Now that the nights are getting darker and the weather is growing cold, it’s the perfect time to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and something good on television.
It’s a little while since I did one of these posts, so I thought I’d share a few of the TV shows that have been keeping me entertained over the last couple of months. With some supernatural drama in there, it’s perfect autumn viewing.
You probably noticed that the adaptation of J.K. Rowling (or Robert Galbraith’s) Cormoran Strike novels arrived on the BBC over the August Bank Holiday weekend. There were five episodes in total, which covered the first two novels, with the third due to air next year.
I’m a big fan of the books and the adaptation absolutely did not disappoint. The casting was spot on and the programme was atmospheric, with just the right mix of shocking murders and cosy storytelling.
For those that are unfamiliar with the original novels, they follow private detective Cormoran Strike, the illegitimate son of a rock star and a now deceased groupie, whose army career ended when he lost a leg in Afghanistan. He’s a really interesting character with a colourful background and lively chemistry with his assistant, Yorkshire lass Robin Ellacott.
I can’t decide which I’m more eager for: the next book in the series, or the next adaptation.
A group of twenty-somethings take a trip to a remote Swedish ski resort that closed years earlier, as one of them plans to buy the place and reopen it. But strange things soon begin to happen and the friends learn that a family were murdered there. With the caretaker determined to get rid of them and a series of frightening events taking place, they are soon in the grip of something horrifying.
This Swedish drama has just finished on BBC4 and my attention was captured by the Scandi-noir style trailer. When I started watching this, I wasn’t sure if it was a crime drama or something more supernatural. Now I’ve finished the whole series, I’m still not sure.
But it’s certainly an atmospheric and creepy story, cut through with some stunning cinematography and emotive music.
The story revolves around Hanne, whose boyfriend Johan is determined to buy the ski resort and turn it into a fashionable holiday destination. But right from the start, Hanne is unsettled by the remote hotel and strange noises in the night. After witnessing the death of her younger brother when she was a child, Hanne is a fragile, troubled young woman, susceptible to the stories of murder and ghosts that surround the hotel.
As the events unfold, she tries to find out the truth, but uncovers some shocking secrets, both among the locals and her own friends.
This is definitely one to check out if you like unsettling dramas and don’t mind a bit of ambiguity. The show doesn’t always provide easy answers, but it does stir up a lot of questions, both around the mythology behind the hotel and the behaviour of the friends.
And as a side note, one member of the group is played by Valter Skarsgård, son of Stellan and brother of Alexander.
I went a bit Marvel crazy towards the end of the summer, after seeing the trailer for the new Netflix show, The Defenders. To prepare for its launch, I ended up bingeing on superhero dramas, watching Jessica Jones, Luke Cake, Iron Fist and both series of Daredevil, as well as The Defenders itself (if you’re not a fan, those four characters come together as The Defenders).
While each series is entertaining enough, I think Luke Cage had to be my favourite with its Harlem setting and a brilliant performance from Mahershala Ali as gangster Cottonmouth.
This sci-fi adventure is now on series three and it does remind me a little of Firefly. The story follows a group of misfits who wake up on a spaceship with no idea who or where they are. They soon discover they’re space mercenaries, wanted for all kinds of crimes, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to change their ways and the galaxy too. A really fun sci-fi watch.
Based on the series of novels by Charlaine Harris, who wrote the Southern Vampire Mysteries, this new show follows a group of often supernatural outcasts who live in a tiny town in Texas where strange things often happen.
When psychic Manfred Bernardo moves to Midnight, he discovers his new neighbours include a powerful witch, an energy leeching vampire, an angel, an assassin and a preacher with a mysterious secret. This motley group are soon fighting a demonic force that is determined to break free and destroy the town.
This is one of those shows that’s a bit trashy, but really entertaining. If you’re still missing True Blood, this sits in the same universe, so it’s worth checking out.
What shows would you recommend for the dark nights?