The most gripping new shows to stream in August – from Jimmy Saville docs to 'the new Bake Off'
7th August 2021

IF you're looking to sink your teeth into a gripping new show this month then look no further.

Viewers are in for a treat with a host of series' to stream – from a harrowing Jimmy Saville documentary to a series dubbed 'the new Bake Off.'

WHAT'S NEW?

Kurupting The Industry: The People Just Do Nothing Story (BBC3)

The behind the scenes story of everyone’s favourite pirate radio station comedy

It’s a bumper time for fans of painfully brilliant pirate radio station mockumentary People Just Do Nothing.

Not only is there a feature film, People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan, coming later this month, there’s also this in-depth documentary.

Featuring interviews with the cast, including Allan Mustafa, Asim Chaudhry, Hugo Chegwin and Steve Stamp, plus famous fans Martin Freeman, Dizzee Rascal and Craig David, it traces the show’s rise from a series of online shorts to award-winning BBC comedy – and it’s great.

“With the Big in Japan movie coming out it felt a good time to look back at our People Just Do Nothing story,” says the series’ producer Ash Atalla. “And who knows, next year maybe we’ll release a documentary about this documentary.”

Available from Wednesday.

What If…? (Disney+)

With a voice cast of Hollywood A-listers, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is reimagined in a spectacular 10-part animated series

What if Captain America’s Peggy Carter had taken the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rodgers?

What if Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Yondu had adopted a young T’Challa from Black Panther, rather than Peter Quill?

These are just two of the intriguing possibilities explored in new 10-part weekly animation.

What If…?, which reimagines some of Marvel’s most important moments and asks what would have happened had events taken a different turn.

Starring Jeffrey Wright as the show’s narrator, Uatu the Watcher, the series also features the vocal talents of many of the actors who’ve helped bring all the MCU movies to life over the past 13 years.

Including Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Hayley Attwell, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum and Karen Gillan.

There’s a great deal that makes What If…? special, not least the stunning, eye-catching animation, the intriguing plot lines and the remarkable breadth of imagination involved.

Topping the list, however, has to be the fact that the show includes voice contributions from the late, great Chadwick Boseman, who reprises his iconic role of T’Challa.

Of course, with so much Marvel material already out there, a series that imagines the ways in which storylines could have gone but didn’t is likely to appear daunting and exhausting to the uninitiated.

But equally, it’s the seemingly endless possibilities presented by the show – as well as the huge array of talent involved – that make it an absolute must for all Marvel fanatics.

Available from Wednesday.

Brand New Cherry Flavor (Netflix)

Alice In Wonderland meets the occult in this strange and spooky eight-part series

Hot on the heels of entertaining retro-horror trilogy Fear Street, here comes another enjoyably gruesome and creepy treat.

Based on the novel by Todd Grimson, Brand New Cherry Flavor is the unsettling story of an aspiring young film director, Lisa Nova (Rosa Salazar), who heads to early 90s Los Angeles hoping to make her fortune but instead finds herself drawn into a terrifying and nightmarish underworld of sex, magic and revenge.

Featuring a fabulously dark performance from Catherine Keener as the mysterious, murderous Boro, who leads Lisa astray, and a spot-on 90s look and feel, the eight-part series has the makings of a cult classic.

Gory, glamorous and grungy. Available from Friday.

Daisy Maskell – Insomnia And Me (BBC iPlayer)

Can’t get no sleep? Radio DJ Daisy charts her life as an insomniac

Anyone who’s suffered from insomnia will understand just how debilitating the disorder is.

One person who knows better than most is Daisy Maskell, the 23-year-old Kiss FM DJ who has lived with insomnia for as long as she can remember and, in this thoughtful, personal documentary, she sets out to investigate the causes – and the various treatments.

“This sleep disorder has impacted much of my adult life,” says Daisy.

“This film will follow my own journey and that of other sufferers, tracing its origins to discover what really goes on while the rest of the world is sleeping."

With insomnia on the rise among young people, and seemingly made worse by lockdowns, it’s a timely and sensitive investigation – and one that will hopefully wake people up to a growing problem."

Phil Wang: Philly Philly Wang Wang (Netflix)

The clever comic brings his latest show to London

Filmed at the London Palladium during the pandemic, comedian Phil’s new live show explores topics that range from race and romance to politics and his British-Malaysian heritage.

It’s witty, wise and occasionally weird, and fans of Phil’s appearances on shows like Would I Lie To You? and Have I Got News For You should definitely check it out. Available from Tuesday

Bake Squad (Netflix)

Impatient for the return of Bake Off? Tuck into this spectacular new series

Let’s be honest, as much as everyone loves watching the signature bakes and technical challenges on The Great British Bake Off, it’s the showstopper that really leaves us open-mouthed with admiration.

This fab new series, hosted by American chef Christina Tosi, is stuffed with spectacular showstopper-style creations, including a full sized drum kit made entirely from cake and a remarkably-detailed, cracking dinosaur egg dessert that has to be seen to be believed.

But how does the show work? Each episode, four outrageously talented bakers – the Bake Squad – battle it out to be chosen to provide a very special dessert for someone’s big event.

There’s excitement and emotion by the bucket load, and the level of skill on display is genuinely astonishing. Available from Wednesday.

Jimmy Savile: The People Who KnewDiscovery+

This one-off examines how serial abuser Savile got away with his crimes for so long

The full scale of the abuse committed by Jimmy Savile, over five long decades, is truly sickening. Equally shocking is the way that the disgraced broadcaster was able to hide in plain sight, preventing his behaviour from becoming public knowledge.

This horrifying new documentary investigates how Savile managed to get away with it for so long, pointing to the moments when he could have been stopped and talking to insiders and whistle-blowers at hospitals, schools and the BBC who knew the truth behind the rumours.

There’s also testimony from survivors, who bravely speak out in the hope of stopping anything similar occurring in the future.

Infuriating and upsetting in equal measure, it’s a difficult but incredibly important watch. Available from Saturday.

SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS

The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown (Amazon Prime)

Jeremy Clarkson may seem more at home driving tractors than fast cars these days, but don’t be fooled – the petrolhead Sun columnist has a need for speed that combine harvesting just doesn’t satiate.

So he reunited with James May and Richard Hammond to hit the highways and cobbled backstreets of Scotland, piloting some eye-catching if unwieldy American classics from the 1970s. While the weather may be dank and drizzly, the trio’s enthusiasm, knowledge and undisguised glee at getting to spend time together make this a jubilant TV joyride.

Bo Burnham: Inside(Netflix)

American stand-up comic Bo had a very productive lockdown – instead of putting his feet up and bingeing on boxsets.

Bo used the time to pen and film this comedy special, set in one room, in which he uses his skill for writing catchy but cutting songs to send up the self-indulgence and self-obsession of modern life.

Bursting with creativity, cleverness and caustic insights, Inside is the work of a multi-talented comedian at the height of his powers.

Blood Red Sky (Netflix)

The premise of this action-packed thriller may sound like a schlocky horror film but, trust us, you'll come away as emotional as you are entertained.

When terrorists hijack a transatlantic flight, little do they realise that one of the captives is a fiercely protective German single mum who just happens to be battling turning into a vampire.

Yes, there are some extremely bloody moments, but it's the bond between undead mum Nadja and son Elias that will really tear your heart out. Partly subtitled. 

New Amsterdam (Sky On Demand & NOW)

It’s saccharine and soppy with a script so cheesy you’ll want a glass of port to accompany it, but this US medical drama – now in its third series – is also inspiring, uplifting and heart-warming.

Ryan Eggold is the superhero at the heart of the hospital as surgeon Max, who’s handsome, charming, charismatic, generous and just about every other superlative.

Throw in a passion for patients, moral messages about healthcare and heart-rending storylines set to acapella music, and this modern-day ER is addictive, emotive telly. Tip: start from series one. 

Reclaiming Amy (BBC iPlayer)

We were all aware of Amy Winehouse’s problems with drugs and alcohol, and her toxic relationships.

But in this engaging and at times hard-to-watch documentary, her family – primarily her mum Janis – and friends who’ve never before spoken on camera paint a more intimate portrait of the silky-voiced singer.

It also looks at the star who was battling mental health issues at a time when it was still very much a taboo subject before her tragic death in 2011 aged 27.

 

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