This is one for the middle-aged men in your life. Or for those who like watching middle-aged men slowly realise the oblivion that is their future. Who doesn’t like that? As Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon go on a tour of the North’s most expensive restaurants, it’s not quite clear whether they’re playing or parodying themselves. And therein lies the joy.
The Affair (series one)
This isn’t one for a family or friend who’s feeling paranoid, but series one of this Sky drama is the perfect box set for anyone who loves compelling drama about people making terrible but human decisions. Ruth Wilson and Dominic West star as Alison and Noah, both married to other people, who meet each other in a diner and BAM! They’re obsessed. But the course of true love never did run smooth. In this case, the course is so bumpy you’ll feel nauseous…
What happens when people think they’ve got away with a terrible crime, but the past catches up with them forty years later? It’s a topical theme brilliantly and beautifully explored in Chris Lang’s subtle ITV drama. Last Tango in Halifax’s Nicola Walker runs the show and stars alongside a pretty amazing cast of Sanjeev Bhaskar, Trevor Eve, Ruth Sheen, Tom Courtenay, Gemma Jones and many more. One of the best dramas of the year.
This drama will fascinate both the luddites and technophiles in your life. It begins with a scene that most families would dream about, as a couple buy a synthetic human, or ‘synth’, to help around the house. No more sweeping! No more washing up! But it turns out that having robots living with humans might not be the best idea. Part Stepford Wives, part Black Mirror, this is intriguing stuff.
My Mad Fat Diary (series 1-2)
Teen dramas are often full of glossy, rich models, but it’s good to have a dose of reality now and then. Sure, we all need escapism but this witty and moving series, starring Sharon Rooney, follows the life of Rae as she copes with body image issues, mental health problems and a complex family. Good for all humans, but especially any young adults who could benefit from a non-conformist role model…