The cosy list

Our TV critic, Paul Flynn, gives you 16 tele­vi­sual rea­sons to stay warm – and turn down those plans in favour of good TV

Grazia (UK) - - Contents -


HOME­COM­ING The star­ri­est of star names makes the now cus­tom­ary gi­ant leap from the big to small screen. Or re­makes it, if you count Ju­lia Roberts’ ( be­low) daz­zling per­for­mance from a wheel­chair in TV movie The Nor­mal Heart. Mr Ro­bot’s Sam Es­mail takes the di­rec­tor’s chair for this psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller, an adap­ta­tion of a mas­sively suc­cess­ful pod­cast. A sea­soned war vet Wal­ter Cruz (Stephan James) is re­turn­ing to civvy street. Roberts is his case­worker, shipped in from a mys­te­ri­ous gov­ern­ment fa­cil­ity to guide his pas­sage. It’ll be all any­one’s talk­ing about in Novem­ber. Se­ri­ously. 2 Novem­ber, Ama­zon Prime

THE FIRST Sean Penn gets hench. I mean, re­ally hench. Like, mus­cle man hench, in a story of the first mis­sion to man Mars, set in the near fu­ture. There’s an el­e­men­tal de­tail in episode one that has Body­guard lev­els of sur­pris­ing ten­sion, but there’s some­thing slightly jar­ring about the pace and am­bi­tion of this big-bud­get drama. Natascha Mcel­hone as the Elon Musk-type space race fig­ure feels a bit third choice ac­tor, too. Still, Sean Penn: 58, and to­tally, in­com­pre­hen­si­bly fit. This au­tumn, Chan­nel 4

CAMP­ING For her first post- Girls out­ing, Lena Dun­ham chan­nels the voice of Bri­tish comic noir ge­nius Ju­lia Davis, re­mak­ing her de­li­ciously grotesque va­ca­tion dram­edy for the US mar­ket. She promises she hasn’t di­luted Davis’s rad­i­cally un­com­pro­mis­ing orig­i­nal premise. Jen­nifer Garner plays wildly against type in the lead role. Novem­ber, Sky At­lantic

THE LONG SONG Hay­ley Atwell (right) plays hideous plan­ta­tion owner Caro­line Mor­timer in a three-part adap­ta­tion of An­drea Levy’s mes­meris­ingly bril­liant, prizewin­ning 2010 novel about the last days of slav­ery in 19th-cen­tury Ja­maica. Qual­ity abounds. Late 2018, BBC One

KID­DING Re­mem­ber when Jim Car­rey got edgy and cou­pled up with pop video wizard Michel Gondry for the mar­vel­lous Eter­nal Sun­shine Of The Spot­less Mind Mind? Well, star and di­rec­tor are back at it again, with Car­rey as a chil­dren’s en­ter­tainer whose sad life out of char­ac­ter

is dis­tress­ingly un­rav­el­ling. Novem­ber, Sky At­lantic


The Coen broth­ers’ much-mooted Net­flix de­but was planned as a sea­sonal saga but has been trimmed down to an orig­i­nal fea­ture-length drama in pro­duc­tion. The ex­tremely easy-on-the-eye James Franco, win­ning a bit of his on­go­ing drama wars post The Deuce, takes the lead role in this typ­i­cally in­tel­li­gent, if never quite stylis­ti­cally unique, Wild West saga. Novem­ber 16, Net­flix

MRS Wil­son Ruth The Af­fair Wil­son gets to delve into her own back story, lead­ing us through a tale in­volv­ing her grand­par­ents and bigamy in 1940-60s Lon­don. Think of it as an ex­tended Who Do You Think You Are? Date to be con­firmed, BBC One

the lit­tle drum­mer girl The Night Man­ager’s cre­ative pro­duc­ers re­turn to the world of sexy spooks for a fur­ther John Le Carré adap­ta­tion. It’s the early ’80s: Alexan­der Skars­gård is the hot one, Michael Shan­non is the in­ter­est­ing one and the very bril­liant Florence Pugh ( Lady Mac­beth) is the Grazia in­ter­est. Ex­pect big num­bers to be tun­ing in. Sun­days (started 28 Oc­to­ber), BBC One

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