Colin in Black & White, Sex: Unzipped: the seven best shows to stream this week

Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay tell the story of the sportsman and activist’s early life, while puppets do unspeakable things in Netflix’s entertainingly lascivious documentary

Pick of the week

Colin in Black & White

Taking a knee to take a stand ... Colin Kaepernick.
Taking a knee to take a stand ... Colin Kaepernick. Photograph: Courtesy Of Netflix/Netflix

Netflix, from Friday 29 October
As a Black man with sporting talent, Colin Kaepernick was only allowed success on white America’s terms. When he challenged that by protesting against racial inequality, he was cast into the wilderness and, ironically, is now a visible victim of that trope beloved of the reactionary right: cancel culture. Plenty for a TV series to get its teeth into, then. This drama – co-created by Kaepernick with Ava DuVernay – initially searches for answers in his youthful experiences as an adopted child of white parents, before bringing things up to date. Jaden Michael stars as the young Kaepernick until the man himself steps in to tell his own story of modern America.

***

Jack & Kelly Osbourne: Night of Terror

Scared shipless ... Jack & Kelly Osbourne: Night of Terror.
Scared shipless ... Jack & Kelly Osbourne: Night of Terror. Photograph: Gilles Mingasson/Getty

Discovery+, from Sunday 24 October
Time magazine included the RMS Queen Mary in its, no doubt rigorously compiled, list of the Top 10 haunted places in the world. It has been closed since the onset of Covid, which has presumably encouraged the ghosts and ghouls to become bolder. Who better to investigate this hotbed of paranormal activity than Jack and Kelly Osbourne? After all, as Jack points out, spirits “feed off the energy of scaring people”. The siblings’ three-day investigation of the ship will win no points for scientific veracity but it’s good, daft fun.

***

Sex: Unzipped

Getting intimate ... Saweetie.
Getting intimate ... Saweetie. Photograph: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

Netflix, from Tuesday 26 October
Netflix’s raunchy autumn (see also, erm, Sex, Love & Goop) continues with this hour-long, proudly inclusive “sex positivity” special hosted by Californian rapper Saweetie. It’s a mix of celebrity stories, candid comedy and genuine educational intentions – the likes of Romesh Ranganathan, Katherine Ryan and London Hughes keep things light, but there’s a selection of educators and experts to offer practical advice and, perhaps most excitingly, the most sexually uninhibited puppetry this side of Team America: World Police.

***

The Time It Takes

Drifting apart, together ... The Time It Takes.
Drifting apart, together ... The Time It Takes. Photograph: Txuca Pereira/NETFLIX

Netflix, from Friday 29 October
Another intimate breakup drama to sit alongside Sky Atlantic’s Scenes from a Marriage, this Spanish series follows Lina (Nadia de Santiago) as she processes the end (and, in turn, the beginning) of her nine-year relationship with Nico (Álvaro Cervantes). Told via a mixture of flashbacks and current events, Lina comes to terms with her romantic loss by exploring the past and moving into the future, and trying to think of their split a minute less each day. It’s a nicely written and performed rendering of regret, sadness and gradual emotional recovery.

***

Maradona: Blessed Dream

Acting the GOAT ... Maradona: Blessed Dream.
Acting the GOAT ... Maradona: Blessed Dream. Photograph: Amazon

Amazon Prime Video, from Friday 29 October
Asif Kapadia’s brilliant 2019 film Diego Maradona still feels like the definitive documentary exploration of the troubled Argentinian footballing genius’s life. But can a biopic shed any further light on his story? This 10-episode drama depicts Maradona at every stage in his journey, tracking his progress from impish barrio prodigy to globe-bestriding superstar and, eventually, to corrupted, drug-ravaged victim. It’s heavy on the melodrama but, faced with a life as mercurial as this, not many other appropriate moods were available.

***

Swagger

Hoops and dreams ... Swagger.
Hoops and dreams ... Swagger. Photograph: apple+/Apple+

Apple TV+, from Friday 29 October
Inspired by the story of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, this drama is set in the ultra-competitive world of youth basketball. It stars Isaiah Hill as Jace Carson, a 14-year-old prodigy fighting racism, family difficulties and some anger management issues, as he sets his sights on stardom. In truth, it’s a pretty standard rags-to-riches tale, but the basketball set-pieces are vividly realised and it does ask a few interesting (and more widely applicable) questions about the ways in which talented young sportspeople are sometimes warehoused.

Contributor

Phil Harrison

The GuardianTramp

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