The Irish Country Magazine team is back with a raft of new telly options that we reckon you’ll love unwinding with over the next few weeks
The nights are getting longer, the days are getting colder and the kids are back at school – there’s never been a better time to start a new TV series. Here are our team’s top picks:
Top Boy – Netflix
Top Boy is a critically-acclaimed British crime drama that first premiered on Channel 4 in 2011. The story centres around two drug dealers plying their trade in an East London public housing estate. The third season was released on Netflix in 2019 and the fifth (final) season is now available to watch on the streaming channel.
“Having waited with bated breath for Top Boy’s final season, I was desperately disappointed to see there was only six episodes for me to binge. And binge I did, such was the pace at which the bad boys, and of course girls, of Summerhouse led me through the drug-addled warren of storylines and intrigue. It is a brilliant wrap up of a show which had me rooting for the antihero across five seasons (three with Netflix) but in the end, leaving me in no doubt that there are no winners in a society that leaves the vulnerable to fend for themselves. It was great to see Barry Keoghan and Brian Gleeson add some Irish flair to this season, though they weren’t in it nearly enough for my liking. Still though, definitely a show to add to your binge watching list if you haven’t done so already.” – Ariana, Sales Manager
Platonic – Apple TV+
There has always been an unwritten rule in sitcom and romcom-land that men and women can’t be ‘just friends’. (We all know When Harry Met Sally is to blame for that). Thankfully, Platonic, created by husband and wife team Nicholas Stoller and Francesco Delbanco is proving the exception to that archaic rule. The series follows best pals Will and Sylvia played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as they reconnect after a years-long rift and support each other as they careen headlong into middle age.
“This is my dream show! Super smart, well-written, incredibly funny and brilliantly acted with a cast brimming with charisma and chemistry. I’m a big Rose Byrne fan and this script really plays to her strengths, giving her just as many meaty and comedic moments as those given to Seth Rogen. It feels different, too, because it steers clear of the trope that sex always gets in the way of a straight male/female friendship yet still examines how the close bond between them can cause friction in their respective relationships. Highly recommend!” – Claire, Online Journalist
The Missing – Netflix
The Missing is a British drama that centres around two separate abductions and the emotional fallout for the families and communities in the days and years after they happen. Both stories are told over two time frames and two countries. After first airing in 2014, it reached new audiences when it was added to Netflix and there are now calls for a third season.
“The Missing caught my eye during a recent aimless Netflix scroll — and within one episode, I was hooked. Being a sofa detective is one of my favourite hobbies, and this show kept me firmly on my toes; it’s one of those “trust no-one, suspect everyone” kinds of series, teeming with twists. There are two series, both focusing on different stories, and while at times a hard watch, they were blood-pumping, adrenaline-spiking, shouting-at-the-TV levels of thrilling. I particularly loved the unflappable, silver fox French detective Julian Baptiste — so imagine my delight when I spotted a spin-off for the show starring the man himself! I’m just a few episodes into Baptiste, but already it’s proving to be just as enthralling as its predecessor.” – Niamh, Deputy Editor
The Lovers – Sky Atlantic
Filmed in Belfast over the summer of 2022, The Lovers tells the tale of a foul-mouthed supermarket worker (Roisin Gallagher) who begins an unexpected relationship with a political television broadcaster (Johnny Flynn) despite the fact that he already has a seemingly perfect London life and celebrity girlfriend.
“If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, you’ll love this very sweet romcom series, based in Belfast with themes of the Troubles linked into a “will-they-won’t-they” love story. The cast is great, the acting is excellent and it’s really funny. I thought the storyline was very well paced too. 30-minute episodes are my new favourite thing – pure joy!” – Klara, Editor
Live To 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones – Netflix
Who wouldn’t want to live a healthy life until they’re 100? That’s the premise behind author Dan Buettner’s docuseries Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones as he travels to various parts of the world (the blue zones) where people live much longer than average to find out how they do it.
“Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones explores certain parts of the world where humans are living up to 100 years of age and are still very healthy and have a good lifestyle, even as centenarians. All of the things teachers, doctors, our mothers have told us about eating healthy and getting regular exercise are in there as tips to living longer and healthier lives. However, the real eye-openers I found were the likes of the Japanese term Ikigia which is a concept that refers to your sense of purpose in life and how this can contribute to your overall well-being. Also there is a huge emphasis on community. While some of us may like our alone time, this series uncovers the importance of having people around you for support and general day-to-day fun like singing and laughing. They say the best things in life are free and this series truly shows just that.” – Megan, Editorial Assistant