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7 hot new things to catch on TV this week

Step away from the TV supplement! We've cut through the guff to find the seven best things on telly this week, from Black-Mirror-esque thrillers to The Marvellous Mrs Maisel's big return.

PICK OF THE WEEK: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Amazon Prime, 18 Feb

This visually delightful show about a perfect 1950s/60s New York Jewish housewife turned comedian returns for its long-awaited fourth series. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, it bears the mark of her other smash hit, Gilmore Girls, in its lightning-fast, almost impossibly witty dialogue. Some felt that the third series, which saw Midge (Rachael Brosnahan) leave New York to head on tour, suffered for the scene change — good thing that season four finds her at an all-time career low, penniless, back in New York.

Bel Air, NOW TV and Sky, 14 Feb

If you approach this remake of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air expecting sitcom gags and funky dancing you’re in for a rude awakening. (Though if that’s what you’re after, the original’s all on iPlayer). Taking a darker spin on the familiar story, Bel Air is a drama that looks more closely at why Will has to move away from West Philadelphia, and doesn’t shy away from social issues. Rolling your eyes about corporations trying to capitalise on nostalgia? The series actually started life as a fan-made trailer, which went around social media and attracted the attention of Will Smith, now one of the executive producers.

Rise Of The Nazis — Dictators At War, BBC2, 14 Feb

Somewhat confusingly, this documentary’s third series is no longer about the rise of the Nazis, but chronicling the build-up to Germany’s 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. Still, it admirably manages the by now quite difficult task of bringing something new to the WW2 TV discussion, with experts shedding light on the complex political mind games of the Eastern front.

Traces, Alibi, 15 Feb

This Scottish forensic-science drama returns for a second series, and feels as though it has better found its feet. Catering well to those with an insatiable hunger for crime stories, it’s the sort of show where every character seems distinctly dodgy, so you’re never quite sure who’s a culprit and who was just born that way. Laura Fraser (who played the incredibly likeable blacksmith in 2001’s A Knight’s Tale) is arguably the best part of the show: a self-doubting scientist with an arc that’s rather more compelling than Molly Windsor as our protagonist.

Jeen-yuhs — A Kanye Trilogy, Netflix, 16 Feb

Loath as we are to give Kanye West even more of a God complex, this theatrical series of three ‘acts’ chronicling his rise to fame does make for damn good TV. How does a nerdy college dropout turn into an iconic, multi-million-record music producer with an exclusive line of trainers that look like alien jellyfish? Comedian-turned-filmmaker Coodie Simmons dropped everything in 1998 to find out. This is the result of more than twenty years’ close footage: strangely intimate, very compelling.

Extraordinary Escapes, C4, 17 Feb

Good, mindless Thursday night viewing: Sandi Toksvig takes Sarah Millican on a stress-relieving getaway to bucolic Devon. We sit back and pretend that we, too, have escaped work; they admire Exmoor ponies whilst cracking enough steady banter to keep the whole thing from feeling too sugary.

Severance, Apple TV, 18 Feb

Christopher Walken and Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt from Parks and Rec) star in this intriguing, Black Mirror-esque thriller that unsettlingly solves the issue of work/life balance. Employees who undergo ‘severance’ can remember nothing of their personal lives whilst at work, and nothing of their work lives whilst at leisure. Lowkey kind of a dream? Not with the obligatory creepy complications that ensue.

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