Art doll

From Russian Doll to Better Call Saul: The Seven Best Shows to Stream This Week | Television & radio

Choice of the week
Russian doll

Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix/Netflix

When it comes to following something as comprehensive as the first season of Russian Doll, the stakes are high. After all, this head-spinning New York mystery drama has landed so well that new variations on a comparable theme risk tarnishing those memories. This time, Natasha Lyonne’s Nadia finds her existential portal via a subway train that transports her to 1982. She understands the reality of her situation when she lights a cigarette and no one bats an eyelid. But why is she there? The answer is both logical and terrifying. It’s an intriguing premise and, again, Lyonne anchors the whole enterprise with a phlegmatic yet fiery charm. pH
Netflix, from Wednesday April 20


On top

Moussa Mansaly in Until the end.
Moussa Mansaly in Until the end. Photography: Mika Cotellon; Tangerine Television/Canal+

Fresh from his resounding success in France (43 million streams at last count), here is the serious story of a young emerging rapper in Paris. Gutsy Clément (Hatik, since a real-life rap star) creates an opportunity to perform for his favorite artist, Mastar (Moussa Mansaly), which leads to a viral moment that launches a new career in music – but his idol quickly becomes his biggest rival. Each half-hour episode is filled with social observation, clever puns and comedic beats. HOUR
StudioCanal on Apple TV+, now available


You better call Saul

Rhea Seehorn in Better Call Saul.
Rhea Seehorn in Better Call Saul. Photo: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Better Call Saul’s sublime slow-burn feels like a vindication of the breathing space allowed by streaming platforms; it often seems as open and grasping as the barren and beautiful physical landscape it occupies. However, in terms of plot, it’s probably time for some answers as the final season begins and Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) enters the final stages of his transformation by slipping Saul Goodman. In the meantime, we’re waiting to see how the confirmed return of Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) is handled. pH
Netflix, starting Tuesday, April 19


White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch.
White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch. Picture: Netflix

“We chase the cool kids…Are we exclusive? Absolutely!” Former Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has been candid about the brand he was hired to reinvigorate. But, as this documentary shows, it’s not a hassle-free approach. To begin with, how does this translate into hiring practices? It has been suggested that “cool” meant a lot of white – definitely no dreadlocks and no headscarf Fascinating and unsettling, it works as an era-specific cautionary tale and a broader rumination on modern American culture. pH
Netflix, starting Tuesday, April 19


Heart stroke

Heart stroke.
Heart stroke. Picture: Netflix

In many ways, this sympathetic adaptation of Alice Oseman’s graphic novel is all about mood swings and clandestine hugs. The twist is that the relationships at the heart of the series are same-sex – and Heartstopper does a great job of bending universal teenage angst into the risk of being kicked out (or unmasked) at a school where homophobic bullying is rife. always a danger. Shy Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) secretly sees a guilt-ridden and emotionally abusive classmate when his gaze is caught by charismatic rugby boy Nick (Kit Connor). But Nick couldn’t feel the same for him, could he? pH
Netflix, starting Friday, April 22


sell sunset

Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim in Selling Sunset.
Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim in Selling Sunset. Picture: Netflix

The shamelessly capitalist-maximalist unreality series returns for a fifth season of bling, feud and real estate porn. To give the uninitiated a sense of the mood, at one point a couple of real estate agents stand on the balcony of a luxury property talking about “the little people” and shouting “Hi, the peasants! in their general direction. Yes really. Still, there’s love in the air this time around with Chrishell and Jason taking a romantic vacation to Greece. As you might expect, some other players aren’t too comfortable with this employee/boss intimacy. pH
Netflix, starting Friday, April 22


They call me magic

Earvin
Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Photo: Michael Muller/Apple TV+

Four episodes doesn’t seem like enough to do justice to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who seems to have lived multiple lives, each filled with triumph and tragedy. He was one of the greatest basketball players in history before being forced to retire in 1991 after contracting HIV. Perhaps his greatest chapter was what followed: his advocacy for people with HIV, which helped reduce the stigma surrounding the virus. With evocative archival footage and cooperation from the man himself, it’s a beautiful glimpse into a remarkable life. pH
Apple TV+, starting Friday, April 22