Culture

The Afterparty to All of Us Are Dead: the seven best shows to stream this week

Pick of the week

The Afterparty

The Afterparty
Photograph: Aaron Epstein/Apple

A comedy-drama from Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street) that offers a snarky take on the mystery whodunnit. Set in the aftermath of a high-school reunion, there’s been a murder but also a lot of flirting, old rivalries rekindled and amnesia-inducing levels of drunkenness. Starting with gauche, likable Aniq (Sam Richardson), Tiffany Haddish’s detective Danner interviews each partygoer in turn – including Chelsea (Ilana Glazer) and Jamie Demetriou’s Walt. It’s a little too delighted with its own conceit at times, but there’s the making of an involving through-line in Aniq and Zoe (Zoe Chao) and what happens with their romantic chemistry.
Apple TV+, from Friday 28 December


Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness

Jonathan Van Ness.
Jonathan Van Ness. Photograph: Netflix

“I still can’t believe that dragonflies have two penises.” It’s a crazy world out there, and in his podcast of the same title, this Queer Eye star has been exploring it engagingly. Transferring the formula to TV was the natural next step and the result is thoroughly watchable. Ranging from gender identity to snacks, the aesthetics of insects to the practicalities of ice dancing, his curiosities are somewhat random. But he’s funny and easy to warm to, never pretending knowledge he doesn’t have, and asking the right questions. TV as an unusually entertaining Wikipedia binge.
Netflix, from Friday 28 December


Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud

Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud.
Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud. Photograph: True North/BBC

Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will remember Cherry Valentine, who came out to the world as a Gypsy drag queen in season two last year. Cherry was born and raised as George Ward in the Traveller community in the north-east of England. However, George didn’t feel accepted and moved away, only maintaining contact with his mother. In this documentary, George is returning to his roots to see how easily queer and Gypsy identities can become compatible. Expect some painful home truths and, hopefully, a touch of redemption, too.
BBC Three, from Tuesday 25 December


Split Up in Care: Life Without Siblings

Split Up in Care: Life Without Siblings.
Split Up in Care: Life Without Siblings. Photograph: BBC

An affecting documentary following reporter Ashley John-Baptiste as he gets to know his brother. John-Baptiste grew up in foster care and believed himself to be an only child until he was contacted by his sibling in his mid-20s. The film widens its perspective to show that this isn’t all that uncommon – there’s a shortage of foster carers willing to take more than one child so it isn’t always easy to keep siblings together. Alongside his own, hugely emotional voyage of discovery, John-Baptiste explores the realities of a creaking system.
BBC Three, from Wednesday 26 December


Simeone: Living Match By Match

Diego Simeone.
Diego Simeone. Photograph: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Another documentary series that treats a successful football team with an almost mystical fervour. It explores the “life, work and miracles” of Atlético Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone and is centred on his team’s La Liga triumph in the 2020-21 season. But there’s plenty of room for reflection on Simeone’s career as a famously robust midfielder, perhaps best remembered in England as the Argentinian provocateur who played a central part in David Beckham’s pivotal World Cup dismissal in 1998. Boo hiss!
Amazon Prime Video, from Wednesday 26 December


The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window

Mary Holland and Kristen Bell as Anna in The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window.
The House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. Photograph: Colleen E Hayes/Netflix

What would you do if you were a heartbroken heavy drinker, who regularly mixed booze with pills, and you witnessed what might have been a murder? This is the conundrum facing Anna (Kristen Bell) whose dismal and repetitive life is interrupted by an apparent homicide across her suburban street. This new series works as both a mystery and an endearingly silly parody of a “woman driven mad by domesticity” pseudo-psychological drama.
Netflix, from Friday 28 December


All of Us Are Dead

All of Us Are Dead.
All of Us Are Dead. Photograph: Yang Hae-sung/Netflix

The latest TV sensation out of South Korea shares a certain brutality with Squid Game – and a plot that hinges round events so outlandish that no one in authority will believe they are happening. In fairness, if as a police officer you received a phone call from a teenager claiming his school was being overrun by zombies, you might be forgiven a certain scepticism. Accordingly, the handful of non-undead kids are on their own – their erstwhile classmates and teachers are pursuing them and no help is coming. Utterly daft; good fun.
Netflix, from Friday 28 December

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