November 13th: Attack on Paris
Netflix, June 1st
From the award winning 9/11 directors Jules and Gédéon Naudet comes a powerful documentary chronicling the series of terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on November 13th 2015. The film is woven together through the stories of forty people, survivors, members of the police and fire department as well as government officials who were united in tragedy on that cataclysmic night.
Amazon Prime, June 5th
On the surface this show set in a Cosmopolitan-style magazine starring Julianna Margulies and Joy Nash could be dismissed as diverting Devil Wears Prada work-com fare but lurking beneath its glossy veneer there is something more surreal and subversive at play. Based on the novel by Sarai Walker, Dietland follows Plum Kettle (Joy Nash) a self-described 'fat' journalist lost in the emaciated and paranoid world of the fictional Daisy Chain beauty magazine where she answers readers' letters on behalf of her waspish editrix, Kitty Montgomery (Julianna Margulies)
Plum's obsession with weight loss and dubious self improvement brings her to the attention of a radical feminist organisation who want to change more than just their beauty regimes. Dietland slips between genres from black comedy to rom-com to extreme revenge fantasy offering up a full palette of emotions beyond the usual powder-puff whimsy of other female driven shows. It's a powerful punch concealed within a glittery boxing glove as ex-Buffy The Vampire Slayer writer and creator of unReal, Marti Noxon delivers feminist theory, savage satire and crazed comedy in one irresistible concoction.
Sense8 : Together Until the End
Netflix, June 8th
The Wachowskis’s dazzling, mind-frazzling futuristic drama returns for its final bow with this film-length episode. Netflix may have pulled the plug on the expensive, globe-spanning series last year but due to online outrage this encore episode was assembled to give the show the ending it deserves.
Sense8 tells the complex story of eight individuals from around the world who find themselves with the ability to connect telepathically to each other, as they search for answers to this phenomenon, a nefarious Biological Preservation Organisation attempts to hunt them down and annihilate them.
With its exploration of gender, sexuality and political anxiety coupled with the diverse, multinational ensemble cast and manifesto of tolerance and acceptance, the groundbreaking show gained an ardent fan base whose passion forged this finale.
Together Until the End sees the cluster reuniting for one last mission to save sensate Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) from the clutches of Whispers and the BPO before it’s too late.
Netflix, June 8th
Netflix is rapidly becoming the home of binge worthy true crime documentaries. No sooner has one convoluted cold case been dissected and analysed when another comes along to consume your life. Just like Making a Murderer, The Keepers and Evil Genius, the compelling story of The Staircase is an addition to their catalogue of true crime classics and sure to be the social media sensation of the summer.
Originally aired in France and America in 2004, The Staircase documented the trial of crime writer Michael Peterson who was accused of murdering his wife Kathleen Peterson. Academy Award winning director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (Murder on a Sunday Morning) followed Peterson’s trial and the lengthy journey to clear his name. Now, the ten part series will feature an additional three episodes as the story becomes ever more labyrinthine with speculation about evidence tampering and a potential police cover-up thrown into the mix.
Goliath Season 2
Amazon Prime, June 8th
David E. Kelley's (Big Little Lies) critically acclaimed legal drama bagged a Golden Globe for Billy Bob Thornton last year, who is at his sinewy best as grizzled, burned out lawyer/ambulance chaser Billy McBride in Goliath. Returning for a second season, McBride - who is always one case away from oblivion, is as ramshackle as ever, existing on the traditional hard-boiled anti-hero diet of cigarettes and bourbon and still living amongst the chaos of the Santa Monica pier. This time around the charismatic rogue manages to get entangled with a drugs cartel after taking on a case involving a 16 year old accused of double homicide.
It may occasionally dip into well-worn courtroom cliche but thankfully with Kelley’s zesty writing, its intriguing film noir sensibilities and Thornton’s multifaceted performance, Goliath never completely descends into the predictable gavel-banging brashness of the genre.
Queer Eye Season 2
Netflix, June 15th
In the words of the high-priest of hair himself Jonathan Van Ness, "Can you believe?" Oh honey yes, we can! It's only been four short months since the Fab Five 2.0 burst into our lives smoothing our unruly tendrils with organic coconut oil, fixing us a passion fruit margarita whilst telling us how some mashed up avocados are the solution to all our culinary issues.
With its warm-heartedness, non-judgemental tone and infectious exuberance, Queer Eye quickly became essential viewing in these troubling, paranoid days where binging on the latest prestige drama can send you straight into an anxiety spiral.
Proving that this reboot has evolved far beyond its slightly snarky originator, in this new series, our selfcare-superheroes are not only helping out neglectful, unhappy men but time-starved women and those in the transgender community, because in this age of equality doesn’t everyone deserve to live their very best lives?
Set it Up
Netflix, June 15th
For those bemoaning the death of the romcom or those who are pondering the curious case of Lucy Liu's film career -Netflix have your personal Venn Diagram covered. Set it Up is perfect escapist summer viewing, directed by T.V comedy stalwart Claire Scanlon (Brooklyn 99, The Office) it stars Liu and Taye Diggs as two overworked executives set up by their scheming assistants (played by Zoey Deutsch and Glen Powell) in an attempt to procure some free time.
This ploy sees the young assistants getting closer to each other as their bosses dalliances develop. Set it Up may not ignite the flagging genre but it, along with other Netflix rom coms like The Incredible Jessica James and Happy Anniversary displays a willingness of the streaming service to deliver something that audiences are crying out for and which Hollywood seems intent on ignoring.
Luke Cage Season 2
Netflix, June 22nd
Marvel's Luke Cage is back for another series of walloping bad-guys into submission and watching bullets ping off his impenetrable skin. After clearing his name and wowing the masses with his feats of strength (that look like a segment from the World's Strongest Man competition)Cage has become a household name on the streets of Harlem where he's faced with fresh challenges that come with being a celebrity, who to trust and the pitfalls of the once undetected hero being so conspicuous.
There is also a new bulletproof baddie to contend with, who goes by the intriguing moniker of Bushmaster.
Netflix, June 29th
This devastating documentary from acclaimed director Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Heroin(e)) delves into the heart of America’s opioid addiction crisis telling the story of four men on the complicated road to rehabilitation and recovery. The men gain strength from each other as they try to leave their chaotic pasts behind and embrace their future as they forge friendships in a farm-based rehab-centre.
With unflinching honesty and rawness it illustrates the torment and continuous torture of their addiction and the difficulties they encounter when they seek to reintegrate themselves into a poverty-stricken society that views them as a scourge.
GLOW Season 2
Netflix, June 29th
The dramedy about a 1980s ladies wrestling team (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling)was a surprise hit for Netflix last year and they've wasted no time in getting the girls back in their Spandex unitards, backcombing their barnets to colossal heights for season two. The ever-versatile Alison Brie heads up an eclectic cast that features comedian Marc Maron, popstar Kate Nash and Black Panther's Sydelle Noel as the bunch of misfits attempting to get women's wrestling put on the map.
Whereas last season focussed on Brie’s character, Ruth, a struggling actress trying to infiltrate the crew, this year will see the gang work on the television show they fought so hard to secure. Season two is shaping up to be a behind the scenes look at what goes into making wrestling pop culture performance art, the production, the pageantry, the passion and of course, the piledrivers.