What to watch online this week
Your weekly boredom buster is here with all the best and brand spanking new TV, film, music and theatre to keep you entertained from the sofa.
If you watch one thing on telly this week make it BBC drama Mrs America, premiering on BBC Two with a double bill on Wednesday. Set in the 70s (yes, the costumes are brilliant) it’s based on the tension between Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), a conservative lawyer who campaigned against the women’s liberation movement, and feminist authors Gloria Steinhem (Rose Byrne) and Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman) during the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
You can also catch Cate in new Netflix drama Stateless which is dropping on 8 July. The the six-parter sees the lives of four very different strangers collide when they meet at an immigration centre in the Australian desert. Looks like a goodie.
There’s no problem with adhering to social distancing with the BBC’s Talking Heads – the remake of Alan Bennett’s famous monologues feature a cast of just one. You can find all the episodes on BBC iPlayer, but you probably won’t want to binge this one as the storylines are pretty heavy, revealing the darker side of human nature. It’s worth watching purely for the excellent British cast (props to the casting director) including Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, Harriet Walter, plus episodes are only 30 minutes long.
Elsewhere, on E4 on weekdays is your new guilty pleasure for summer Married at First Sight Australia which sees singletons scientifically matched with their perfect partner. The catch? Their first meeting is at the alter. It’s a bit like Love Island just without the buff twenty-somethings and bikinis (although you can flip over to ITV2 straight after the show for Love Island Australia if you really want to!).
Pick up a family-sized packet of popcorn as Netflix’s new blockbuster, big budget movie The Old Guard will be available to watch from 10 July. Starring Charlize Theron (full marks for the female lead) as warrior Andy, the film follows a covert group of immortal mercenaries that have fought to protect the world from danger for centuries.
Still pining after cancelled festivals this summer? (Raises hand). The BFI has a brilliant selection of free short documentaries to watch on the history of festival culture from old school folk festivals to the early years of Glastonbury. Watch the full series here.
The National Theatre continues to bring high brow theatre to the masses this week with a 2016 archive recording of Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs, a powerful exploration of identity in post-colonial Africa, starring Danny Sapani (Black Panther, Killing Eve), Siân Phillips (People, Clash of the Titans) and Tunji Kasim (Network, Antony & Cleopatra). The show is streaming on YouTube until 9 Jul.
Want more? From 9 – 16 July you can see the brilliant Helen McCrory star in The Deep Blue Sea. Exploring themes of repressed passion, need and loneliness in post-war Britain, Hester Collyer’s affair with an RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to reveal itself after a failed suicide attempt.
Meanwhile the Globe is doing its bit to keep young people cultured during lockdown and will be streaming its 90 minute production of Macbeth, created especially for teens, until secondary schools reopen. This week they are also hosting an online workshop themed on Henry V for kids aged 5 – 8 years and their families. The workshops includes activities and games centred on the play’s language, characters and themes and will be led by the Globe’s actors, directors and teachers.
Looking for some new running material? Mike Skinner and The Streets are back with their first album in nearly a decade None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive. The hotly anticipated 12-track mixtape features collaborations with the likes of Tame Impala IDLES and Ms Banks and is dropping on 10 July.
Meanwhile, if you think rap’s a racket, the Garsington Opera may be more your scene. You can stream three of the company’s iconic operas including Les nozze di Figaro, The Turn of the Screw (above) and opera on ice (yep, really!) The Skating Rink here.
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