Culture

The Unmissable TV Shows to Add To Your Watch List

Alicia Vikander as Mira in Irma Vep

From the small-screen adaptation of a bestselling memoir to the Game of Thrones prequel we’ve all been waiting for, PORTER highlights the TV shows you’ll want to binge-watch this season

Lifestyle

Irma Vep

Alicia Vikander plays a movie-star-turned-crime-fighter in this neo-noir series inspired by director Olivier Assayas’s 1996 film of the same name. Blurring the lines between life and art, Vep finds herself living in an underworld and fending off corruption. Expect an action-packed, rock ’n’ roll-style thriller with a cast of exciting rising stars, including Adria Arjona and Devon Ross – even Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney makes an appearance. On HBO from June 6

Emma Appleton stars in Everything I know About Love

Everything I Know About Love

In 2018, Dolly Alderton’s riotous memoir Everything I Know About Love became the millennials’ definitive handbook on friendship, failure, infatuation, first times and everything in between. Now, it has been adapted into a seven-part series by Alderton and Working Title Films – the romcom factory behind Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually – with actors Emma Appleton (Pistol) and Bel Powley (The Morning Show) playing two best friends at the heart of Alderton’s platonic love story. Coming soon on BBC Three and iPlayer

Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin return for a second season of Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building – season 2

Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin return for the next series of this hilarious whodunnit, following three neighbors – and true-crime devotees – who become embroiled in their own real-life murder mystery. Expect a healthy dose of gallows humor and punchlines as iconic as the cast members. Plus, this season welcomes new guest stars Amy Schumer and Cara Delevingne. On Hulu from June 28

Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon

No other fantasy series has quite filled the hole Game of Thrones left behind, but House of Dragon – the prequel to George R.R. Martin’s blockbuster series – might just come close. Set 200 years before the fall of the throne, House of the Dragon chronicles the rise and fall of the Targaryen dynasty, with Paddy Considine playing the King and Matt Smith as his scheming son. Supporting roles from Rhys Ifans, Olivia Cooke and Sonoya Mizuno (plus a few dragons to boot) are sure to help this show go stratospheric. On HBO Max from August 21

L-R: Harry Lawtey, Myha’la Herrold, Marisa Abela, David Jonsson and Nabhaan Rizwan return for season two of Industry

Industry – season 2

The first season had the adrenaline levels of a Bruce Willis movie, so expect a similar energy from series two, which sees the Pierpoint Bank grad-schemers return for more all-nighters, power politics and number crunching. Indeed, its cast of newcomers are well on their way to becoming household names, with lead Myha’la Herrold landing a role in Bodies Bodies Bodies – an indie horror based on the screenplay by Kristen Roupenian (Cat Person), and banking bad boy Harry Lawtey starring in The Pale Blue Eye alongside Christian Bale and Lucy Boynton. On BBC iPlayer and HBO from August

Tom Sturridge as Dream in The Sandman

The Sandman

This adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s cult comic is well worth the wait – and not just for fans of politico-fantasy: those chasing an entirely modern approach to gender roles and literary stereotypes will be captivated, too. The seven immortal siblings toying with each other and humankind comprise Dream (the eponymous Sandman, played with captivating humorlessness by Tom Sturridge), Death, Disaster, Destiny, Delirium, Despair and Desire (Mason Alexander Park). In short, it’s irresistible. On Netflix from August

Will they or won’t they? Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey keep you guessing in season two of Bridgerton

Bridgerton – season 2

Corsets at the ready for the second instalment of this surprise smash-hit series based on Julia Quinn’s Regency-era novels, produced by Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland. The second season sees the return of the usual suspects – Lady Whistledown, the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons – but watch as the new woman in town, played by Sex Education’s Simone Ashley, arrives and ruffles many feathers. On Netflix now

Lee Minho and Minha Kim star in Pachinko

Pachinko

This anticipated new drama is based on the bestselling novel by Min Jin Lee and is a sprawling epic set over 100 years, spanning four generations of one Korean family as they leave their homeland to pursue their dreams in Japan. Expect a heartbreaking look at the sacrifices and rewards made by a family starting afresh in a new country. Plus, the show promises to make stars of its cast of newcomers – Lee Min-ho, Jin Ha, Anna Sawai and Minha Kim. On Apple TV now

Elle Fanning is almost unrecognizable as Michelle Carter in The Girl from Plainville (here with Michael Mosley as Joseph Cataldo)

The Girl from Plainville

It was a case that gripped the world when it hit headlines in 2014 – the true, tragic story of Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy, two teenagers who struck up a relationship that ended with deadly repercussions. Elle Fanning is transformed in the leading role, capturing Carter from the moment she meets Roy up until her conviction. Based on an article written about the case by Jesse Barron, the show is a harrowing tale of disenfranchised young people. On Hulu now

Rupert Friend and Sienna Miller star as a couple whose lives begin to unravel in Anatomy of a Scandal

Anatomy of a Scandal

Adapted from Sarah Vaughan’s bestselling courtroom drama, the six-episode series focuses on two women involved in a major political scandal. A rising Conservative MP, James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend), is accused of raping his parliamentary aide, Olivia (Naomi Watts), an allegation he vehemently denies. Michelle Dockery goes in hard as the prosecuting barrister, while Sienna Miller plays Whitehouse’s privileged wife, Sophie, who is struggling with the social, marital and ethical repercussions. The numerous flashbacks to their University of Oxford days – full of sex, drugs and drinking clubs – makes it feel closer to fact than fiction. On Netflix now

The great Viola Davis takes on the role of Michelle Obama in The First Lady, starring opposite O-T Fagbenle as Barack Obama

The First Lady

Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt – The First Lady is an anthology drama series bringing together some of Hollywood’s finest to portray the personal and professional lives of three women who made a distinct mark on the White House. Dakota Fanning, Regina Taylor, Judy Greer, O-T Fagbenle and Kiefer Sutherland also feature in the impressive lineup. On Showtime now

From left: Prasanna Puwanarajah, Maggie Steed, Jack Davenport and Lydia Leonard – all after their cut in Ten Percent

Ten Percent

The British remake of Call My Agent! relocates the talent agency to London’s Soho, but still retains the essence of the French original. The agents hustling for roles for their clients while stabbing each other in the back are as eccentric, devious, despicable and captivating as the originals (as well as comedian Harry Trevaldwyn, playing assistant Ollie). The guest stars depicting fictional versions of themselves include Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Corrin and Phoebe Dynevor. On Amazon Prime Video now

Melissa (Jemima Kirke), Bobbi (Sasha Lane), Frances (Alison Oliver) and Nick (Joe Alwyn) are on a collision course in Conversations With Friends

Conversations With Friends

Here to fill the Normal People-shaped hole in our lives is this adaptation of Sally Rooney’s blockbuster debut novel. It follows a group of four friends and the romantic entanglement that unfolds when their lives collide. The cast is made up of Hollywood’s most in-demand bright, young things: Sasha Lane (American Honey), Joe Alwyn (The Favourite), Jemima Kirke (Girls) and newcomer Alison Oliver – whose career, like Daisy Edgar-Jones’ before her – is set to go stratospheric. On Hulu and BBC Three from May 15

Danny Boyle’s Pistol stars Christian Lees, Anson Bon and Toby Wallace

Pistol

Expect a deep dive into the debauched days of punk rock in this Danny Boyle-directed drama about the rise and rise of the Sex Pistols. The six-part series follows the key players at the heart of punk subculture in 1970s London: Jonny Rotten, the lead singer played by a snarling Anson Boon, Emma Appleton as the ill-fated Nancy Spungen, Sydney Chandler as The Pretenders’ lead singer Chrissie Hynde, and Maisie Williams as model Jordan Mooney – often dubbed the first Sex Pistol. On FX Networks from May 31

Colin Firth and Toni Collette take on the roles of MIchael and Kathleen Peterson in The Staircase

The Staircase

Based on the true-crime docuseries of the same name, HBO’s eight-parter dramatizes the life and conviction of writer Michael Peterson (Colin Firth), who was investigated over the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen (Toni Collette), after she was found at the bottom of the staircase in their family home. The series is written and exec-produced by Antonio Campos (The Devil All the Time) and Maggie Cohn (American Crime Story), and Sophie Turner also stars as one of Peterson’s daughters. On HBO Max now

Monarch

It’s Stetsons at dawn in what can only be described as the love child of TV shows Succession and Nashville. Monarch follows the first family of country music, the Romans, propelled to fame by matriarch Dottie (played by a rhinestone-clad Susan Sarandon). As a secret threatens to dismantle the Romans’ legacy, the family’s key players will stop at nothing to protect their reputation. With a stellar cast that includes Anna Friel, Trace Adkins and Beth Ditto, expect tassels and tussles galore. On Fox now

The perennially chic Lily Collins returns for round deux in Emily in Paris

Emily in Paris – season 2

It was the surprise hit of lockdown – the light relief that the peak-pandemic world didn’t know it needed. In fact, this show went so viral that Netflix ordered a second season within days of it premiering. So, here’s another round of Lily Collins wafting through Paris, speaking terrible Franglais in an explosion of Patricia Field-styled outfits. We wouldn’t expect any less from the show’s creator Darren Star, who brought us Sex and the City. On Netflix now

Lily James plays Pamela Anderson in Pam & Tommy – a deep-dive into the original celebrity sex-tape saga

Pam & Tommy

Think of the most iconic ’90s couples and Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee sit comfortably in the top five. Scandal often trailed the Baywatch actor and her rockstar husband – and this eight-part Hulu series promises a deep dive into the original celebrity sex-tape saga. With I, Tonya’s Craig Gillespie directing Lily James, Sebastian Stan, and Seth Rogen (as the electrician who stole and leaked the tape), it has become talking-point TV. On Hulu now

Euphoria – season 2

No show has laid bare the trials of young adulthood quite like Euphoria. Producer Sam Levinson’s ground-breaking show is not an easy watch, tackling addiction, abuse, consent, teenage angst and everything in between. HBO teased us with a special episode over Christmas 2020, and the second season aired at the start of this year with the excellent lead cast of Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi and Sydney Sweeney returning. On HBO and Now TV

The Great – season 2

Elle Fanning donned her corset once more for this outlandish costume drama, following the rise and rise of Catherine the Great and the decline of her husband, Peter III (Nicholas Hoult). From the team behind quirky Oscar-winner The Favourite, season two has all the wit and pithy humor of the first. On Hulu now

Donald Glover and Zazie Beetz return to star in Atlanta – an award-winning dramedy about Georgia’s high-stakes rap scene

Atlanta – season 3

It’s hard to believe this award-winning dramedy is already in its third season (with a fourth on the way), but the latest drop of Donald Glover’s Atlanta promises all the hilarity and heartache of the first two. Glover, Zazie Beetz and Lakeith Stanfield return as the lead trio, muddling through the rap scene in Atlanta, Georgia, and the quirky carousel of characters that come and go. There is a reason this show remains a cult favorite. On FX now

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