What to watch on TV this week
From the murderous, small-town atmosphere of Mare of Easttown with Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce to a very different Oscars ceremony, this week in TV is filled with stars
Kate Winslet stars in this characterful detective drama, alongside Guy Pearce and Evan Peters. In Mare of Easttown, Winslet plays the small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan, glumly patrolling the streets and sorting out the community’s problems.
Mare’s still harbouring a lot of trauma after her son’s suicide, and a lot of townsfolk are against her. One year prior, she failed to find a girl who went missing and the mother thinks Mare's to blame. When another teenager turns up dead in a nearby river, Mare realises the two cases are connected.
Female comedians have been writing some excellent series recently, from Aisling Bea’s anxious comedy-drama This Way Up to Molly Mae’s LGBT romance Feel Good. Now, the Kiwi comedian Rose Matafeo bucks the trend with her new BBC Three romcom Starstruck.
Matafeo plays Jessie, a millennial in East London who’s barely making ends meet. After a drunken New Year’s Eve party, she hooks up with a guy called Tom (Nikesh Patel). But she didn’t realise that Tom is actually an international movie star. And despite their lives being completely opposite – rich and poor colliding – they can’t keep away from each other.
Aubrey Plaza is best known as the hilariously deadpan intern in Parks and Recreation, but has since enjoyed a curious movie career. After the satirical Ingrid Goes West and the charming Happiest Season, she now leads the claustrophobic indie drama Black Bear.
Plaza plays Allison, a filmmaker who’s lost her creative spark – staying in a mountain retreat with Gabe (Christopher Abbott) and Blair (Sarah Gadon), an argumentative couple. What can possibly go wrong?
Based on the Grishaverse book trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, this new Netflix fantasy series storms into a dark world invaded by flesh-eating monsters known as the volcra. An elite army of magical soldiers (the Grisha) rise up against the volcra to finally reclaim their kingdom, Ravka, from the looming Shadow Fold.
In the process, they stumble across the orphaned soldier Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a Sun Summoner with incredible powers at her fingertips. General Kirigan (Ben Barnes) recruits her to be trained by the Grisha, so they can destroy the volcra once and for all.
The world’s biggest film awards ceremony is finally returning, but in very different circumstances. Due to Covid, the Oscars have had to move from February to April. Conducting these awards shows with social distancing guidelines has proven tricky. And with the dwindling audience ratings for the Oscars, will there enough people be paying attention this year?
Regardless, the range and diversity of the nominations is worth paying attention to – if you can spare those midnight hours between Sunday night and Monday morning. David Fincher’s nostalgic Hollywood biopic Mank leads with 10 nominations, but the current favourite is Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland which has six nominations. Regardless of viewing figures, the night’s always a fascinating spectacle to behold.
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