The Weekend Series: five new shows to cure your post-Game-of-Thrones blues
It’s been packed with mayhem, plot twists and takeaway coffee cups, but the final season of Game of Thrones will soon come to a bittersweet end. In order to combat your post-GoT melancholy, we’ve rustled up five of the best new series that can fill the streaming void. From classic novel adaptations to twisted sketch comedy, these TV shows will help keep you occupied through winter (or let’s be honest, probably just the rainy weekend ahead).
Saturday May 18 may be the date of the 2019 Australian federal election, but it also marks another very special occasion: the Australian premiere of Catch-22 on Stan. This six-part limited series is an adaptation of the classic 1961 novel by Joseph Heller, which sees US Air Force bombardier Yossarian (Christopher Abbott) trying to comprehend how to get the heck out of harm’s way during World War II. As it turns out, the bureaucracy of the army is his worst enemy, particularly Catch-22, a military by-law which states that if you fly your missions, you’re considered insane and are eligible to be relieved from duty – all you have to do is ask. But once you ask, this proves your sanity and you must remain in your role. Executive producer and director George Clooney plays Lieutenant Scheisskopf in this enthralling mini-series.
This series will divide Ricky Gervais fans – but those who enjoy his black comedy and cynical observations will be well rewarded. The Office star plays Tony, a suicidal widower who is struggling to come to terms with his beloved wife’s death (Kerry Godliman from Derek), but trudges on through life with the attitude that he may as well do and say what he likes now that life as he knows it, is over. He offends his colleagues at a local newspaper, fearlessly fights off muggers and terrifies schoolyard bullies, while also mysteriously attracting the interest of a nurse (Ashley Jensen from Extras) at his father’s nursing home. The series is an emotional journey and one worth sticking around for. After releasing the first season earlier this year, Netflix Australia has promised After Life will return with Season 2 in 2020.
A brand-new season of A.P. Bio premiered on Stan Australia in March, making it the perfect time to settle in for a streaming binge. And binge you will – because with major names like Mike O’Brien, Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels (yes, the guy who created Saturday Night Live) behind it, you can be confident you’re in for some serious LOLs. The series revolves around disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar Jack Griffin (Glenn Howerton) who is forced to return to Toledo, Ohio, as a high school teacher after he misses out on his dream job. But instead of teaching biology, he tasks his students with getting revenge on the people who have wronged him in life, much to the dismay of Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt).
Dead to Me
Yet another dark comedy series dealing with the realities of death has hit our Netflix streams. Dead to Me stars Christina Applegate as enraged widow Jen who is determined to solve her husband’s hit-and-run murder, while her polar opposite new friend Judy (Linda Cardellini) deals with her own loss and dark secrets. After meeting through a grief support group, the two women share their personal stories, and plenty of wine, as they navigate the painful aftermath of losing someone you love. Executive producers Liz Feldman, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum have delivered 10 episodes of the new series, available to view now on Netflix.
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
Hailed by The New York Times as Netflix’s first great sketch comedy show, I Think You Should Leave is offbeat humour at its finest. Created by Saturday Night Live’s Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin, Season 1 features six episodes which all dropped on Netflix Australia earlier this year. From poking fun at Instagram captions to baby contests to the simple hilarity of everyday life, the series boasts an impressive line-up of comedy actors including Andy Samberg, Will Forte, Sam Richardson and more. Sketch comedy is a difficult beast to get right, but I Think You Should Leave has nailed it.