For your consideration this Easter weekend…. in no particular order are a few recommendations (most of which I’ve seen).
I’ve stuck to scripted titles here. Most of the Foxtel titles are available on Binge, and vice versa.
Free to Air
The Tailings SBS on Demand 6 x 10 mins (from April 2)
The Tailings follows the events that take place after the death of teenage Jas’s father. The tight-knit community are quick to deem the death as an accident, spiralling Jas to undertake her own investigation. This coincides with the arrival of her new schoolteacher Ruby, who comes carrying the burden of her own past trauma. The two slowly develop a mutual trust and as secrets are exposed, the truth becomes impossible to ignore. The poignant performances by emerging stars Tegan Stimson (Jas) and Mabel Li (Ruby) are an intimate portrayal of the human experience with grief, guilt and loss from the diverse perspective of those living on the margins both socially and geographically. The series champions female perspectives, centred around the experiences of its female protagonists and helmed by an all-female lead creative team under the talented direction of Stevie Cruz-Martin (Pulse), produced by Liz Doran (Please Like Me, Molly) and written by first time scriptwriter and Tasmanian schoolteacher Caitlin Richardson. Co-produced by Richard Kelly (2Jons) and Stephen Thomas (Roar Film).
Wakefield ABC iview 8 x 60 mins (from April 2)
What happens when the go-to man – the sanest individual in a psych ward – begins to lose his grip? When the person people rely on most, loses control? After years working as a psych nurse at Wakefield, Nik Katira (Rudi Dharmalingam) is exceptionally good at his job. With a gift for soothing the afflicted and reaching the unreachable, he’s the most stable person in what tends to be a pretty crazy place. But right now, his grip on his own sanity is slipping. The question is… why? Set in the haunting and majestic Blue Mountains, Wakefield explores the fine line between sanity and madness. Powering the show is an intriguing psychological mystery that unfolds across eight episodes, driving to an unforgettable, emotional climax.
The Pembrokeshire Murders 7plus 3 x 60mins
Newly returned to Pembrokeshire, Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins looks into a brutal double murder which was never solved. Known locally as the Coastal Path murders, he is shocked to discover links to two other notorious unsolved crimes. The prime suspect, a local man named John William Cooper, was imprisoned for a number of burglaries and robberies in 1998. If Steve is right, and Cooper is not just a murderer but a serial killer, the team must find the crucial evidence they need to charge him before he is granted parole.
Line of Duty S6 Britbox 2 of 7 eps avail
Featuring a talented returning cast including series leads Vicky McClure (Broadchurch, Alex Rider, This is England), Martin Compston (The Nest, Traces) and Adrian Dunbar (Blood, The Hollow Crown), Season 6 of Line of Duty will also see new addition Kelly MacDonald (Trainspotting, Boardwalk Empire, Giri/Haji) guest star. Macdonald will take on the role of Detective Chief Inspector Joanna Davidson – a senior investigating ocer on an unsolved murder, whose unconventional conduct raises suspicions at AC-12.
It’s a Sin Stan 5 x 60 mins
Set in the 1980s, It’s A Sin stars Olly Alexander, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry and explores the lives of Ritchie (Alexander), Roscoe (Omari Douglas) and Colin (Callum Scott Howells) as they embark on a new life in London at the beginning of the decade. Strangers at first, these young gay lads, and their best friend Jill (Lydia West), find themselves thrown together, and soon share each other’s adventures. But a new virus is on the rise, and soon their lives will be tested in ways they never imagined. As the decade passes, and they grow up in the shadow of AIDS, they’re determined to live and love more fiercely than ever.
Movie: The Mauritanian Amazon Prime Video 129 mins
Directed by Kevin Macdonald and based on the best-selling memoir “Guantánamo Diary” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, The Mauritanian is the inspiring true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi (Tahar Rahim) finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) who battle the U.S. Government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), reveals shocking truths and ultimately proves that the human spirit cannot be locked up.
The Serpent Netflix 8 x 60 mins (from April 2)
Launching on April 2 and inspired by real events, The Serpent reveals the story of serial conman Charles Sobhraj (Golden Globe nominee Tahar Rahim) and the remarkable attempts by Dutch Diplomat Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle) to bring him to justice. Posing as a gem dealer, Sobhraj and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc (Jenna Coleman) travelled across Thailand, Nepal and India in 1975 and 1976, carrying out a spree of crimes on the Asian ‘Hippie Trail,’ becoming the chief suspects in a series of murders of young Western travellers.
Movie: Zack Synder’s Justice League Binge 4 hrs
In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
Movie: Host Shudder 60 mins
Six friends hire a medium to hold a seance via Zoom during lockdown, but they get far more than they bargained for as things quickly go wrong.
The End FOX Showcase 10 x 30 mins
Frances O’Connor plays Dr. Kate Brennan, a Gold Coast-based specialist in palliative care. Euthanasia is a hot-button topic in Kate’s field of work, and she is passionate in her opposition. On the other side of the world, Kate’s mother Edie Henley (Walter) feels just as strongly about her right to die. Kate has little choice but to ship Edie out from England and deposit her in in a nearby retirement community – Edie’s worst nightmare. While Kate struggles with her own problems, her ex is in jail and her children, one of whom is a teenage trans boy, are trying to work out who they are and who they want to be. The End is a story about family, ethics and emotion, and mostly how it’s never too late to start again.
A Teacher FOX Showcase 10 x 30 mins
Beautiful and quietly enigmatic, Claire is the newest teacher at Westerbrook High School. Dissatisfied in her marriage to her college sweetheart Matt Mitchell (Ashley Zukerman), distant from her brother Nate Wilson (Adam David Thompson) and desperate for connection, she quickly befriends fellow teacher, Kathryn Sanders (Marielle Scott). Claire’s life changes when Eric, a charming all-American senior in her English class, asks for help preparing for his SAT test. Popular and outgoing, Eric is the captain of the soccer team and nearly inseparable from his best friends, Logan Davis (Shane Harper) and Josh Smith (Dylan Schmid). Everything seems perfect on the surface, but Eric is forced to juggle the pressures of school, applying for college and a part-time job, all while helping take care of his two younger brothers so his mother Sandy (Rya Ingrid Kihlstedt) can support the family. As Claire and Eric begin to spend more time together, boundaries are crossed, and a subtle game of grooming begins. The permanent damage left in the wake of Claire’s choices becomes impossible for them, and their friends and family, to ignore.
Genius: Aretha National Geographic 8 x 60 mins
Without knowing how to read music, Franklin taught herself to play the piano; at the young age of 12, she began to record songs and sing on gospel tours with her father. She signed her first record deal at age 18 with Columbia Records. In 1966, she moved to Atlantic Records, where she recorded many of her most iconic songs. In 1979, she began a 40-year friendship and partnership with Clive Davis, which produced a number of hit songs, including the highest charting and bestselling song of her career, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” a duet with George Michael. The legendary singer is one of the world’s bestselling musical artists of all time, with more than 75 million records sold globally during her career. Her voice was identified as a “natural resource” by her home state of Michigan.
Black Narcissus Foxtel On Demand 3 x 60 mins (from Mon April 5)
Set in 1934, an ambitious young nun Sister Clodagh (Gemma Arterton) heads a mission to a remote part of the Himalayas. The clifftop palace of Mopu has been donated by General Toda Rai (Kulvinder Ghir), who hopes the Sisters of St. Faith will rid the ‘House of Women’ of unhappy memories connected to his late sister, Srimati Rai (Gianni Gonsalves). Although Sister Clodagh (Arterton) ignores the warnings of the General’s raffish agent Mr. Dean (Nivola), isolation and illness soon take their toll, with the haunting atmosphere of the palace particularly affecting volatile Sister Ruth (Franciosi). As past and present collide, the arrival of the young General Dilip Rai (Chaneil Kular) is the catalyst for an explosion of repressed desires that may end in a fatal confrontation.