Choice of the week
Thanks to the two-pronged attack on conventional reality by Donald Trump and Covid-19, we are in a golden age for conspiracy theorists. So ready for parody. But is Mike Myers – who has been conspicuously absent from our screens for the past ten years – the man with the takedown? The premise of this six-episode series is simple (or is that exactly what they want us to think?) as the titular secret society — which has been monitoring world events since 1347 — is exposed thanks to a Canadian journalist. As is often the case with Myers, the performances (he plays eight characters) trump the material, but it’s not without its moments, with help from Jennifer Saunders and Lydia West cameos.
Netflix, from Tuesday 3 May
This complex Israeli thriller returns, and after the chaos at the end of season one, it really had no choice. After the failed attack on the Iranian reactor, Mossad presents sleep operative Tamar (Niv Sultan) with a fait accompli: If she and Milad (Shervin Alenabi) want to be taken from Tehran, she will have to help rescue the captured Israeli pilot. “This is one of the most important operations in Israel’s history,” she is told. Can she really trust her supervisors? The secret of Tehran is its ability to cross the narrative streams; between the demands of global realpolitik and the individuals adrift in its currents.
Apple TV+, starting Wednesday, May 4
The platform’s first Nigerian original drama is a gripping and somewhat melodramatic affair that follows best friends Sarah and Kemi (Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime) as Sarah’s wedding day takes an unexpected turn. Partly under family pressure, Sarah prepares to marry Kola — despite his private propensity for physical and emotional abuse. However, events soon push the two women in the direction of Thelma & Louise option. It’s a brisk tale of family, friendship and trust, with Lagos providing a lively and intensely vibrant setting for the action.
Netflix, from Tuesday 3 May
The sound of magic
Richly adapted from the webtoon Annarasumanara, this Korean coming-of-age drama explores a common paradox: many people spend their childhood yearning to grow up, while their adult years wish they were young again. There is a strong element of magical realism in the style and premise – Yoon Ah-yi (Choi Sung-eun) is a lonely teenage girl; bullied, unhappy and dreaming of escape. In an abandoned amusement park, she finds the mysterious Lee Eul (Ji Chang-wook), a wizard who imparts both spicy wisdom and comfort.
Netflix, from Wednesday 4 May
the dry one
When we meet Shiv Sheridan (Roisin Gallagher), she stares longingly at a man – rather, a man’s breakfast pint – at Dublin airport. She is now five months and 17 days sober, but it is not easy. Back in Ireland following her grandmother’s wake, she also wants to try and build bridges with her resentful family. But how much of the past can she leave behind? Alternately melancholy and darkly funny, The Dry is from the team behind Normal People. It shares a keen eye for emotional nuance – in this case Shiv’s relationship with the rituals of drinking.
BritBox, from Thursday 5 May
If you’ve ever wondered about the origin of the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome”, this drama will explain everything. The story of notorious but charismatic Swedish mobster Clark Olofsson, one of Clark’s pivotal events is the 1973 Norrmalmstorg raid, which resulted in a clear bond between the criminals and their hostages. But it soon becomes clear that Olofsson is much more than this; his villainous tale of drugs, sex, crime, childhood trauma and glorious 1970s fashion attire is brought to life by Bill Skarsgård.
Netflix, from Thursday 5 May
Soho Theater Live
A welcome third series for this comedic showcase, which gives exposure to stand-ups just below Live at the Apollo status and also offers a chance to see more established names in a small room. Previous runs have featured sets from Nish Kumar, Desiree Burch, Catherine Bohart and Sindhu Vee, so there’s a good chance at least some big names will make an appearance. This time, note the sometimes confrontational style of Natalie Palamides (above) and reflect on Olga Koch and Michael Odewale’s musings on identity.
Amazon Prime Video, starting Friday, May 6