What to stream this week on Telstra TV
Posted on August 17, 2018
8 min read
Get your giggle on this week on Telstra TV, with the latest offbeat comedies streaming right now – all in one place. From an intelligent historical farce, to an animated fantasy adventure and some fish-out-of-water buffoonery, we’ve got what you need to stay entertained this week.
The Death of Stalin (BigPond Movies)
From the mind of Armando Iannucci, the creator of exquisite political satires Veep and The Thick of It, comes THE DEATH OF STALIN – fresh from the cinema on BigPond Movies. In Moscow in 1953, tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin rules with fear – fear of doing or saying the slightest thing to offend the megalomaniacal Russian despot and end up on his daily hit list of executions. So when he unexpectedly suffers a massive stroke, panic sets in and power plays begin as his backstabbing lieutenants rush to install the next Soviet leader. Poor old Stalin eventually reaps what he has sown – with all the best doctors rotting in the gulags and an inept, infighting court of cronies stumbling through their own agendas while trying to subdue Stalin’s spoiled children. With an all star cast including Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rupert Friend, this slightly embellished absurdist comedy is even more absurd given how much of it is reportedly based in truth.
Fans of Futurama and The Simpsons will love Matt Groening’s latest animated comedy series, DISENCHANTMENT, with the first season streaming in full from this Friday 17 August on Netflix. Set in a Disney meets Game of Thrones inspired medieval kingdom of Dreamland, the ten episode first instalment follows Bean (voiced by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson) – a headstrong teenage Princess who just wants to live life on her own terms, if only her father King Zøg would stop trying to marry her off to prevent war and expand his empire. Bean lashes out by drinking too much, starting pub brawls and sleeping around with vikings until her frustrated father packs her off to the convent. Bean is egged on in her escapades by her sidekicks, the proverbial angel and devil on her shoulders – an optimistic, naive Elf named Elfo (Nat Faxon) with a major crush on Bean and her mischievous sharp-tongued personal demon Luci (Eric Andre). As with Futurama, Disenchantment uses its setting to parody the attitudes of the day – this time with more of a feminist point of view – and extol the virtues of exploring life outside your bubble.
Get Shorty (Stan)
New to Stan this week is season two of GET SHORTY, streaming the same day as the US each Monday from 13 August. Inspired by Elmore Leonard’s novel of the same name and the subsequent 1995 film adaptation, this dark comedy series follows Miles (played by Chris O’Dowd), a Nevada hitman whose work is taking a toll on his family life, causing him to become increasingly distant from his wife and daughter. When he’s sent to Los Angeles to collect a debt from a movie producer, he’s inspired to take up a career in show business. With the help of Rick (Ray Romano), a bitter and burned out Hollywood producer, Miles gets a foothold into the business – but not without bringing almost all of his criminal connections and shady background with him. Although it can be at times fairly violent and graphic, Get Shorty is also authentically charming and surprisingly funny. Newcomers can catch up on all past episodes, with season one also streaming in full on Stan.
Ballers (Foxtel Now)
And the Hollywood heavyweight that is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back for a fourth season of his HBO comedy drama series, BALLERS – streaming each Monday on Foxtel Now. Johnson stars as Spencer Strasmore, a former Miami Dolphins star football player who builds a new career out of managing the finances of other NFL players. Created by Stephen Levinson, the producer behind Entourage and Boardwalk Empire, the series is jam-packed with high profile wheeling and dealing, seeing Spencer and his partner Joe (Rob Corddry) juggling the demands of their star clients on and off the field, while also investing in new businesses to expand their empire – this season including an LA-based extreme sports agency run by an egotistical media mogul (Russell Brand). Catch up on all past episodes, also available on Foxtel Now.
Our favourites streaming for the week of 13 August:
Life of the Party (BigPond Movies)
Fans of female-led comedies like Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters and The Heat will love Melissa McCarthy’s latest laugh-fest, LIFE OF THE PARTY – available fresh from the cinema on BigPond Movies. McCarthy plays Deanna, a permed-hair, bejewelled smock-wearing stay at home mum who’s looking forward to spending some time alone with her husband once their daughter, Maddie, heads back to college. But when her husband unexpectedly divorces her and kicks her out of their family home, she decides to turn her life around. You see, Deanna dropped out of her final year of college when she fell pregnant with Maddie – so it makes perfect sense to enrol in the same college as her unsuspecting daughter. And she doesn’t waste any time diving into campus life, with hilarious results – befriending Maddie’s friends, getting a much needed college makeover, making out with frat boys and exploring her new-found freedom. Written by McCarthy, alongside her husband Ben Falcone who is also the film’s director, it’s a light hearted romp full of heart and a little bit of revenge.
Better Call Saul (Stan)
New to Stan this week is the season four return of the critically acclaimed drama series, BETTER CALL SAUL, streaming each Tuesday from 6pm (AEST). For the uninitiated, the series is a prequel to Vince Gilligan’s award-winning juggernaut, Breaking Bad (also available on Stan) – revealing the back-story behind Walter White’s sketchy lawyer Saul Goodman, from his humble beginnings as an almost-innocent Albuquerque lawyer. (SPOILER ALERT – NEWCOMERS LOOK AWAY NOW). This season, we see the aftermath of Chuck’s dramatic unravelling and Jimmy’s disbarment, and how that pushes Jimmy further down his criminal path to becoming Saul. Mike starts working for Gus Fring’s supplier, Madrigal Electromotive, and we find out how their dangerous plan to disrupt Hector’s control of the drug cartel pans out. As in seasons past, expect to see the introduction of even more characters linking the show to Breaking Bad – including one “very important” addition teased by Vince Gilligan himself, as the overlap becomes bigger, better and darker than ever before.
Controversial new comedy series,INSATIABLE, is available to stream in full on Netflix from this Friday 10 August. This 13 episode series follows Patty (played by Debby Ryan), an overweight high school student who endures a torrent of bullying until she’s punched in the face by a homeless man and is forced to spend the entire spring break with her jaw wired shut. Returning to school with a slim new body, she’s out for revenge on those who made her life hell. The show’s trailer sparked outrage last month when it was released, with critics raising concerns of “fat shaming”. However the show’s creator, Lauren Gussis, assures us there’s more to the story of this tongue in cheek comedy based on her own experiences as a teenager. She says it’s really about “good people making bad decisions” because of their insatiable desire to fill the personal void so many of us feel for various reasons – be it loneliness, jealousy or self-esteem issues. Although Insatiable focuses on the laughs and doesn’t take itself too seriously, there are also some sincerely touching moments that aim to ground the show and its characters in real emotion.
Doctor Doctor (9Now)
Returning for a much-anticipated third season this week is DOCTOR DOCTOR, airing Monday nights at 8:40pm (AEST) on Channel 9 and streaming on 9Now from 6 August. This Logie-nominated series follows a hot-shot, party boy heart surgeon, Dr Hugh Knight (played by Rodger Corser), who is forced by the medical tribunal to return to his small country hometown of Whyhope as a punishment for bad behaviour. While reuniting with the family he left behind, Hugh is also forced to readjust to the pace of country life and adapt to working as a GP, rather than as a sought-after specialist. In season three, Hugh’s probation is finally lifted – but a family tragedy makes heading back to the city harder than ever. New faces this season include Vince Colosimo, who joins the cast as a long-lost family member, and Miranda Tapsell who will play an old childhood friend of the Knight brothers.
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