Things to watch: Prime Video’s Chloe, Neon’s Lazarus among big shows to stream
CHLOE (PREMIUM VIDEO)
Six-part British psychological thriller that follows the troubled Becky Green (Erin Doherty), a young woman who becomes increasingly obsessed with tracking down the perfectly organized presence of her childhood friend Chloe Fairbourne (Poppy Gilbert) on the social networks. Struggling to care for her mother, who suffers from dementia praecox, Becky spies on an opportunity to assume a new identity and social circle when Chloe suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances.
Best known for her work on Netflix’s Sex Education, writer-director Alice Seabright has crafted a supremely clever tale, one that will likely have you guessing – and on the edge of your seat – until the final images.
Much of its appeal comes from its complicated and unreliable protagonist. We first wonder what her motivations are, why she feels the need to fill the office whiskey with urine, and how much of what she perceives is actually in her mind.
Doherty, whose breakout role was Crown Princess Anne in seasons three and four, is a revelation here, twisting and morphing her various characters in order to get what she wants, while clearly being in a lot of psychological torment herself. It’s a stunning performance – a rare skill to make this villain potentially noteworthy, something much deeper, nuanced and potentially likable.
FOR ALL HUMANITY (APPLE TV+)
The 10-part third season of this critically acclaimed alternate-reality sci-fi series jumps to 1995.
The red planet has now become the new frontier of the space race, not only for the United States and the Soviet Union, but also an unexpected new entrant with much to prove – and even more at stake. come face to face as their ambitions for Mars collide and their loyalties are tested.
“The series continues to excel in balancing its sprawling ensemble of characters, all driven by a dizzying array of motivations, with the precise textural demands of a well-dressed period piece,” wrote Alexis Gunderson of Paste magazine.
Eight great shows to stream this week.
* Neon’s First Lady, Amazon’s Outer Range, Apple’s Roar among April’s must-watch shows
* Downton 2, Fantastic Beasts 3, New Zealand-shot X among must-see movies in April
* Question team: Richard Ayoade and his friends “hilariously rewrite the panel show”
* The Chase USA: more money, more danger, but not as much fun
* Winning Time: Neon’s hugely entertaining look at a crazy decade
Irma Vep is now available to stream on Neon and Sky Go.
IRMA VEP (NEON)
Frenchman Olivier Assayas directs this eight-part remake of his 1996 film of the same name, itself based on the seven-hour, 10-part silent series Les Vampires, as well as 1973 Oscar winner Day For Night and from the legendary Beware of a Holy Whore by German director Rainer Fassbinder.
While its sometimes cynical (and sometimes excoriating) examination of modern filmmaking may not appeal to everyone, it does offer plenty of intrigue and a terrific turn of Alicia Vikander in the lead role. If you enjoyed Assayas’ polarizing collaboration with Kristen Stewart – 2016’s supernatural psychological thriller Personal Shopper – then you better clear your calendar for it.
At times sounding like the best French farce, at others the European equivalent of Robert Altman’s The Player or Barry Levinson’s Wag the Dog, Irma Vep is definitely not short on humor, or bad manners.
THE LAZARUS PROJECT (NEON/SKY GO)
I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu stars as George, a man who wakes up one day with a distinct sense of deja vu in this eight-episode sci-fi-inspired action thriller. He relives a day from his past, with a few exceptions – his success at work and his marriage to the love of his life seem never to have happened.
Though convinced he’s lost his mind, he instead finds himself recruited into a secret organization that claims to be able to turn back time whenever the world is threatened with extinction.
Viewers might be given to feel more than a little drained by the exposition and action of the first installment, but fans of sci-fi steeped dramas like Tenet, Station Eleven, Doctor Who, Timecop and The Adjustment Office should be well satisfied.
Screenwriter Joe Barton, who helped create a successful English-language adaptation of The Humans of Sweden and was behind last year’s underrated Riz Ahmed thriller Encounter, is once again demonstrating his ability to make the organic fantasy and my evocative, sometimes gritty personal drama from potential absurd concepts.
Sci-fi thriller The Lazarus Project follows a secret organization that can turn back time whenever the world is threatened with extinction.
LOOT (APPLE TV+)
Maya Rudolph of The Bridesmaids stars in this 10-part comedy about a billionaire whose dream life crumbles when her husband betrays her for 20 years.
In a public spiral, she heads for the bottom when she learns that she actually has a charitable foundation that desperately wants her to stop making negative headlines. Embark on a journey of self-discovery as she discovers the benefits of giving back to others.
“Philanthropy as a whim? It’s pretty funny and gives Rudolph plenty of room to play grand while poking fun at the lives of the filthy rich. wrote Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe.
THE RESPONDENT (TVNZ ON REQUEST)
While it’s not as dark as Cracker or Luther, nor does it boast the attention to detail and police politics of Line of Duty, it is nonetheless an absorbing character study and a jaw-dropping thriller. .
Cleverly crafted by former Merseyside police officer Tony Schumacher, it deliberately leaves only hints of troubled police officer Chris Carson’s high-flying past and falls out of favor, leaving the viewer desperate for more. , while not sure how Martin Freeman’s character will play things. .
It also speaks to Freeman’s skill as an actor, making you forget about his past baggage as Baggins and Dr. Watson and ensuring you care about his ultimate fate, even if you’re not convinced that he will end up on the right side of the law.
Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy is now available to stream on Netflix.
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (NETFLIX)
As the third season of this popular superhero series begins, the Umbrella siblings find themselves in an altered timeline after their “adventures” in Dallas. It is revealed that after they met in 1963, Sir Reginald chose not to adopt them, but 6 other children instead, turning them into a skilled and popular team of superheroes dubbed “The Sparrow Academy”.
However, as they reach an uneasy deal, a time anomaly caused by running out of time threatens them all.
“Think Wes Anderson meets Curb Your Enthusiasm – with a pinch of ‘biff pow!’ comic book excitement crossed” wrote Ed Power of the Daily Telegraph.
UNDER THE SKY BANNER (DISNEY+)
The latest adult drama to make its unlikely home on Disney+ is further proof that Andrew Garfield is in the actor form of his life.
Based on the 2003 investigation by Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild, Into Thin Air) into the 1984 murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty, Under the Banner of Heaven sees Garfield, 38, born in the United States and raised in England , playing East Rockwell, Utah detective Jeb Pyre.
Like 99 percent of the town, he is a God-fearing Latter-day Saint (LDS) member, using the teachings of Joseph Smith to guide his actions and lifestyle. But he is deeply shaken by the “house of horrors” he encounters one evening, a 24-year-old young woman and her 15-month-old daughter brutally murdered, their blood spattering over a wide area.
Cast off religious trappings and investigate the history of a particular faith and, at its heart, Under the Banner of Heaven is simply a tremendous dramatization of true crime. Gripping and dripping with dramatic tension, it feels like a lost True Detective series.