GODS & MONSTERS
A American Gods ( AMAZON)
Amazon’s ultra-high-definition delivery is spectacularly showcased in this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beloved novel of the same name. Ian Mcshane is on comically gruff form as Mr Wednesday, the modern incarnation of Odin, who reveals to recent jailbird Shadow Moon that our world is about to be ripped apart in a war between the new and old gods. While it sounds like stock-standard superhero stuff, this has heart-rending and head-scratching layers at every turn.
B Stranger Things ( NETFLIX)
This 1980s-set series invokes the two Steves – King and Spielberg – who were that decade’s defining genre geniuses. Winona Ryder is the distraught mum of a tween who goes missing, with his best mates and a strange young girl trying to bring him back from… beyond. Think Firestarter meets Poltergeist by way of E. T. and you’re in for a supernatural treat that’s funny and frightening while feeling new and nostalgic.
C The Good Place ( NETFLIX)
From Michael Schur, creator of Brooklyn Nine Nine, The Good Place has the cheery afterlife administered by beatific Ted Danson, with Kristen Bell finding herself a resident after she’s killed in a stooopid accident. Problem is, she was a total fuck-up on Earth and she actually belongs in The Bad Place. Slow-burn comedy ensues as she tries to hide her sinful status, with the show hitting its stride when she’s outed. From there a cracking twist launches us into the increasingly great season two.
D Santa Clarita Diet ( NETFLIX)
Don’t be put off by the title. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star as a sunny Californian realtor couple whose white-bread dream turns blood-spattered nightmare when she suddenly dies a vomiting mess during an open house. Except that she doesn’t die-die. Perky-happy Drew is now a zombie who needs human meat to survive, with Tim at his droll-comic best trying to feed her appetites. The last few minutes of the first episode are howlingly funny, and the show lives up to that promise in season one.