With two limited series coming to Apple TV+ and Disney+, a boundary-breaking comedy and a seafaring nature doc on Sky, plus French animation on Netflix, here’s what to watch this week from Nov 8-14 on British terrestrial TV and streaming.
Shark with Steve Backshall, Limited Series
Sharks – they’re toothy, they’re terrifying, they’re sometimes really big and have to fight Jason Statham. But are these ‘facts’ about the seas’ most famous predators really that factual? TV naturist Steve Backshall is here this week to change our perceptions of them, in Shark with Steve Backshall. With the tagline ‘Marvels not monsters,’ the Sky Nature series has Backshall trekking to remote corners of the globe to get up in the grill of this diverse family of creatures; a family that comprises sharks that can walk on land, sharks that glow in the dark, and sharks that are in danger of disappearing thanks to our own predatory practices in the oceans they inhabit.
All episodes are available now on Sky Nature.
Sort Of, Season 1
Turning to some fresher comedy, Canadian series Sort Of premiers on Sky Comedy this Thursday – and its central star has a perspective you likely won’t have come across before: playwright Bilal Baig (also the show’s co-creator) plays Sabi Mehboob, the gender-fluid child of Pakistani immigrants. As well as their relationship to their heritage – and the youngest in a large family – Sort Of sees Sabi also juggling a job as a bartender at an LGBTQ cafe/bookstore and their own found “downtown, hipster” family. “[It’s] a coming-of-age story [that] exposes the labels we once poured ourselves into as no longer applicable… to anyone,” Baig explains. “It feels so right, in a time like this, to be working on a show that looks at how we are constantly changing, and how change can clarify who we are and who we want to be in the world.” Sort Of‘s first season will have eight episodes.
From Thurs Nov 11 at 9 pm, Sky Comedy.
Dopesick, Limited Series
Disney+’s STAR catalogue continues its push to lure more high-brow-seeking TV viewers to the otherwise kid-friendly service. This week, that comes in the form of Danny Strong’s drama miniseries Dopesick. Featuring and executive produced by Michael Keaton (a star in his renaissance period), Will Poulter (a star reaching his peak) and Peter Sarsgaard (neither of those things but just nice to see in anything), the series is based on journalist Beth Macy’s Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America, a book that examines America’s opioid epidemic. Described as an “ambitious, harrowing” portrait of the worst drug epidemic in American history, Dopesick will have six episodes clocking in at roughly an hour each.
Streaming from Fri Nov 12 on STAR on Disney+.
The Shrink Next Door, Limited Series
Another new limited series from across the pond, and another with some top-shelf Hollywood star power. Boasting comedy heavyweights Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd alongside the scene-stealing Katherine Hahn and Happy Endings‘ star Casey Wilson, The Shrink Next Door tells the darkly funny tale of an unethical psychiatrist – Rudd’s Isaac Hershkopf. As has become a growing trend, the story started life as a podcast; a 10-episode series that dominated the Apple podcast charts for three consecutive weeks last year. Naturally, the folks at Apple TV+ took notice and have added some visuals to the audio hit. Will Rudd’s immortal face add a different spin to proceedings? Watch the eight-episode TV version to find out.
Streaming from Fri 12 on Apple TV+.
Arcane, Act 1
Animation, especially of the Japanese variety, has been flourishing on Netflix in recent years, but video game adaptations continue to prove problematic. The latest addition to the streaming service’s catalogue, Arcane, is described, rather illustriously, as an “event series,” likely because it was created to ring in the 10th anniversary of the MMO game League of Legends. That anniversary has now lapsed as Arcane was hit with COVID-related delays last year but the first act is finally available to stream now and may just break the video game adaptation “curse.” Starring the voice of Hailee Steinfeld, the story is ostensibly a prequel for characters like Piltover and Zaun, set in the League universe. Even if you’ve never heard of the popular game franchise before, give it a go just to watch the painterly animation from French studio Riot Games, which is like little else you’ll have seen before.
Episodes 1-3 are streaming now on Netflix.
words HANNAH COLLINS
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