PICK OF DIGITAL & ON DEMAND TV
EMPIRE OF LIGHT, DISNEY+
SAM MENDES directs a heartfelt movie set in a faded Margate cinema in the 1980s, where the power of the films projected is the frame for a complex story of relationships. The first-rate cast is topped by Olivia Colman (pictured) as Hilary, who lives alone and works at the cinema — and has some demons in her past. Top Boy’s Micheal Ward (pictured, inset) co-stars as the new hire Hilary falls for, Colin Firth is their boss, and Toby Jones plays the projectionist. It’s a busy, immensely charming film with stunning cinematography from Oscarwinner Roger Deakin. It’s also, rather remarkably, the solo writing debut for Mendes, a personal and nostalgic trip down memory lane. ‘For most people, their most formative period is their teenage years,’ says the 1917 director. ‘For me, that was the late ’70s and early ’80s. It was a period of great political upheaval in the U.K., but at the same time, an amazing period for music and for culture generally.’
CHILLING TRUE TALE Girl In The Basement, Paramount+
THE horrible true story of Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his own daughter in the basement of his home in Austria, provides the inspiration for this hard-hitting drama. Former 1980s teen idol Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club) is unrecognisable as overbearing dad Don, who locks his teenage daughter Sarah (Stefanie Scott) away in a secret room under their family home, telling everyone — including his wife — that she’s run away. It’s a far from easy watch but it’s also a powerful one, with a strong central performance from Nelson.
EXCLUSIVE RESORT Serving The Hamptons, 9pm, TLC
THIS raucous new reality series follows some of the workers serving the American rich at the Long Island resort, who share a house. In the opening episode, it’s restaurant owner Zach Erdem’s birthday party, and chef Brogan is feeling the pressure, while Jillian (pictured near left with Jodie and Brogan) has failed to turn up to work thanks to a nasty hangover. (Sky 133, Virgin 167)
ONLINE DANGERS The Pig Butchering Romance Scam, 10pm, BBC3
THIS new report reveals the horrific methods used by criminal gangs to create alluring online profiles, which then lure victims from around the world to invest in sham cryptocurrency ventures.