ever know the truth? This three-parter dives into the black hole at the heart of the story while doing its best to remember the inescapably tragic fact that whatever happened, 239 people lost their lives.
Netflix, starting Wednesday, March 8th
Hello you! Time for part two of the fourth season of this absurd psychological thriller that walks the line between horror and unintentional comedy. Psycho killer Joe (Penn Badgley) has moved to England, but he’s still surrounded by murderous lunatics. Would-be mayor Rhys Montrose has emerged as anything but the voice of reason he first appeared to be; Joe has plans for Rhys, but he may be a powerful enemy. Problems, problems… And then there’s Joe’s new love interest, Kate, who might have a closet filled with skeletons of her own.
Netflix, starting Thursday, March 9th
Operating on the inevitable marriage of high school drama and supernatural mystery, this new series sees Maddie (Peyton List) trapped in a kind of purgatory limbo after her death. And she’s not alone – upon entering the afterlife, she finds herself in what appears to be a support group for recently deceased high school students. And the worst? She can observe ongoing events at her school, but neither intervene nor leave. But can the doomed students find a way out? Cheesy to watch, albeit with a growing sense of déjà vu over the subject.
Paramount+, starting Thursday, March 9th
This frantic comedy, set on the Canadian coast, tells the mildly angry tale of the Finley-Cullen clan, a family whose already eccentric existence is thrown into chaos by the most reliable of all dramatic tropes – the controversial inheritance announcement. Eldest daughter Lidia has returned from a stellar career in New York for her aunt’s funeral. Already a distant outsider, tensions boil over when she is entrusted with the family’s failing, seedy resort. It’s not without its charms, but feels a little crowded and overwritten.
Amazon Freevee, starting Friday, March 10th
“Here is Lord of the Flies!” gasps one of the competitors as this Alaskan survival contest starts to get evil. In it, 16 lone wolves brave hunger, bears and extreme cold as they venture into the wild. But maybe they’ll prove each other’s biggest obstacle – Alaska is huge, but maybe still not big enough for this grumpy bunch. And when they realize that in order to win (a cool million dollars at stake) they’ll have to work as part of a team, sparks begin to fly. Have fun in a slightly hysterical way.
Netflix, starting Friday, March 10