I recently heard the phrase “the television equivalent of Burger Rings”, meaning a guilty pleasure with no nutritional value. This seems like a good description for The Last Ship, a series from Michael Bay ( Transformers). The conceit is this: a virus has wiped out 80 per cent of the world’s population, with exceptions including a US Navy destroyer. The trailer for season four, debuting here, suggests Captain Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) has come to regret getting off said ship. Comrade Detective Streaming on Amazon Prime Video Since Amazon Prime Video launched in December last year, it has added a consistent stream of quality TV series. It reminds of the Latin motto chief executive Jeff Bezos has given to his rocket company, Blue Origin, which translates as: “Step by step, ferociously”. Rev-heads will have enjoyed the old cast from Top Gear reunited in The Grand Tour (with a second season forthcoming). There was The Man in the High Castle and American Gods for sci-fi fans; the wry spy drama Patriot with Australian actor Michael Dorman; and elegant period dramas in Z: The Beginning of Everything and more recently The Last Tycoon. But if there is one you shouldn’t miss it is Comrade Detective. It is introduced by actor Channing Tatum and British director Jon Ronson as the restored Romanian police series from the 80s, replete with pro-communist themes. But it is misdirection: the whole six-episode series is high-concept satire. (It took me longer to catch on than I care to admit.) No doubt the intention is to make audiences consider how pernicious propaganda can be, while making them laugh. A bookkeeper by day, an assassin by night: what will they think of next? Of course it all seems terribly plausible in the Ben Affleck film The Accountant (Sunday, 8.30pm, Premiere). The film, which also stars Anna Kendrick, JK Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow, more than made its money back, though the critics’ verdicts were mixed. Nonetheless, Warner Bros has announced that a sequel is in the works; though its commitment to seeing Affleck return as the caped crusader in the film The Batman seems to be faltering. First he stepped down as director, then his script was spiked … it’s not looking good. Check out the winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year, Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake (Saturday, 8.30pm, Masterpiece). Relative newcomer to the big screen Dave Johns plays the title role, a man medically unfit to work but trapped in the unforgiving and byzantine welfare system. For lovers of absurdist dystopian comedies — think anything by Charlie Kaufman — see The Lobster (Saturday, 11.20pm, World Movies). It stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz as guests at a strange hotel where everyone must find a romantic partner in 45 days or be turned into an animal of their choice.
Satirical series Comrade Detective