Conversations with Friends

The C&TH Culture Radar: What To Watch, Read and Listen To This Month

Culture /


What's new on Netflix and beyond

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Forever wondering what to watch on Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime? Always keeping your ears pricked for word of new podcasts, books and film releases? Welcome to our culture radar, which we’ll regularly update with recommendations for what to watch, read and listen to each week.

Main image: BBC Pictures

What To Watch, Read and Listen To This Month

 

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Pandora Sykes1

LISTEN: Unreal

Hosted by journalists Pandora Sykes and Sirin Kalenew, this Radio 4 documentary podcast explores the ups and downs of reality TV across 10 hour-long episodes.

Listen here

Regenesis by George Monbiot

READ: Regenesis by George Monbiot

After we’ve been pillaging and plundering our earth, why is it that millions still go hungry? Poised to become a non-fiction classic, Regenesis looks at the faltering food system of the 21st Century and prizes open the fascinating innovations that could very well be the way we sort out our mess.

Out 26 May, Penguin

Talulah Riley

WATCH: Pistol

Talulah Riley stars as Vivienne Westwood in Pistol, a new FX series about the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols, based on guitarist Steve Jones’ 2017 memoir and directed by Danny Boyle.

Out on 31 May on Disney+ and Hulu

Conversations with Friends

WATCH: Conversations with Friends

Sally Rooney fans, your new TV obsession has arrived. The BBC adaptation of her first book, Conversations with Friends, is out now, starring Alison Oliver, Joe Aldwyn, Sasha Lane and Jemima Kirke.

BBC iPlayer

The Rising, Sky Pictures

WATCH: The Rising

Sky’s new eight-part supernatural thriller follows 19-year-old Neve Kelly, who discovers she’s dead and sets out to find her murderer. We chat to its lead star, Clara Rugaard, here.

All episodes of The Rising are now available on Sky Max and NOW

The Candy House, Jennifer Egan

READ: The Candy House

Loved Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad? She’s back with something of a follow up, The Candy House, made up of a series of interconnected stories.

Little, Brown Book Group

Anatomy of a Scandal

WATCH: Anatomy of a Scandal

Big Little Lies creator David E Kelley is back with another gripping drama, this one set in Westminster, London. Adapted from Sarah Vaughan’s bestselling book, Anatomy of a Scandal follows the story of a married politician who is accused of raping his aide, starring Sienna Miller, Rupert Friend and Michelle Dockery.

Netflix

White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

WATCH: White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

Many millennials will remember trips to Abercrombie & Fitch as a teenager – the defining scent, the pitch-black stores, the male models posing for pictures at the door. But beneath the surface, things weren’t so rosy. A new Netflix documentary delves into the rise and fall of a pop culture phenomenon that thrived on exclusivity.

Netflix

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart 

READ: Young Mungo, Douglas Stewart

From the Booker-prize winner Douglas Stuart, Young Mungo is a portrayal of working-class life set in urban Glasgow. Following the dangerous romance of Mungo and James (one Protestant, the other a Catholic), Stuart explores the violence faced by so many queer people, the fluidity of masculinity, and the politics of family.

Pan Macmillan

Best Friend Therapy

LISTEN: Best Friend Therapy

How To Fail fan? Your new Elizabeth Day podcast fix has arrived: Best Friend Therapy, which she co-hosts with her real-life best friend, therapist Emma Turrell. Together, they’ll tackle some of the challenges we face in daily life.

Listen here

The Dropout

WATCH: The Dropout

The scandalous story of disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has been well-documented already – but anticipation is still high for Hulu’s new fictionalised series starring Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout.

Disney+ and Hulu

Gillian-Anderson-feature

LISTEN: What Do I Know?

In her very first audio show, Gillian Anderson guides listeners through a personally curated selection of narrated articles which explore a range of human stories. The first episode looks at the story of often overlooked Nobel Prize-winning scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini.

Curio

Packy Lee as Johnny Dogs, Natasha O'Keeffe as Lizzie Shelby, Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby and Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby

WATCH: Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy returns as Tommy Shelby in the much-anticipated final season of Peaky Blinders, joined by a new character played by Stephen Graham.

BBC iPlayer

The Invisible Kingdom by Meghan O'Rourke

READ: The Invisible Kingdom, Meghan O’Rourke

Illnesses that are marginalised, poorly defined, or undiagnosed is a silent epidemic that is rarely talked about, yet affects millions of people. Drawing on her medical expertise and decades of experience, Meghan O’Rourke investigates the intersection between ‘invisible’ illnesses and clunky Western definitions of diagnosis that leave many neglected.

Out 1 March, Hutchinson

The Adam Project

WATCH: The Adam Project

The wishing dust worked: 17 years after rom-com classic 13 Going On 30, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo will reunite on-screen. The pair are starring in new sci-fi film The Adam Project alongside Ryan Reynolds, who plays a man who travels back in time to get help from his former 13-year-old self and find his late father (Ruffalo).

Netflix

Chloe, BBC iPlayer

WATCH: Chloe

The BBC’s new murder mystery Chloe stars Erin Doherty as social media-obsessed Becky Green, who sets out to discover the truth after her friend Chloe dies suddenly.

BBC iPlayer

WATCH: Inventing Anna

Premiering this month on Netflix is nine-part drama Inventing Anna, which is based around the story of fraudster Anna Sorokin, who posed as a billionaire heiress to facilitate a luxurious lifestyle.

Netflix

A Very Nice Girl Imogen Crimp

READ: A Very Nice Girl, Imogen Crimp

A Very Nice Girl follows the life of an aspiring opera singer, leaving her provincial parents to pursue her career at the elite London Conservatory. From residing in a hardline feminist-style commune to falling in a toxic relationship with a wealthy man, the book explores themes of feminism, power, and the sacrifices of an artistic career – and who pays for it.

Bloomsbury

This Is Going To Hurt on BBC One

WATCH: This Is Going To Hurt

Anticipation is high for the BBC adaptation of Adam Kay’s seismic memoir, This Is Going To Hurt, which gives us an inside look at life as an NHS doctor. Ben Whishaw plays Adam in the seven-part series – you can watch the trailer here.

BBC iPlayer

The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook the World

READ: The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook the World

Jazzwise magazine presents The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook the World, an exclusive 100-page definitive guide to the most important and influential jazz albums that have gone on to change and shape the course of the music from the 1920s to the present day.

Edited and conceived by Jazzwise‘s editor-in-chief Jon Newey, this limited edition, print-only publication is the first time a fully annotated top 100 jazz album countdown from 100 to No.1 has been published in book form. It features newly commissioned, in-depth editorial on each album from Jazzwise‘s award-winning team of writers, extensive features on the making of the top three albums, a look at the albums that almost made the cut and a guide to buying the featured titles.

magsubscriptions.com

Wahala Nikki May

READ: Wahala, Nikki May

Soon to be a BBC TV series, Wahala traces the lives of Ronke, Simi and Boo, three mixed-race friends carving out their futures in London. When an impossibly glamorous friend returns from the past, a heinous crime is committed that leaves the women to reckon with their past.

Penguin

WATCH: Cheer, Season 2

After two years, hit Netflix show Cheer is back for a second season as coach Monica Aldama’s team gear up to compete against a major rival.

Netflix

Isabel Allende Violeta

READ: Violeta, Isabel Allende

Pandemics and financial crises aren’t new phenomenons in history. Isabel Allende takes us back to 1920, exploring the life of Violeta, one that’s defined by the aftershocks of the Great War and the Spanish Flu arriving to her home in South America, before facing the Great Depression that snatches away her bourgeoise way of life. Covering two pandemics, passionate affairs, and poverty, Violeta is a must for historical fiction lovers.

Out 25 January, Bloomsbury

WATCH: The Tourist

Loved Jamie Dornan in The Fall? He’s equally compelling in new BBC thriller The Tourist, in which he plays a man who wakes up in hospital with amnesia after a car crash. Set in the Australian outback, this six-part drama will leave you on the edge of your seat until the final seconds – with a few laughs along the way too.

BBC iPlayer

To Paradise Hanya Yanagihara

READ: To Paradise

The 2022 literary calendar kicks off with one of the year’s most anticipated novels: a new release from A Little Life author Hanya Yanagihara, titled To Paradise.

Pan Macmillan

The Girl Before

WATCH: The Girl Before

Our December cover star Jessica Plummer stars in the BBC’s adaptation of JP Delaney’s bestselling novel, The Girl Before.

BBC iPlayer

The Lost Daughter

WATCH: The Lost Daughter

Olivia Colman is brilliant as ever in the Netflix adaptation of The Lost Daughter, the upcoming psychological drama based on Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name. She plays Leda Caruso, a middle-aged languages professor who becomes consumed with young mother Nina (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter during a working holiday in Greece.

Netflix

Don't Look Up

WATCH: Don’t Look Up

A star-studded sci-fi comedy movie written and produced by Anchorman‘s Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up follows a pair of astronauts (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) who are trying to warn humanity that an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth.

Netflix

READ: Call Us What We Carry

The 23-year-old poet who captured the world’s attention with her reading at President Biden’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman, is releasing a new collection, titled Call Us What We Carry.

Vintage Publishing

Emily in Paris

WATCH: Emily in Paris

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying Emily in Paris was one of the biggest shows of 2020 – and now it’s back for a second season.

Netflix

Sex And The City

WATCH: And Just Like That

And just like that… Sex and the City is back, showing Carrie and the gang in their 50s. Most of the original cast members are returning, bar Kim Kattrall, who played Samantha.

Sky Comedy and NOW

My Body, Emily Ratajkowski

READ: My Body, Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski takes control of her own story in My Body, a collection of essays about sexual politics, modelling, gender and feminism.

Quercus

You

WATCH: You

Your autumn guilty pleasure has arrived: season three of You, which sees Joe (Penn Badgley) and Love (Victoria Pedretti) attempting to navigate parenthood. Expect a rollercoaster of twists and turns with a whole lot of gore.

Netflix

Scenes from a Marriage

WATCH: Scenes from a Marriage

A remake of Ingmar Bergman’s 1973 classic, new HBO series Scenes from a Marriage explores the highs and lows of modern marriage through American couple Mira (Jessica Chastain) and Jonathan (Oscar Isaac).

Sky Atlantic

Adam Driver and Lady Gagga in House of Gucci

WATCH: House of Gucci

Lady Gaga returns to the big screen in House of Gucci, Ridley Scott’s new film about the ascent and assassination of Maurizio Gucci, former boss of the Italian fashion house.

Out now

The Travel Diaries

LISTEN: The Travel Diaries

The sixth season of Holly Rubenstein’s podcast, The Travel Diaries, is out now. Hear stories from Stanley Tucci, Bill Bailey, Giovanna Fletcher and more.

thetraveldiariespodcast.com

The Amplify Podcast

LISTEN: The Amplify Podcast

A new podcast highlights the importance of Black British writers across stage, page and screen, hosted by Patricia Cumper MBE and Pauline Walker. Guests due to feature include Alex Wheatle MBE, the author profiled in Steve McQueen’s award-winning BBC drama Small Axe, author Nick Makoha and Oladipo Agboluaje, winner of the 2009 Alfred Fagon Award.

theamplifyproject.co.uk

Succession

WATCH: Succession

The much-awaited third season of Succession picks up right where we left off: in the aftermath of Kendall’s bombshell press conference. The Roy family have become one of TV’s best-ever ensemble casts, and this series is set to be as sharp, funny and dark as ever.

Sky Atlantic and NOW

Help, Channel 4

WATCH: Help

Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham star in Channel 4’s new one-off drama about the impact of Covid-19 on care homes during the early stages of the pandemic.

Channel 4

A Youth in Limbo

WATCH: A Youth in Limbo

This new documentary offers a unique perspective on the Afghan refugee crisis, following aspiring teen rapper and poet Peyman, who is stuck in Athens in a state of uncertainty.

Stream online at ayouthshortfilm.com

Sex Education

WATCH: Sex Education

After a long wait, Laurie Nunn’s hit show Sex Education is back on our screens. Otis, Maeve and the gang return to Moordale, where Girls star Jemima Kirke has taken over as the new headmistress.

Netflix

Royal & Historical Dramas To Watch Now / The C&TH Reading List