I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE | Binge now
No, I Know This Much Is True isn’t new, but Sunday night Mark Ruffalo won his first-ever Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Limited Series for his dual role in HBO’s I Know This Much is True, beating out Hugh Grant in The Undoing, Ethan Hawke in The Good Lord Bird, Jeff Daniels in The Comey Rule and Bryan Cranston in Your Honor. This follows on from his Emmy win for the role last year, so if you’ve been sleeping on this series, may we humbly suggest it’s time to watch one of the best acting performances we’ve ever seen?
Based on the Wally Lamb bestseller about how you don’t just give up on the people you love, I Know This Much is True follows the parallel lives of identical twin brothers Dominick Birdsey and his brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic. As The Times UK wrote, “I know this much about I Know This Much Is True: it won’t cheer you up. However, its unrelenting misery did not stop it from being almost exhilarating to watch, mainly due to beautiful, near-perfect performances by Mark Ruffalo.”
Mark lost 20 pounds to play Dominic, then gained that back and put another 20 pounds on to play Thomas. I Know This Much Is True, which has an 8.2/10 rating on IMDb, also stars Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Emmy winner Rosie O’Donnell (SMILF), Emmy nominees Kathryn Hahn (Mrs Fletcher, Transparent) and Rob Huebel (Transparent), Golden Globe nominee Archie Panjabi (Run, The Good Wife), and Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers).
ALLEN V. FARROW | First on Showmax | Binge 15 March
Co-directed by Oscar nominees Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War), Allen v. Farrow goes behind the years of sensational headlines to reveal the private story of one of Hollywood’s most notorious and public scandals: the accusation of sexual abuse against Woody Allen involving Dylan, his then seven-year-old daughter with Mia Farrow; their subsequent custody trial; the revelation of Allen’s relationship with Farrow’s daughter, Soon-Yi; and the controversial aftermath in the years that followed.
Along with new investigative work — pieced together via intimate home movie footage, court documents, police evidence, revelatory videotapes, and never-before-heard audio tapes — the four-part documentary series includes exclusive interviews on the subject with Mia, Dylan and Ronan Farrow, family friend Carly Simon, and prosecutor Frank Maco, among others. Allen v. Farrow also examines the effects of trauma on a family, and features prominent cultural voices exploring Allen’s body of work in a broader context and reflecting on how public revelations about the personal lives of artists can lead to re-evaluations of their work.
Allen V. Farrow has an 87% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The LA Times hailing it as “a comprehensive, convincing and ultimately devastating documentary… The story of the girl who spoke out against her dad, was silenced, lived in shame for decades and decided it was time to speak truth to power.”
ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST S1 | Binge now
Jane Levy (Suburgatory, Castle Rock) was nominated for the 2021 Best Actress Golden Globe as Zoey, a young woman who suddenly gains the ability to hear other people’s innermost thoughts… in song.
Pitch Perfect star and Teen Choice winner Skylar Astin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) co-stars as her bestie Max, with Glee star and Grammy nominee Alex Newell nominated for a 2021 Critics Choice Best Supporting Actor award as Mo. Golden Globe nominee Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Parenthood), Oscar winner Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth, Back to the Future III) and Critics Choice and Teen Choice nominee Peter Gallagher (Grace and Frankie, The O.C.) also feature.
Exec produced by four-time Emmy nominee Paul Feig (Love Life, The Office, Bridesmaids) and Emmy-nominated Two and a Half Men producers Kim and Eric Tannenbaum, this quirky musical comedy won a 2020 Emmy for its Outstanding Choreography and has an 8.2/10 score on IMDb. Globe and Mail says it’s “brimming with both joy and compassion, this strange contrivance, and highly recommended.
SUPERSTORE S5 | Binge now
Golden Globe winner America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Emmy nominees Ben Feldman (Silicon Valley), Mark McKinney (The Kids in the Hall) and Colton Dunn (Key and Peele), and Nichole Sakura (Shameless) are back at work at supersized megastore Cloud 9. The new season of the ever-popular workplace comedy opens with immigration officers coming for Mateo (Nico Santos, nominated for Critics Choice Awards two years in a row for the role) and the arrival of a robot named Glenn, designed to replace some of the staff.
The fifth season has racked up a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and features guest stars like Screen Actors Guild winner Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and Emmy nominees Jason Ritter (A Million Little Things) and Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live).
“In terms of laughs per minute and laughs per character, no show comes close to touching Superstore‘s large cast,” says Decider. “This is the biggest, funniest cast since The Office, and they are at the height of their power.”
HIGHTOWN S1 | Binge eps 1-4 from 12 March, eps 5 – 8 from 9 April
Set in the beautiful but bleak Cape Cod, Hightown follows Jackie Quiñones, a hard-partying addict whose journey to sobriety is overshadowed by a murder investigation.
Created by The Mentalist and Gotham writer Rebecca Cutter, with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison (Black Panther, Mudbound) directing, the murder mystery is executive produced by multiple-Emmy winner Jerry Bruckheimer, who’s produced everything from the CSI franchise and worldwide reality phenomenon The Amazing Race to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Armageddon.
Already renewed for a second season, Hightown stars Teen Choice nominees Monica Raymund (Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.’s Gabriela Dawson, and Lie to Me’s Ria Torres), James Badge Dale (The Departed, 24), and Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break, Deception). Hightown has an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with numerous critics praising Monica Raymund’s stellar performance.
LA’S FINEST S2 | Binge now
Gabrielle Union (Good Deeds, Being Mary Jane) reprises her Bad Boys 2 role as Marcus’ sister Syd in this spinoff series, which earned her the 2019 Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress: Action.
Syd’s now working for the Los Angeles Police Department, where she partners up with Nancy McKenna, a working mom, played by Golden Globe nominee Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four, Sin City, Dark Angel) in a Teen Choice-nominated performance.
Beau Knapp (The Good Lord Bird’s Owen Brown) joins the cast this season, along with Kurt Yaeger (Sons of Anarchy, The Village), Kelly Hu (Arrow, The Orville), Timothy V. Murphy (Snowpiercer, True Detective) and Miguel Gomez (The Strain). Also look out for Grammy-winning artist Kelly Rowland, Emmy nominee Michael Graziadei (American Horror Story, and yes, he was Y&R’s Daniel Romalotti) and Machete himself, Danny Trejo.
LA’s Finest is executive produced by multiple Emmy winner Jerry Bruckheimer (Hightown, CSI), with former CSI: NY showrunner Pam Veasey co-showrunning.
PARTY OF FIVE S1 | Binge now
It’s a cruel world for TV shows right now, where a gem like Freeform’s reboot of the six-season, career-launching, Golden Globe-winning family series Party of Five can get canceled despite being #31 on Rotten Tomatoes’ Best TV Shows of 2020, with a 96% critics rating. Still, we have one lovely season for the whole family to enjoy.
The teen drama follows the five Acosta children – Emilio, Lucia, Beto, Valentina and baby Rafael – in the US as they navigate daily life and struggle to survive as a family unit after their parents are deported to Mexico. Created by the original show’s producers, Humanitas Prize winners Christopher Keyser and Amy Lippman, the reboot has all the heart of the 1994 series, with a social conscience for today’s world. As NPR says, “At a time when the immigration debate still involves kids kept in cages, there is no better moment for America to see a series like this.” Newsday calls it “The rare reboot with a purpose – and a heart,” while New York Magazine says, “The underlying message of this lovely series enables the audience to hold nostalgia and a bracing sense of reality in their heads and hearts all at once, and that’s a rare and special thing.”
The cast includes Brandon Larracuente (13 Reasons Why), Emily Tosta (Mayans M.C.), Niko Guardado (The Goldbergs), Elle Paris Legaspi (who plays the young Lyn in Vida), Bruno Bichir (Narcos) and Fernanda Urrejola (Narcos: Mexico).
FARGO S4 | Tuesdays at 23:30, same day as M-Net. Binge from 16 March 2021
Created by Emmy winner Noah Hawley (Legion, the upcoming untitled Star Trek sequel) as a spin-off of the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning classic movie, Fargo has won three Golden Globes, six Emmys, and a Peabody Award. It’s #38 on IMDb’s Top Rated TV list, with an 8.9/10 score, and holds a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Season 4, which was Complex’s TV show of 2020, is set in Kansas City in 1950. Four-time Emmy-winning comedian Chris Rock stars as Loy Cannon, the head of the African American crime family. He trades sons with the head of the Italian Mafia as part of a tenuous truce. Golden Globe winner Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal, Mary Poppins Returns), Emmy winner Glynn Turman (Super 8), BAFTA nominee Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl), and Teen Choice nominee Jason Schwartzman (The Grand Budapest Hotel) co-star. Rock and Turman are up for Best Actor and Best Supporting actor respectively at the 2021 Critics’ Choice Awards.
“Fargo, as in past seasons, manages to be both more dramatic, and more comic, than almost any other show on TV right now,” says NPR, while Complex hails it as “high art for TV lovers… There aren’t many shows shot this well, nor are there many shows taking this many risks between the first and last frames, seemingly without a care for convention or consideration… If only more TV series could operate at Fargo levels of greatness.”
THE STAND | Binge episodes 1-4 now and eps 5-9 from 16 March
Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel, The Stand is an apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg from Ghost, The Color Purple, Sister Act) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man (Golden Globe winner Alexander Skarsgård from Big Little Lies, True Blood).
Showrunner, executive producer and Emmy nominee Benjamin Cavell (Justified, Homeland) says, “None of us could have imagined that Stephen King’s 40-year-old masterpiece about a global pandemic would come to be so eerily relevant.”
The stellar ensemble cast includes 2020 Emmy nominee Jovan Adepo (Watchmen), People’s Choice winner Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Maze Runner), MTV Award winner Heather Graham (Boogie Nights, Californication), Teen Choice winner Nat Wolff (The Fault In Our Stars), MTV Awards nominees Amber Heard (Aquaman) and James Marsden (Westworld), Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets, Little Miss Sunshine), Golden Globe nominee Irene Bedard (Pocahontas, Westworld), Sundance winner Brad William Henke (Orange Is The New Black), and rising star Owen Teague (It, Mrs Fletcher).
Daily Beast hails The Stand as a “faithful and gripping translation of King’s end-times drama about the dangerous allure of individualism (and tyrannical leaders), and the vital necessity of togetherness in times of turmoil.”