Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Looking for a new series to get your teeth into? Fetch the supplies and grab the remote! The girls are out in force this summer giving us some of the best TV moments we've seen in a looooooong time! This week on the Lifestyle Blog we've rounded up a selection of our favourites, so it's time to dig into the popcorn, sit back and enjoy a selection of this season's finest productions, now showing on BBC, Netflix UK, and Sky Atlantic.
Meet the Clios family. Julia Stiles (Save The Last Dance ) is Georgina, art curator and the much younger second wife of billionaire banker Constantine ( (Anthony LaPaglia of Cold Steel ). When he is declared dead after a mysterious explosion on a friend's yacht, things quickly heat up as Georgina starts to uncover the truth about her deceased husband's accident and double dealings.
Created by Academy Award Winner Neil Jordan, Riviera is at times, reminiscent of the glory days of soap opera with echoes of the decadent 80s series Dynasty (with only slightly more plausible plot twists!)
With larger-than-life characters, fabulous performances from a cast including Lena Olin (Chocolat) as Irina Clios the scheming first wife and mother to Constantine's seriously deviant children, Iwan Rheon (Game Of Thrones) as Adam Clios the eldest of the siblings, and a great supporting cast featuring Adrian Lester (Hustle) and Poppy Delevingne (Kingsman:The Golden Circle). Expect to be thrilled by the feuds, amazed by opulent lifestyles, and a little gobsmacked by the character's adventures (be warned, some of the Clios family goings-on make the Borgias look relatively tame) all set against the glorious backdrop of the French Riviera. In addition, there are costumes by Chanel, YSL, VB and Stella McCartney, making this not only a visual feast but also a fashionista's dream come true!
With a catchy soundtrack as well as a kick-ass theme tune by Isabella "Machine" Summers you'll be humming for days, Riviera has all the ingredients for a delightful binge-watch session!
Riviera. Season 1 and 2.
Sky Atlantic now!
2. Dead To Me:
It's so good to see a female buddy show pop up on our screens and Dead To Me stands out as one of the best around this summer. An intriguing mystery the series is also darkly comedic at times and there are certainly enough plot twists and cliff hangers to keep you gripped until the end of the tenth episode!
Meet recently bereaved Jen Harding (Christina Applegate, Married With Children) embittered and made cynical by grief, she sets out to find the culprit who mowed down her husband in a hit and run. With anger issues and insomnia spiralling out of control, Jen worries about the impact her erratic behaviour might have on her two young sons. Joining a support group to combat this at "Friends Of Heaven" she meets the sweet-natured but whacky Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini, Green Book) an artist who is dealing with some painful issues of her own. These forty-somethings have suffered more than their fair share of loss, anguish and depression so neither of them are strangers to life's ups and downs, indeed, Season 1 sees both characters tackle a range of highly emotive issues. There's a double mastectomy, miscarriage, adultery, death and each of the women has their own very unique way of managing these situations. After some initial false starts, Jen and Judy form a bond (amid lots of late night calls and several glasses of wine) and with it comes an acceptance for each other's differences, that is until a startling secret unravels and threatens to blow the friendship apart forever.
Created by Liz Fieldman, with outstanding performances from the two leads and a great supporting cast featuring James Marsden (Westworld) as Judy's crooked and controlling ex-fiancé Steve, and Sam McCarthy (The Blacklist) as Jen's troublesome teenage son Charlie. Gripped from the pilot episode, I binged watched the entire series over two evenings, and if you're anything like me by the time you've finished watching you'll be glad to hear Season 2 has already been officially confirmed!
Dead To Me. Season 1.
Netflix UK now!
3. What/If:"What if I made you an offer too good to refuse?"
What/if is an anthology, each season is based on a different morality tale and this first season kicks off with 10 mighty fine episodes!
In a dramatic departure from her role as our favourite comedy heroine Bridget Jones,
Renée Zellweger returns to the screen as the villainous Anne Montgomery, a woman whose manipulative wiles and unscrupulous methods leave Cruella de Vil looking like Mother Teresa.
One night, seemingly by chance, Anne wanders into a bar where she meets the barman Sean Donovan (Blake Jenner), a former professional athlete who, while working days as an EMT, spends his evenings there to cover the bills. Married to scientist Lisa Ruiz Donovan (Jane Levy), Sean tells Anne about his wife's struggling start up company Emigen Molecular Sequencing which is in desperate need of financial backing in order to fund further research into clinical trials that could provide a cure for certain types of cancer. Appearing impressed by what she hears Anne reaches out to the couple offering $80 million in backing for the project, on one condition, that in return she is given one night alone with Sean. Echoes of Indecent Proposal I hear you cry! Er, hardly, as a sweet romance isn't quite what Anne has in mind. A skilled puppet master, there are much more sinister motives at work here and Anne delights in controlling those around her to achieve her rather twisted agenda.
From the writer and creator of Revenge, Mike Kelley is an experienced hand at bringing us this type of addictive and notable thriller. With intriguing subplots based on the interactions of the couples around them, nothing is as it seems, and as events spin out of control, expect plenty of steamy romps, shocking revelations, witty one liners and profound moments of self-realisation.
What/If. Season 1.
Netflix UK. Now!
4. Killing Eve:
The girls are back and having just binged-watched Killing Eve Season 2 on BBC iplayer, I can promise you they do not disappoint! The first episode kicks off with everyone's favourite psychopath Villanelle (the wonderful Jody Comer) feeling rather subdued, still nursing her injury and ego having been stabbed by Eve in last season's finale.
Sandra Oh returns as Eve Polastri, preoccupied, conflicted and still battling her attraction to Villanelle, while her long-suffering husband Niko (Owen McDonnell) may have found a potential new love interest of his own. Fiona Shaw is back as the mysterious and rather shifty Carolyn Martens (will we at last find out what she's up to?) together with her son Kenny Stowton (Sean Delaney) who once again finds himself being Eve's sidekick and confidante. Then there's some new faces, not to mention the surprise return of an old one making Season 2 a great follow up to the brilliance of the first!
The sexual tension between the leading female characters is even more palpable than before as the game of cat and mouse between them continues, with the plot taking them across the locations of Paris, Amsterdam, London and Rome. Also, this time around there's a new assassin in town, "The Ghost" whose more discreet methods are, ironically, overshadowing the theatrically flamboyant techniques of assassination preferred by Villanelle. Add this to a plot to hold all the world's personal data to ransom and you have a thrilling new storyline to take us through 8 brilliant episodes.
Based on the novels by Luke Jennings, this latest instalment has been brought to life by Emerald Fennell, replacing Phoebe Waller-Bridge who created Season 1. Nonetheless, Killing Eve remains just as riveting. Hilarious, sexy and never a dull moment, I loved every second of it!
Killing Eve.Season 1 and 2.
BBC1 and BBC iPlayer. Now!
We hope you enjoy the selection of favourites we've reviewed for you. Do you have any others to add to the must-see list? Send us a message, or let us know below. Simply subscribe free to comment. We'd love some recommendations!
Images: Via Giphy.com
Sources: BBC Archives.