ON YOUR SCREENS IN APRIL
Keep an eye out for oddball comedies, a feminist anthology, British period dramas and more
Maverick Life’s pick of films and series to look out for in April 2022 on Netflix, Showmax, Prime Video, Apple TV+ and Britbox.
Senzo – Murder of a Soccer Star: 7 April
This five-part true crime documentary series unpacks the ongoing case of the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, who captained Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates before his murder in 2014. There were six eyewitnesses at the house of the mother of his girlfriend, Afro-pop singer Kelly Khumalo, where he was gunned down in an alleged botched robbery; but it is only now, in 2022, that the five suspects are going on trial.
Dirty Lines: 8 April
Once the pandemic proved to big streaming platforms that audiences could handle a few subtitles, non-English-speaking stories started crawling out of the woodwork. Dirty Lines is a Netflix-commissioned six-episode series of the true story of Teledutch, Europe’s first erotic phone line. In Amsterdam in the late 1980s, as the Cold War was coming to a close, two brothers’ idea to take advantage of this period of cultural revolution in Europe changed the sex industry forever.
Small Axe: 1 April
A five-part anthology by British film director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) of the real-life experiences of London’s West Indian community between 1969 and 1982. Capturing a little-publicised zeitgeist of oppression, bitterness, resilience and defiant joy with a tender empathy, Small Axe has won dozens of international awards.
Flatbush Misdemeanors Season 1: 1 April
This dry-wit, oddball sitcom follows two unlikely roommates who are as lost in the rapidly gentrifying streets of Brooklyn as they are in their own heads. Being that the show features two young protagonists of colour in New York, it takes on racial and socioeconomic issues, but from a disarmingly laidback angle, briefly building tension and directing one’s attention towards them and then dissipating it with dark humour and sheer kookiness.
The Alpinist: 8 April
A documentary on and tribute to the Canadian rock climber, alpinist and free solo legend Marc-André Leclerc. The Alpinist captures the spirit of the death-defying sport, both meditative and thrilling, embodied by Leclerc, who, interestingly, expressed minimal interest in the continual filming of his extraordinary, mesmerising climbs.
Painting With John, Season 2: 4 April
“Welcome to Painting With John, the show where I do not teach you how to paint.” This is HBO at its best. Much like How To With John Wilson, Painting With John is an esoteric feat of television thriving on the refreshingly bizarre perspective of a delightful eccentric; but Wilson’s low-key, nebbish and awkward genius is about as opposite to the larger-than-life artist and musician John Lurie as possible. The uplifting series is a wacky, rambling salsa of half-joking advice, fireside chat and uplifting freak show, set at the hilarious curmudgeon’s home in the Caribbean.
Outer Range Season 1: Episodes 1 and 2 from 15 April followed by 2-episode instalments weekly
Josh Brolin returns to the small screen after 20 years to star as a Wyoming rancher whose life in the expansive mountains is thrust into chaos by a freaky, inexplicable extraterrestrial mystery. The neighbourly squabbles and land disputes between his family and that of the next-door farm are swallowed by a black hole that spontaneously forms in their backyard.
A Very British Scandal: 22 April
This real-life period drama chronicles the courtship, marriage and vicious divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, played with nuance and a practiced chemistry by Paul Bettany and Claire Foy. The notorious legal case involving multiple allegations of infidelity and incriminating photographs landed the duchess the moniker the “Dirty Duchess”, a nasty nickname that she could never quite shake. It’s a painfully poignant exhibition of the sexist double standards of the 20th century.
Undone Season 2: 29 April
The second season of Amazon’s first animated series which debuted in 2019 picks up immediately after the finale of season 1. Undone is a hidden gem – it’s baffling that this weird, sarcastic, visually astonishing show has not found a larger audience. Led by Rosa Salazar and Bob Odenkirk, this comedy/psychological thriller uses rotoscoping animation to create a metaphysical fever-dream that is immersive and original. Read the full review of season 1 here.
Slow Horses: 1 April
For a series that sets out to bust the perception of spy work as glamorous and hi-tech, Slow Horses is surprisingly exciting. Based on the first in a series of novels by Mick Herron, the show stars Gary Oldman as the leader of the “Slough House” – the dumping ground where British MI5 spies (nicknamed Slow Horses by the rest of the agency) are sent to do menial work after botching their careers.
ROAR: 15 April
From the directors of Glow, ROAR is an eight-part anthology based on the short stories of Cecelia Ahern. Featuring some big Hollywood names (including Nicole Kidman, Alison Brie, Cynthia Erivo, and Merritt Wever) each “darkly comic feminist fable” tells the remarkable story of an ordinary woman.
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?: 12 April
A three-part miniseries adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, by Hugh Laurie, about the search by two young detectives (Will Poulter and Lucy Boynton) to understand a dead man’s strange last words. The show is steeped in wit and a restrained banter that only the British could pull off.
The Driver: 21 April
Another new three-part miniseries, The Driver stars David Morrissey as a frustrated cabbie who in a lapse of judgement takes work driving for a group of criminals and unwittingly lands himself in the deep end with a syndicate. DM/ML
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