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This Weekend We’re Watching: Une autre histoire de France, Happy Valley and Ugly Delicious

By Antoinette Muller 6 July 2018

David Chang in Ugly Delicious, 2018. [Photo: courtesy of Netflix]

There’s the small matter of the World Cup quarter-finals, but snuggled in-between, or if you’re not inclined towards sport, here are some suggestions.

With the World Cup schedule slightly more decongested, there’s plenty of time to settle down for a bit of bingeing over the weekend. And we’ve got something for everyone.

There’s a ton of sport to keep you busy, too, with the Tour de France and Wimbledon, but if you’re not of that persuasion, we’ve got some suggestions.

Les Bleus – Une autre histoire de France

By the time you’re reading this, France will either still be celebrating their World Cup semi-final berth or starting to prepare for it. Don’t be alarmed that this is sport related, it’s about much more than that.

The documentary tracks the history of the French national team over two decades and how the team intersects with politics and French identity. Yes, sport is inherently political, no matter how much you want to believe otherwise.

This documentary deals with the mega-highs of the 1998 World Cup win and how that victory was almost used as a plaster for social cohesion problems in the country.

It explores the attitudes right-wing politicians have towards the black players in the team and reflects on that nightmare of 2010. But, like with all good documentaries, it ends with hope and a way forward for a team that has stark parallels to how rugby influenced the South African psyche after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Available on Netflix

Happy Valley

This weekly wrap up is a bit of a communal effort and our super-sub and veteran journalist, Diane Cassere, had this to say about the series.

I had been aware of British crime drama television series Happy Valley for some time but never seemed to catch it. Then I spotted it on Netflix and decided to start from the beginning…. in case there was going to be more of it.

And yes, a third series is to come out later this year. So fans can either go back to the beginning and reacquaint themselves, or just aim for the third and final saga.

Its secret is that while it has the dark elements loved by TV programmes set in the north of England, there is also a strain of levity. You can invest in the people, love with them, suffer with them and have a laugh. But it is not light viewing.

It helps that that two main actresses playing sisters, one a tough cop, the other a former junkie, are Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finneran. They don’t put a foot wrong and they are joined by a strong cast.

The name Happy Valley is one given to the location by the local cops because of the area’s serious drug problem. It kind of starts from there.

The original team will be on board with Sally Wainwright, writer, creator and director.

Series 1 and 2 is available on Netflix.

Ugly Delicious

One for the foodies. David Chang travels through culinary hot spots around the world, talking to chefs, writers, activists and everyone else who uses food to break down cultural barriers. That might sound a bit heavy, but Ugly Delicious is light viewing while forcing you to think a bit deeper about the meaning of food. And reminding you that we have far more in common than not.

Available on Netflix.

Flixation: Fifteen Years of Terror

Like we said, communal effort.

When your friendly neighbourhood Jihadi has a wry sense of humour, a charismatic personality, a persuasive way about him and in some respects is a pretty cool guy, life on Planet Godhelpusall in 2018 gets weirder than ever. Welcome to 15 Years of Terror, a catch-up documentary about WTF happened between September 11, 2001 and wherever TF we are now.

If you’re not reading Tony Jackman’s weekly Flixation column, what is wrong with you?

Video of the Week: The Last Storm

A touching look at one man’s last storm chasing adventure while battling terminal lung cancer.

Quick hits

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will both be in action on Saturday. The Tour de France begins on Saturday and if you’re not one for sport, a good binge on Scorpio (available on Showmax) should keep you occupied for the weekend. DM

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