There’s something for everyone this week on Telstra TV, with the latest family, comedy and drama entertainment streaming right now, straight to your big screen. Check out some of our fresh favourites this week.
Get your dancing shoes on and your vocal cords warmed up for the ABBA-packed MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN! – streaming fresh from the cinema on BigPond Movies. A sequel/prequel to the 2008 smash hit romantic comedy, this feel-good musical movie alternates between present day – where a pregnant Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried) is reopening her mother Donna’s hotel on the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi – and the events of 1979, when a young Donna (Lily James) travels through Europe and meets the three young men who eventually become Sophie’s potential fathers. Through love, loss, friendship and heartache we see how various relationships have shaped the lives of mother and daughter – with all and sundry eventually coming together for a fabulously jubilant party, gatecrashed by Cher herself (who plays Sophie’s grandmother) – arriving dramatically by helicopter to sing ‘Fernando’ with her former lover, played by Andy García. Also be on the lookout for cameos from ABBA’s Benny and Björn, the former starring as a restaurant pianist during ‘Waterloo’ and the latter playing a university professor. How can you resist it?
For an intensely good weekend of viewing, check out the UK’s highest rated series of 2018, BODYGUARD – with all six episodes available to stream now on Netflix. Gripping from the very beginning, the series starts with an off-duty Sergeant David Budd (played by Richard Madden from Game of Thrones), who uncovers a terrorist plot aboard the London-bound train he’s travelling on with his two young children. When he saves the day, he’s rewarded with a promotion to act as Protection Officer to Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). The problem is, she’s a vocal supporter of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who wants to broaden the government’s powers of surveillance over its citizens – and he’s a former soldier who suffers from PTSD and now resents the politicians who sent him off to war. It’s a conflict that will keep you guessing, as the series unfolds, whether David is the hero he seems to be or if he’s somehow involved in the ever-present danger faced by the Minister he’s assigned to protect. This fast-paced, thrilling miniseries is one you won’t want to miss.
Coming to Foxtel Now this week is the highly anticipated new Australian drama series, FIGHTING SEASON – with episodes airing each Sunday night at 8:30pm (AEDT) from 28 October. Set in the aftermath of an unsanctioned army mission gone wrong, Sergeant Sean “Speedo” Collins (played by Jay Ryan) returns home from Afghanistan amidst a cloud of suspicion surrounding the death of his unit commander. Suffering from the trauma of war and struggling to reintegrate into family and civilian life, Speedo and his platoon are also faced with uncovering what really happened, realising that there might be more to the death than they first thought. In a culture where hierarchy, obedience and protecting your own are imperative, they must balance their search for the truth against the need to shield those who could be hurt by it coming out. From the producers of Cleverman and The Sapphires, the series is raw and gritty, with outstanding performances from cast members Ewen Leslie, George Pullar, Julian Maroun, Marco Alosio and Sarah Armanious.
And back for its second season this week on 9Now is YOUNG SHELDON, the spin-off prequel series to the hugely popular The Big Bang Theory. Narrated by Jim Parsons as the adult Sheldon looking back on his childhood years, the sitcom follows the socially awkward, germaphobic ten-year-old maths and science geek as he navigates high school and family life in small-town Texas. Sheldon (played by Iain Armitage, who you’ll recognise as Ziggy from Big Little Lies) is smarter than everyone else around him and he knows it, leading to the hilarious irritation of his classmates and family. Growing up with a devout Christian mum, a football coach dad and siblings who tease the hell out of him as often as possible leads to clashes aplenty, especially in a town where religion and sports are valued more than smarts. But thankfully Sheldon has “Meemaw” in his corner, his wise and supportive grandmother who is dating Sheldon’s eccentric physics professor penpal, Dr. John Sturgis. In season two, a hum that only Sheldon can hear leads to him pulling apart the fridge – and then having to start a paper route to pay his parents back for the repairs. And when another child prodigy comes to the attention of Dr. Sturgis, Sheldon becomes jealous of the new rival.
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Our favourites streaming for the week of 19 October:
Strap in for an edge-of-your-seat action packed movie night in with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in SKYSCRAPER, available fresh from the cinema on BigPond Movies. When veteran Marine and former FBI hostage negotiator, Will Sawyer (Johnson), is offered a job to assess the security of the world’s tallest and most technologically advanced skyscraper before its official opening, his wife (Neve Campbell) and children tag along – moving into an apartment on the 96th floor. But when Sawyer uncovers an underworld plot to sabotage the development and its powerful financier by hacking the building and setting it ablaze, he becomes the prime suspect – and he must race against time to dodge the police, find the real culprits and rescue his family from the towering inferno. With plenty of hair-raising heights and death-defying stunts, made even more suspenseful by Sawyer scaling the building with a detachable prosthetic leg, the film will definitely deliver the goods for fans of classic action films like Die Hard and Mission: Impossible.
It’s the follow-up series true crime fans have been waiting for: MAKING A MURDERER – PART 2 is available to stream in full on Netflix from this Friday 19 October. For those new to this gripping documentary series (and a refresher for everyone else) – SPOILER ALERT – the first season followed the wrongful conviction of Steven Avery, who spent eighteen years behind bars for sexual assault before being exonerated on DNA evidence. Upon his release, Avery attempts to expose the judicial corruption that led to his incarceration – until he is suddenly charged with murder and sent back to prison. The second season focuses on Steven’s appeal, with a fresh team of experts called in to question everything, uncover new evidence and challenge the questionable confession of Avery’s 16 year old nephew, Brendan Dassey, which was used to discredit Steven’s alibi. The filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos also return to Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, to explore the greater impact of the case on the families of the victim, the accused and the community as a whole.
New to ABC iview this week is the Australian spy thriller, PINE GAP – with all six episodes available to stream now. Set in the remote desert just outside of Alice Springs, this drama series follows the intelligence agents who work on the operations floor of a joint American-Australian defence facility known as “Pine Gap”. As one of three such facilities in the world – the others in Colorado USA and Harrogate UK – its employees are tasked with spy satellite surveillance across Asia, Russia and the Middle East. While the team are busy monitoring an APEC summit in Myanmar attended by the Prime Minister and the US President, they’re caught off guard when they fail to detect the launch of an armed warhead in the region that brings down a commercial airliner. With death and destruction happening on their watch, questions are raised about how the analysts could have missed such a crucial event – and the team start to suspect that an insider might have infiltrated their systems and could be working against them.
What’s better than one spy drama? Two spy dramas! The highly anticipated sequel to 2015’s critically acclaimed series, Deutschland 83, returns to Stan this weekend with DEUTSCHLAND 86 streaming weekly from this Saturday 20 October. In season one (available to stream in full on Stan), 24 year old East German border guard Martin Rauch (played by Jonas Nay) was sent undercover to West Germany to spy for the State Secret Police. Infiltrating the West German army, the rookie spy used any means necessary to gather information about NATO’s military strategy – with enough narrow escapes to keep viewers sufficiently tense throughout. Flash forward three years to 1986 and we find that Martin has been exiled to Africa for blowing his cover at the end of season one. With East Germany now bankrupt after being abandoned by Moscow, the young agent’s aunt (who was also his handler in season one) brings him back into the fold to help the leadership raise cash abroad – using capitalist means, dark trades and dangerous deals to save their communist regime. Set against an international eighties pop soundtrack, this stylish series is as fun to watch as it is addictively exhilarating.
Our favourites streaming for the week of 12 October:
Fresh from the cinema this week on BigPond Movies is the thrilling sequel to the 2015 hit film Sicario, SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO. After a bombing in Kansas City is linked to terrorists believed to have been smuggled across the border by Mexican drug cartels, CIA agent Matt Graver (played by Josh Brolin) enlists the help of hitman Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) to start a war between the cartels that will bring about their mutual destruction. To turn up the heat, the team kidnaps the 12-year-old daughter (Isabela Moner) of the cartel boss who killed Alejandro’s family. But the mission doesn’t quite go as planned – and the pair is left to make some tough decisions about what to do with the girl, and where their allegiances truly lie. Chock full of brutally ruthless shootouts, grippingly tense maneuvers and touching on the timely issues of border security and refugees, this action-packed sequel is sure to satisfy.
Fans of McDreamy can see a different side of Patrick Dempsey in his latest ten-part miniseries, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR, streaming now on Stan. In an attempt to overcome his writer’s block, novelist Marcus Goldman (played by Ben Schnetzer) travels to Sommerdale to stay with his former college professor and mentor – the literary icon, Harry Quebert (Dempsey). But when the remains of a fifteen year old girl are found buried on the property, Harry becomes the prime suspect in her murder and uncovering the truth becomes the basis for Goldman’s next book. As the series unfolds, Marcus learns about Harry’s history with the young girl and her troubling family life decades earlier. Directed by Academy Award winner Jean-Jacques Annaud in his television debut and based on the bestselling novel by Swiss author Joël Dicker, this visually cinematic series is full of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end.
If you’re in the mood for a fright-filled psychological horror, check out the suspensefully terrifying new Netflix series, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE – with all ten episodes streaming this Friday 12 October. Based on Shirley Jackson’s classic novel of the same name, which also spawned two films and a play, the series tells the story of the Crain family who moved into the titular residence over 25 years ago to renovate and sell it. While growing up in the old mansion, a series of sinister supernatural occurrences eventually force them to flee their home in the middle of the night – and the trauma they endure changes the entire course of their lives. Told in both the present day and looking back at what happened to them as children, we follow Steven (played by Michiel Huisman) who wrote a bestselling novel about their childhood, Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser) who is now a mortician with a family of her own, Theodora (Kate Siegel) who became a child psychologist and Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who has struggled with a lifetime of addiction. Reunited with their father after a family tragedy, they’re all forced to confront what really happened all those years ago at Hill House.
And back for its ninth season this week on Foxtel Now is THE WALKING DEAD, streaming express from the US each Monday from 1:30pm (AEDT). A year and a half after last season’s epic showdown – where Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel’s communities of zombie apocalypse survivors joined forces to defeat Negan and the Saviours – those who remain are now focused on rebuilding and growing civilisation. But with ever-present threats looming from both outside and within their camps, the task won’t be an easy one – and they’ll have to lay down the law of what will and won’t be tolerated moving forward. This season we bid farewell to Andrew Lincoln, who has played the show’s protagonist Rick Grimes since its very beginning.
Our favourites streaming for the week of 5 October:
Just in time for the school holidays is the latest installment of the popular animated comedy family film series, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: A MONSTER VACATION – fresh from the cinema on BigPond Movies. Adam Sandler stars as Count Dracula, owner of the hotel where monsters can take a break from humankind (well, almost). The problem is, running the hotel for over a century means he never gets any downtime of his own – that is, until his daughter Mavis (played by Selena Gomez) treats the entire family to a summer holiday aboard a luxury monster cruise liner. It’s all fun and laughs as they work on their moon tans, chow down at the buffet and enjoy some relaxation by the pool – until Drac falls in love with the ship’s human captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), who has a secret plan to eliminate the ship’s monster passengers. All of our favourites from Drac’s Pack are back in this all-star cast including “Frank” Frankenstein (Kevin James) and his wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), Murray the mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Wayne the werewolf (Steve Buscemi), his wife Wanda (Molly Shannon) and the invisible man Griffin (David Spade).
WILL & GRACE and Karen and Jack are back for the second season of this hilarious revival series, with new episodes streaming weekly on Stan from this Friday 5 October (same day as the US). Returning to television a decade after their groundbreaking original eight-season run, the comedy foursome have only gotten funnier with age. The sharp-tongued, pill-popping, booze-swilling socialite Karen Walker (played by Megan Mullally) is getting a divorce from her never-seen husband Stan, while neurotic interior designer Grace Adler is getting into “politics”, running for President of the Interior Designers Society – and meeting a suitably cantankerous new love interest along the way (David Schwimmer). Ex-lawyer Will Truman (Eric McCormack) is trying his hand at teaching and the outrageously fabulous Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) is getting married to his boyfriend Estefan (Brian Jordan Alverez). As always, the series regulars are joined by a star-studded guest cast, this season including Matt Bomer, Jon Cryer, Chelsea Handler and Alec Baldwin.
Trust (Foxtel Now)
New to Foxtel Now this week is the critically acclaimed drama series, TRUST, airing Sunday nights at 9:30pm (AEST) from 7 October. Based on the incredible true story of John Paul Getty III (played by Harris Dickinson), the grandson of American billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland), who was famously kidnapped by the Italian mafia in 1973. Living it up in Rome, “Little Paul” is selling his paintings in exchange for meals while his hanger-on friends are racking up debts in his name. To get them all out of trouble, he hatches an elaborate kidnapping plot to extract funds from the family fortune. But when the plan backfires and the notoriously frugal family patriarch (Donald Sutherland) refuses to pay the ransom, Paul is suddenly embroiled in a dangerous mess with some very ruthless criminals. Starring Hilary Swank as Paul’s unrelenting mother and Brendan Fraser as Getty’s oddball head of security, the series offers up an incredible cast, a thrillingly tense script and visually sublime photography.
From the creator of House comes the second heartwarming season of the hit medical drama, THE GOOD DOCTOR, Tuesday nights at 8:30pm (AEST) from 2 October on 7plus. Starring Freddie Highmore as a gifted surgeon with autism, the series intelligently explores overcoming prejudice and celebrating the value of diversity in solving the complicated problems we all face in life. After the runaway ratings success of its first season in both the US and Australia, season two of the series sees the antagonistic Dr Marcus Andrews (played by Hill Harper) running the hospital and instructing Shaun to improve his communication skills rather than focusing solely on solutions. Shaun’s closest friend and colleague Dr Glassman (Richard Schiff) begins his difficult and emotional journey through cancer treatment with the help of oncologist Dr Blaize (Lisa Edelstein). And Shaun faces his greatest challenge yet, as he recovers from the fallout of his past mistakes.