Happy Friday to all! We hope you had a super week. If you’ve got no plans for the weekend or you’re just ready to cuddle up on the sofa, we’ve got some great titles for you to stream (as always) across Netflix, NOW TV, Amazon Prime Video and All 4. Let’s get to it!
Peep Show’s back (sort of): Back
Fans of iconic Peep Show duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb will be delighted hear that the pair are back on our screens in their new Channel 4 show, Back. Season one of the comedy (which is currently airing on TV) follows a son (Mitchell) facing the death of his father only to have his long-forgotten short term foster brother (Webb) turn up out of the blue for the funeral.
The style of comedy plays out like a toned down version of Peep Show with Mitchell and Webb more or less playing toned down variations of Mark and Jeremy (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!).
Promising review: “Ah, what a comfort it is to have David Mitchell and Robert Webb back, in Back, a comedy shaping up to be almost as pin-sharp and cheerfully dark as Peep Show.”
You can catch up on the first 4 episodes of the series on All 4 for free now.
Give it a go: If you’re a Mitchell and Webb fan (obviously).
Give it a miss: If you’re bored of quaint off-kilter British comedies.
Visual feast: The Bad Batch
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a film as stylistically ambitious as Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch, her second directorial outing since the highly critically acclaimed A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The narrative follows Arlen, one of thousands of Americans deemed unacceptable to society, who is unceremoniously dumped into a hostile desert wasteland fenced off from civilised society. Wandering the barren landscape, it isn’t long before the unsuspecting and hapless girl is captured by ruthless cannibals and pays dearly for her carelessness - with a literal arm and leg…
Though ultimately amounting to style over substance, you’ll find it hard not to be sucked into the desolate, post-apocalyptic dystopia Amirpour has created. If the story doesn’t grab you, the arresting visuals, raw determination of its protagonists and killer soundtrack should be enough to keep you engaged.
Promising review: “Amirpour has ambitions bigger than the art house. She wants to make big, colorful blockbusters, too, and The Bad Batch feels like an audition reel to take over Mad Max.”
The Bad Batch is available to stream on Netflix now.
Give it a go: If you love big dramatic post-apocalyptic spectacles like Mad Max: Fury Road.
Give it a miss: If you look for more meat to your plotlines.
Flashback Friday: The Princess Bride
With the iconic post-modern fairytale celebrating its 30th anniversary earlier this week, we couldn’t resist including it in this week’s list of streaming recommendations!
Directed by Rob Reiner and written by William Goldman, The Princess Bride breaths life into a well worn bedtime fairytale trope; the gallant hero rescuing a damsel in distress. The most satisfying blend of swashbuckling adventure, soppy romance, fantasy and irreverent comedy, you’d be hard pushed finding a family film that tops The Princess Bride as an all-round crowd pleaser. Those who have seen it will know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t seen it, what have you been doing with your life?
Promising review: “An unqualified success that blends New York wit with timeless storytelling; a risky piece of filmmaking that never feels so.”
You can find The Princess Bride available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Give it a go: If you’re feeling nostalgic and you need a good laugh.
Give it a miss: If you’re looking for something serious to watch.
Compelling documentary series: The Confession Tapes
We’ll keep this one short and sweet because we doubt you’ll need much more than the following two line hook to draw you in. This compulsive docuseries highlights cases where murder convicts claim they were coerced into confessions, and are in fact, not guilty. Each episode of the series explores a different case, making it a great show in which to dip in and out.
Promising review: “Yes, it's compulsive. Stoked by bloody police photographs, the atmosphere can be suspenseful to a queasy-making degree.”
The Confession Tapes is available to watch on Netflix now.
Give it a go: If you love Netflix’s brand of investigative true crime documentary.
Give it a miss: You prefer your entertainment free of speculation.
Kooky Aussie teen tale: Girl Asleep
Described on Rotten Tomatoes as “a journey into the absurd, scary and beautiful heart of the teenage mind” Girl Asleep follows Greta Driscoll, your typical awkward teenage girl on the cusp of turning 15. Doing her best to stay under the radar at school, everything falls apart when her well-meaning but oblivious parents decide to throw her a surprise party and invite Greta’s entire class… disaster!
Girl Asleep was lauded by critics who praised its directorial quirkiness akin to that of Wes Anderson. As Variety put it “A blend of Napolean Dynamite and Where the Wild Things are by way of Wes Anderson” audiences looking for the perfect indie sleeper hit are bound to enjoy the exploits of Greta Driscoll.
Promising review: “Girl Asleep offers a surrealist world that's as magical as it is heartfelt.”
Girl Asleep is available to stream on NOW TV, you guessed it, now!
Give it a go: If you’re looking for a teen drama outside the typical American or British canon.
Give it a miss: If you’re bored with the awkward teen genre.
Looking for more?
Finished these titles and ready for something else? Why not check out last week’s recommendations?