TV in 2018 – so far so good

2017 did pretty well in terms of TV but 2018 is not holding back and it’s got some blinders to watch out for. So what has this year got to offer? Kick off your slippers, get comfy on the sofa and tuck into some of the best TV to start the year. Enjoy!

McMafia

From start to finish, the thrilling 8-week BBC thriller starring Happy Valley actor James Norton and a host of excellent Russian and British actors supporting. Norton starred as a Bond-style banker, the son of a Russian oligarch, drawn into a web of organised crime. Whatever will a city financier do to protect his family in the wake of his uncle’s murder? If you haven’t watched do try. Some are calling for Norton to be up for the next Bond, but that’s to your own opinions. I thought he was brilliant, as was Aleksei Valeryevich Serebryakov who played his alcoholic father, David Strathairn who played Semiyon Kleiman and the outstanding performance by Merab Ninidze as Vadim Kalyagin, a powerful member of the Russian Mafia.

Requiem

Another BBC drama is supernatural thriller Requiem, that will keep you on the edge of your seat every Friday night. The mother of the main character, Matilda, played by Lydia Wilson, best known for her role as Kit Kat in romantic comedy-drama About Time, commits sucked in front of her -yes you do see that bit, watch through your hands is recommended). Her suicide turns Matilda’s life upside down and leads her to a Welsh village where a toddler disappeared in 1994. The secrets throughout the 6 episodes that Matilda uncovers, makes her question her own identity.

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

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Following on from the very successful award-winning crime anthology television series last year, The People vs O.J Simpson, The Assassination of Gianni Versace is the second season of the FX true crime television series. The series premiered on BBC two weeks ago and consists of a total of 9 episodes, exploring the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The series doesn’t question who killed the Italian designer or how, but why murderer Andrew Cunanan shot Versace in July 1997 – and the manhunt that led to further bloodshed. The cast, like the first series, are fantastic, so much so, looking almost identical to all those involved in real life. Cast includes Darren Criss, Ricky MartinPenélope Cruz, Max Greenfield and Annaleigh Ashford.

Collateral

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BBC 2 has released some crackers this year and this four-part drama doesn’t disappoint. Carey Mulligan stars as DI Kip Glaspie, investigating the murder of a pizza delivery man. When a man is murdered while working as a pizza delivery driver in London, DI Kip Glaspie arrives on the scene – but what she finds opens up more questions than it answers. This four-part drama by screenwriter Sir David Hare, produced by BBC2 and Netflix, is directed by SJ Clarkson and goes beyond your usual TV thriller to become a state-of-the-nation drama encompassing politicians, vicars, and asylum seekers.

Carey Mulligan stars as The repercussions of the shooting are far-reaching in David Hare’s four-part drama, with a stellar supporting cast including Billie Piper, John Simm, Nicola Walker and Nathaniel Martello-White.

Jamestown

Sky Atlantic’s Jamestown returned after an impressive 1.3 million viewers tuned into the series following three young women named Jocelyn, Alice and Verity (Naomi Battrick, Sophie Rundle, Niamh Walsh) bring girl power to a male dominated town. Along with the three leading ladies, the male cast includes Max Beesley, Stuart Martin and Jason Flemyng. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the first season, this one for me is a bit of a drag. As of yet there is yet to be a bit of a punchline, the bit that grips me, the bit that makes me want to find out more. Instead, I have four episodes on the planner, and I dip in and out of it every now and again. Instead favouriting all the other class TV available instead. Maybe the punchline is ready to come, maybe. Whenever it does hopefully it’s soon, or Jamestown may lose a viewer in me.

Bliss

Sky Atlantic’s new comedy drama follows the complicated double life of Andrew, a successful travel writer, who finds himself living between two sets of wives and children whose existences are unknown to each other. How on earth he manages to juggle both is beyond me, but even from the first episode, I’m getting heart palpitations trying to figure how hoe he’s managed to stay sane doing it for so long.*

Andrew, played by the brilliant Stephen Mangan, who is in a constant state of worry, trying to cope under the pressure living between the two families that don’t know about each other, on opposite sides of Bristol between his American wife Kim (Heather Graham) and teenage daughter, and his other wife Denise (Jo Hartley) and their teenage son. It’s difficult in places to watch as Andrew struggles to stay sane, all whilst keeping up appearances. What drastic lengths will he go to to protect both families he loves without them finding out about each other?

*It must be noted that I struggled to watch beyond the first episode. I have it still on my planner and if I can move beyond the cringe moments, then I can properly watch the series.

Save Me

OMG, where to start with this show, wow. Loved every minute. It was filmed as if you were there at every moment. The acting is fantastic, it’s gripping, it’s scary, it’s real. From the makers of Line of Duty, Save Me is Sky Atlantic’s six-part British television drama serial, written by, created by and starring Lennie James. The cast is exceptional, including Suranne Jones, Stephen Graham, Jason Flemyng, Kerry Godliman and Struan Rogers. I binged watched this series, it’s left a lot of questions who knows what will happen from here, but if you haven’t seen it bloody do. It’s by far the best series on TV at the moment.

Here and Now

Sky Altantic’s latest offering from the creators of Six Feet Under, stars Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins as the parents of an interracial family who’s life is thrown into turmoil when serious domestic issues begin to emerge that threaten to ruin the family’s very way of life.

The cast includes David Zovatto, Jerrika Hinton, Sosie Bacon and Raymond Lee.

Trauma

ITV’s thriller Trauma takes place across three nights, is sure to get people talking. The series brought to you by Mike Bartlett of Doctor Foster, so you’ll be sure there will be plenty of tension, shock twists and WTF moments. Trauma focuses on the lives of two fathers, Dan and Jon, whose lives collide with heartbreaking consequences when Dan’s teenage son Alex is stabbed and tragically dies in the trauma department run by high-flying consultant Jon.

Next of Kin

The ITV six-part thriller introduces us to a British Pakistani family who are about to have their lives ripped apart. On the same day as a terrorist bomb explodes in London, the oldest Shirani sibling is abducted in Lahore. With family life threatened and more questions that answers, we follow the family as they try and keep their family and minds together. The cast includes Archie Panjabi and Jack Davenport as the married couple and supporting cast includes Navin Chowdhry, Enzo Cilenti and Claire Skinner.

Marcella 

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Marcella is back and boy is it good. We’re only a few episodes in and it’s good, really really good. If you watched the first series, this series would make a lot of sense. Anna Friel is back as the female detective who suffers from violent black-outs has a gruesome case to investigate when a friend of her son is murdered. As usual, there’s lots of suspense and a great cast to support, I can’t wait to see what is to come with this series. Returning cast includes Ray Panthaki as DI Rav Sangha,  Jamie Bamber as DCI Tim Williamson, Jack Doolan as DC Mark Travis and Nicholas Pinnock as Jason Backland. The new series cast includes Victoria SmurfitNigel Planer and Keith Allen.

Kiri

Channel 4’s Kiri has already proven to be one of the best drama’s of 2018 and it seems that pretty much everyone was watching it. Channel 4 has realised the stats for viewings and says that Kiri was watched on average by 4.9 million viewers with an 18.7% audience share (including on catch-up). The series by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) stars British actress loved by many, Sarah Lancashire in the four-part series as a child goes missing but who is to blame?

Other great TV I am yet to watch includes:

  • Sneaky Pete – Amazon Prime
  • Luther – BBC1
  • Taboo – BBC1
  • Kiss Me First – E4
  • Wanderlust – BBC1 & Netflix
  • The Widow
  • Bodyguard
  • Hatton Garden
  • Butterfly
  • Sharp Objects – Sky Atlantic

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