Grab your remote and settle in for some seriously good viewing this week on Telstra TV. Whether you’re in the mood for an unsettling thriller, a twisted crime series or a cracking comedy, we’ve got what you need to stay entertained.
Unsane (BigPond Movies)
See Claire Foy from The Crown like never before in UNSANE, available fresh from the cinema on BigPond Movies. In this tense psychological thriller, Foy plays Sawyer, a young woman continually harassed by a relentless stalker. When she moves cities to escape her tormentor, she finds herself still seeing him in almost every man she encounters – and finds a new therapist to help her combat the problem. But when she unknowingly signs herself into a psychiatric facility, life for Sawyer becomes even more terrifying when one of the doctors appears to be her stalker. The longer she spends there, the more her sanity is called into question – by the staff, by herself and by us, the viewer. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Oceans 11, Contagion) and shot entirely on an iPhone 7 Plus, the film feels incredibly real – elevated not only by the gritty cinematography, but by Foy’s exceptionally authentic performance.
New to Netflix this Friday 31 August is the entire second season of the suspensefully dark crime drama, OZARK. If you loved Breaking Bad, get ready to binge on all ten episodes (or 20 if you’re starting from the beginning) of this absorbing series following the journey of family man and financial planner Marty Byrde (played by Jason Bateman) and his wife Wendy (Laura Linney) as they move their family from Chicago to Missouri’s “Redneck Riviera” to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. As he attempts to buy up legitimate local businesses for laundering, he clashes with the town’s existing criminal elements and the bodies inevitably start to pile up. This season, the situation gets even more heated as the syndicate sends in a new face (Janet McTeer) to scrutinise Marty’s behaviour – and Ruth (Julia Garner), Marty’s sharp but volatile local employee, sees her dangerous father released from prison.
The final season of the hilarious hit Hollywood satire series, EPISODES, is streaming this Saturday 1 September only on Stan. Starring Matt LeBlanc as a heightened, more self-centred version of himself, it offers a behind-the-scenes look into the industry through the eyes of married Brit comedy writers Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig), who head to Los Angeles to make an American version of their award-winning British TV series. When the network insists on changes to the script to suit an American audience – and casts the challenging Matt LeBlanc in the lead role, the couple’s personal and working relationships strain under the pressure. And the show’s writing team start to buckle too. Written by Friends creator David Crane, along with his partner Jeffrey Klarik, the latest season sees Matt’s fame amplified by an embarrassing scandal – and Beverly and Sean roped back into working with Matt on a script for a new show.
Gogglebox Australia (Foxtel Now and tenplay)
And Australia’s favourite TV show about people watching TV, GOGGLEBOX AUSTRALIA, is back for its eighth season this week – Wednesday nights from 7:30pm (AEST) on Foxtel Now and Thursday nights from 8:30pm (AEST) on tenplay. Great viewing for the whole family, the hour-long show offers us an unfiltered glimpse into the minds of 11 diverse Australian households as they laugh, cry, yell at and learn from the shows we’re all watching (or should be watching) each week. This season, our favourite couch-side critics return to provide their canny and often comical running commentary on the latest shows including Who is America?, You Can’t Ask That, The Bachelor Australia and Dance Boss.
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Our favourites streaming for the week of 27 August:
Deadpool 2 (BigPond Movies)
For a superhero action flick with a cheeky sense of humour, check out DEADPOOL 2 – available fresh from the cinema on BigPond Movies. The sarcastic spandex-clad hitman is back in this much anticipated sequel to the 2016 blockbuster smash, with more witty one-liners and self-referential quips than ever. When his girlfriend is killed by a gangster out for revenge, Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds) decides to end it all and go out with a bang. But, thanks to his mutant healing powers and friends who are there to pick up the pieces (literally), he lives on and agrees to join the X-Men – who he mercilessly mocks at every available opportunity. After the team meet Russell (Julian Dennison from Hunt for the Wilderpeople), an abused teen orphan who can shoot fire from his fists, Deadpool and the boy are both captured and sent to a prison for mutant criminals. But when Cable (Josh Brolin), a superhuman soldier from the future breaks in to kill Russell, Deadpool assembles his own ragtag band of heroes to save the day.
The Innocents (Netflix)
New to Netflix from 5pm (AEST) this Friday 24 August is THE INNOCENTS, an eight-part supernatural teen romance series with all the emotion, suspense and slow-burning (but satisfying) storyline you need for a perfect weekend binge. June (playe by Sorcha Groundsell) and Harry (Percelle Ascott) escape their broken family homes in the Scottish Highlands and head off to London to be together. But when June discovers an ability to shapeshift into the form of the people she touches, their new lives become a lot more complicated and dangerous. Adding another obstacle to their happily-ever-after is the sinister Dr Halvorson (Guy Pearce), a scientist who hunts down shifters like June to study their DNA in his secret Norwegian log cabin lair. With breathtakingly epic cinematography and a chill-inducing score, The Innocents offers up a sensory delight that is sure to give you all the feels.
A Place to Call Home (Foxtel Now)
It’s time to say goodbye: one of Australia’s best loved dramas, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, started its final chapter this week – airing Sunday nights at 8:30pm (AEST) on Showcase and streaming on Foxtel Now. Set in the fictional town of Inverness in rural NSW, the show follows Sarah (played by Janet King’s Marta Dusseldorp) and her complex connection to the wealthy Bligh family (led by matriarch Elizabeth, played by Logie Hall of Famer Noni Hazlehurst) in the post-war 1950s. Enduring the pain of their war-time experiences against the backdrop of a changing Australian society, the characters transform through journeys of love and loss to ultimately find a place each of them can call home. In this final season, we round out the decade and jump forward to 1960. The creators have hinted at some surprising twists for our favourites as they reach the home stretch, but assure us that all will lead to a satisfying conclusion.
Rake (ABC iview)
And returning to ABC iview for its fifth season is the brilliant satirical comedy series, RAKE – with new episodes available each Sunday from 8:30pm (AEST). Lampooning the Australian legal and political systems, the series stars Richard Roxburgh as Cleaver Greene, an outrageously provocative and debaucherous Sydney barrister. After being disbarred last season, Cleaver successfully ran against his sister for a seat in the senate, on a platform of “no ideas and no policies” designed to appeal to disillusioned voters. With his career change now in full swing, Cleaver is taking Canberra by storm, stirring up trouble in both domestic and international politics at a time when global diplomacy couldn’t be more precarious. Those new to the show can catch up on all past seasons streaming now on both Netflix and Stan – with season 4 also on ABC iview.
Our favourites streaming for the week of 20 August:
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.