Pick of the week
“I’m stepping back from the roads now,” says Dushane (Ashley Walters) as season four of the London crime drama begins. “By next year, I want to be completely legit.” It’s the hardest gangster move to accomplish – can he manage it? And who will step into the vacuum he leaves behind? Might it be Jamie (Micheal Ward) who is out of jail and tentatively exploring a collaboration with Dushane? Possibly, but their truce seems fragile. The biggest strength of this series is its air of melancholy – there’s rarely any sense of glamour about these gangsters’ activities. Instead, as we see Jamie primly telling his little brother off for swearing, they’re breadwinners. It’s a living; a precarious one. Excellent.
Netflix, from Friday 18 March
Hot on the heels of The Dropout and Severance comes another drama about a US business misadventure: this time, the true story of the rise and fall of workspace contractors WeWork. Jared Leto plays co-founder Adam Neumann as infuriating and flaky but wildly ambitious and overflowing with energy. Along with his long-suffering wife Rebekah (Anne Hathaway), they built a global brand worth $47bn in under a decade and then overreached, disastrously. Neither Neumann is quite what they seem – WeCrashed is a slick, stylish cautionary tale about the gap between dreams and reality.
Apple TV+, from Friday 18 March
Season one was slightly slept-on given its creator’s pedigree (it’s the brainchild of The US Office’s Greg Daniels) and it probably suffered in comparison with the thematically comparable The Good Place. But Upload offers its own distinct, witty, slightly dystopian vision of the afterlife: Nathan (Robbie Amell) finds himself in an imperfect VR heaven, paid for by his ex Ingrid (Allegra Edwards), but yearning for Andy Allo’s coding operative Nora. As we rejoin him, Nathan is at a crossroads as Ingrid arrives, Nora departs and bliss remains frustratingly out of reach.
Amazon Prime Video, out now
Catherine Cohen: The Twist … ? She’s Gorgeous
The Texas comedian who might be familiar to you from her turns in TV shows Broad City and Search Party gets a Netflix special, filmed live at Joe’s Pub in New York. Expect a mixture of straight standup and musical interludes as Cohen explores topics such as relationships and modern feminism. However, her style is nowhere near as dry as that sounds – Cohen is a committed performer rather than a simple gag-merchant, and there are no half-measures about her songs, which are performed along with keyboardist Henry Koperski.
Netflix, from Tuesday 15 March
Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
“If I tell you to take all your money out of the bank and light it on fire – do it.” It’s a decent simulation of the experience of consuming high-end cuisine but, ironically, said by fraudster Anthony Strangis (AKA Shane Fox) to Sarma Melngailis, a celebrated vegan restaurateur who fell under his spell. This latest of Netflix’s raft of outlandish documentaries about cons and scams tells the story of a bizarre relationship that began on Twitter (among other things, Strangis promised immortality for Melngailis’s dog), spiralled out into real life and ended in jail.
Netflix, from Wednesday 16 March
Imagine if you could give your emotions anthropomorphised form? What would shame look like? How about anxiety? This amusingly crude animation – a spin-off from coming-of-age cartoon Big Mouth – does exactly that, reimagining the workings of the human brain as a sort of office space of psychological entities; competing, falling out, getting drunk and enjoying inopportune one-night stands. It’s garrulously entertaining stuff and brought to life by a stellar voice cast that includes Maya Rudolph, David Thewlis and Lupita Nyong’o.
Netflix, from Friday 18 March
Life & Beth
“My boyfriend always says I seem like I’m 100.” Beth (Amy Schumer) is having a midlife crisis. Her boyfriend isn’t worth hanging on to and she’s hit a confused, forlorn moment, where nights out with the girls and working as a wine distributor just aren’t cutting it. Cue a voyage of discovery and the possibility of fresh romance with John (Michael Cera), a wispily bearded rabbit breeder. Schumer’s comedy-drama is full of her trademark near-the-knuckle humour – but she’s obviously aiming for something more mature and emotionally convincing.
Hulu, from Friday 18 March