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WHAT TO WATCH
A fictionalised retelling of real-world events, Painkiller is a scripted limited series that explores the origins and aftermath of the opioid crisis in America, highlighting the stories of the perpetrators, victims and truth-seekers whose lives are forever altered by the invention of OxyContin. An examination of crime, accountability and the systems that have repeatedly failed hundreds of thousands of Americans, Painkiller is based on the book by Barry Meier and the New Yorker article ‘The Family That Built an Empire of Pain’ by Patrick Radden Keefe. Stars Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick, Taylor Kitsch, Dina Shihabi and West Duchovny.
At Home With The Furys, Netflix
At Home With The Furys is the newest Netflix sports doc to give exclusive access to a star – this time heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury, as he exits the ring and tries to embrace retirement with an extraordinary family that encompasses wife Paris, father John, his six children, plus – great news for Love Island fans – his brother Tommy Fury and Tommy’s fiancée Molly-Mae Hague. As well as the chaotic school run, the series follows Tyson as he constantly looks for projects to keep him busy – from a national tour to meet his fans, to lavish weekends away and impromptu family camping trips – all while trying to resist the urge to return to the ring.
Invasion, Apple TV+
The second season of Invasion is almost here. The sweeping, character-driven sci-fi drama series follows an alien invasion through different perspectives around the world. While much of the second season is under wraps, we do know it’s set across multiple continents, and stars Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Sam Neill, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kutsuna.
Physical – Series 3, Apple TV+
Set in the idyllic but fragile beach paradise of sunny 80s San Diego, Physical is a dark comedy following Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne), a quietly tortured, seemingly dutiful housewife supporting her smart but controversial husband’s bid for state assembly. Behind closed doors, Sheila has her own darkly funny take on life she rarely lets the world see. She’s also battling a complex set of personal demons relating to her self-image, until she finds release through the unlikeliest source: the world of aerobics. At first hooked on the exercise itself, Sheila’s real road to empowerment comes when she discovers a way to merge this newfound passion with the burgeoning technology of videotape to start a revolutionary business. The series – landing for a third outing this month – tracks her epic journey from a stifled, overlooked enabler to a powerful, confident economic force.
The Beanie Bubble, Apple TV+
This new drama stars Elizabeth Banks, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Snook and Geraldine Viswanathan. Why did the world suddenly treat stuffed animals like gold? Ty Warner (Galifianakis) was a frustrated toy salesman until his collaboration with three women grew his masterstroke of an idea into the biggest toy craze in history. The Beanie Bubble is an inventive story about what and who we value, and the unsung heroes whose names didn't appear on the heart-shaped tag.
Tony award winner Ben Platt and Molly Gordon (Claire in series two of The Bear) star in the original comedy Theater Camp as Amos and Rebecca-Diane – lifelong best friends and drama instructors at a rundown camp in upstate New York. When clueless tech bro Troy (Jimmy Tatro) arrives to run the property (into the ground), Amos, Rebecca-Diane and production manager Glenn (Noah Galvin) band together with the staff and students, staging a masterpiece to keep their beloved summer camp afloat.
From acclaimed French filmmaker Alice Winocour comes this moving new drama. Paris Memories follows Mia (Virginie Efira) as she struggles to make sense of her experience in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. Her isolation and confusion lead her to meet with others who were there, including Thomas (Benoît Magimel) who she forges a close relationship with. As Mia works through her fractured memories, she starts to rebuild her life and reconnect with the city she loves.
WHAT TO READ
Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
We’re huge fans of American writer Ann Patchett, the pen behind perfect summer reads The Dutch House, Bel Canto and Commonwealth. In her new novel, it's spring and Lara's three grown daughters have returned to the family orchard. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the one story they've always longed to hear – of the film star with whom she shared a stage, and a romance, years before. Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents lead before their children are born – while exploring what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart.
So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan
Acclaimed Irish writer Claire Keegan's new story asks if a lack of generosity might ruin what could be between men and women. After an uneventful Friday at the Dublin office, Cathal faces a long weekend and takes the bus home. There, his mind agitates over a woman named Sabine with whom he could have spent his life, had he acted differently. All evening, with only the TV and a bottle of champagne for company, thoughts of this woman and others intrude – and the true significance of this date is revealed. If you loved Keegan’s last smash hit Small Things Like These, then this is for you.
Learned By Heart by Emma Donoghue
This is the heart-breaking story of the love of two women – Anne Lister, the real-life inspiration behind Gentleman Jack, and her first love, Eliza Raine – from the bestselling author of Room and The Wonder. In 1805, at a boarding school in York, two 14-year-old girls meet. Eliza, the orphan daughter of an Indian mother, keeps herself apart from the other girls, tired of being picked out for being different. Anne, a gifted troublemaker, is determined to conquer the world, refusing to bow to society’s expectations of what a woman can do. As they fall in love, the connection they forge will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Under The Influence by Noelle Crooks
The Devil Wears Prada meets The Assistants in this great debut that follows a young woman who takes a job working for an enigmatic influencer and quickly discovers there's an ugly side to being a #GirlBoss. After a series of go-nowhere jobs in the New York publishing world, Harper Cruz is broke, lonely and desperate for a salary that won't leave her scrambling to make rent each month. When she stumbles across a job posting from an influencer offering triple her last pay check, she submits her CV. Harper may not be familiar with self-help guru Charlotte Green, but her relentless optimism and charismatic can-do spirit has created a cult-like following of women across the country. At first, Harper loves working in such an inspirational environment, where mandatory dance parties, daily intentions, and group bonding activities make up for long hours and Charlotte's persistent demands for loyalty. But the deeper Harper is pulled into Charlotte's world, the more she realises that having it all and being it all comes with a price.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Black Venus: Reclaiming Black Women Exhibition, Somerset House
Somerset House has a new exhibition examining the historical representation of Black women in visual culture. Curated by historian Aindrea Emelife, Black Venus brings together the work of more than 20 Black women and non-binary artists to explore the othering, fetishisation and reclamation of narratives around Black femininity. It includes a selection of archival photographs taken between the early 18th century and 1930, as well as new works by British artists. It's one of Somerset House’s accessible exhibitions so tickets are free, but charity donations are encouraged.
The Effect, National Theatre
This month sees Lucy Prebble – one of the key writers on Succession – return to the National Theatre for a rerun of her critically acclaimed play, The Effect. Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You) is joined by Taylor Russell (Bones and All) in this funny and intimate examination of love and ethics. Connie and Tristan fall for each other fast. But is their sudden and intoxicating chemistry real, or a side effect of a new antidepressant? As two young volunteers in a clinical drug trial, their ill-advised romance poses startling dilemmas for the supervising doctors.