Gun to Borgen: The seven best shows to stream this week | Television & radio
Choice of the week
Abbott Elementary School
Quinta Brunson’s fictional comedy set in a rough-edged Philadelphia school achieves a rare feat. As any teacher worth their salt would demand, it shows rather than tells. We are encouraged to sympathize with the school’s rambling kids and beleaguered passionate teachers. But the series strikes the right balance between comedic charm and subtle polemic about the shortcomings of the American education system. As we join in the action, a teacher has been fired for kicking a student and a fundraising battle begins for basic equipment. Brunson also stars as Janine Teagues, an endearing if slightly scatty teacher who delights the children but sometimes upsets her superiors.
Disney+, from Wednesday June 1
Based on the memoir of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, Danny Boyle’s six-part comedy-drama resonates quite energetically, evoking the vibe of repressed Britain in the mid-’70s. The angle feels relatively new – the Jones’ (Toby Wallace) perspective has been less explored than that of Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten, and his abusive childhood is evoked in all its claustrophobic seriousness. But there’s a seriousness to the script and performances that feels slightly off, undermining the band’s nihilism. No matter how much they sneer and sneer, actors just aren’t dirty or delinquent enough to succeed.
Disney+, from Tuesday May 31
Borgen: power and glory
The heyday of Scandi-drama seems like a distant memory, but the return of Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) feels like a welcome visit from an old friend. Ten years ago, she felt like a principled anomaly. In the populist era, she is even more of a liberal wish-fulfillment fantasy. Nyborg is now foreign secretary – and when oil is discovered in Greenland, she is at the center of an international power struggle in the Arctic. She also has to keep an eye out for Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) who exploits her status as a “Nyborg expert” on TV.
Netflix, starting Thursday, June 2
“I may be a superhero. But I’m still just a man who fell in love with the wrong woman. Homelander (Antony Starr) tries to change his name, but his softer mode seems even more unbalanced. It’s fitting for this returning superhero parody – she manages to have her cake and eat it while satisfying a taste for satire and spectacular ultraviolence Butcher (Karl Urban) now works for the government and is exceptionally But when the Boys learn of a mysterious anti-Supe weapon, they collide with the Seven and all hell breaks loose.
Amazon Prime Video, starting Friday, June 3
Strip clubs have fallen on hard times during the pandemic, and the Pynk — in the fictional Deep South town of Chucalissa — was no different. Covid-related departures have created vacancies. Cue Roulette – a new dancer (played by Gail Bean of Snowfall fame), ready to give the club some headaches and some well-deserved new life. The first season of this show was a sleeper hit, but P-Valley deserves more attention: it’s naughty in every way, but the stories are told generously and from the perspective of the dancers, and none of them are. than better.
StarzPlay, starting Friday, June 3
This Lycra-clad comedy-drama, launched last year, aims to do for fitness video what Glow did for women’s wrestling: present it as an emblem of an era, set in amber and ripe for all kinds of melodrama and kitschy period details. The problem is that, unlike Glow, the characters are never drawn well enough to convince, whether as drama or comedy. In season two, Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne) deals with the aftermath of a breakthrough success – her workout video has spawned copycats and jealous hikers hungry for a share of her spoils.
Apple TV+, starting Friday, June 3
The floor is lava
The first season of this wonderfully silly adventure show (think The Crystal Maze with regular drops in a boiling red gloop) made big numbers, albeit possibly Covid-related, for Netflix, so a second season was An evidence. But once you’ve created an obstacle course of bubbling volcanic material, how do you up the ante? It’s really obvious: a massive volcano, spewing even hotter lava! It’s fair to say that no one can be accused of overthinking the USP of this show, and that’s part of the appeal. In other words: you will watch more than one episode.
Netflix, starting Friday, June 3