What to watch in 2020

What to watch in 2020

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Friday, 17th January 2020

A new year and a new decade equals some great new TV series to get obsessed with. Here is a pick of some of our favourites to look forward to.

The Outsider, series one, Sky Atlantic

Cynthia Erivo (Credit: Sky Atlantic)
Cynthia Erivo (Credit: Sky Atlantic)

Adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Outsider is a captivating mix of murder, mystery and supernatural horror.

The ten-episode series focuses on police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline), who is tasked with investigating what happened to 11-year-old Frankie Peterson who was found mutilated in the Georgia woods.

Still wrapped up in a cloud of his own grief due to the recent death of his son, Anderson tries to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder and decides to enlist the help of unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo, Widows), whose unusual abilities Anderson hopes will explain the unexplainable.

The series was written by Richard Price one of the creators of The Night Of and also stars Jason Bateman (Ozark), Bill Camp (Joker), Paddy Considine (Informer) and Mare Winningham (American Horror Story).

The series starts on the 13th January at 9pm with a double bill. 


Sex Education, series two, Netflix

Sex Education cast (Credit: Netflix)
Sex Education cast (Credit: Netflix)

The hit Netflix series Sex Education returns to screens on the 17th January for a new eight-part series.

Loved by critics and viewers, the series has been praised for its portrayal of the highs and lows of teenage life, tackling topics such as sexuality, anxiety, love and relationships.

Created by Laurie Nunn, series one focused on 16-year-old Otis (Asa Butterfield, The Space Between Us), a socially awkward teenager who is insecure and ambivalent about sex, putting him at odds with the hormone-rampant teenagers around him and his sex positive therapist mother Jean (Gillian Anderson, The X-Files).

A chance encounter, however, soon leads to him setting up a business with outcast Maeve (Emma Mackey, Death On The Nile) as a sex and relationships advisor to his teenage classmates.

The second series sees Otis trying to balance his first relationship with Ola (Patricia Allison, Les Misérables), with his now frosty friendship with Maeve, who admitted to her feelings for Otis at the end of series one.

The need for good sex education is even more critical when an outbreak of chlamydia causes chaos at Moordale Secondary School.

Series two also sees Otis’ (Ncuti Gatwa) best friend Eric, discover a new-found confidence, which is attracting all kinds of unfamiliar attention and Jean’s problematic relationship with Ola’s dad Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt, The Hobbit) is discovered.

Favourites from last series are set to return, including Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood), Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling), Adam (Connor Swindells) and Lily (Tanya Reynolds).

They will be joined by new students to Moordale who are ready to shake up the status quo.


Normal People, series one, BBC Three

Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal (Credit: BBC)
Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal (Credit: BBC)

The 12-part adaptation of the award-winning novel by Sally Rooney, explores how complicated and intoxicating young love and intimacy can be.

Normal People follows the tender but complex relationship between popular and easy-going Connell (Paul Mescal, Bump) and lonely and intimidating Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones, Cold Feet).

Marianne and Connell are total opposites, but when they meet in their small hometown in western Ireland, they have an undeniable connection that neither of them knows how to process.

When they leave school behind for their undergraduate years at Trinity College Dublin, the tables turn and Marianne thrives in this new social world, but Connell struggles to adapt and doesn’t quite fit in.

The drama has been adapted by Sally Rooney, alongside writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, with the Oscar-nominated Lenny Abrahamson and Bafta-winner Hettie MacDonald on board to direct.

Normal People will premiere on BBC Three before airing on BBC One.


Noughts and Crosses, series one, BBC One

Masali Baduza and Jack Rowan (Credit: BBC)
Masali Baduza and Jack Rowan (Credit: BBC)

The classic dystopian young adult novel which explores racism, forbidden love, privilege and power has been adapted into a six-part series for BBC One.

Nought and Crosses is set in an alternative world in which white and black people are segregated, with black people (Crosses) defined as the ruling class and white people (Noughts) defined as the underclass.

The series focuses on childhood friends Sephy (Masali Baduza, Trackers) and Callum (Jack Rowan, Peaky Blinders).

Sephy is a member of the ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician and Callum is a Nought.

When their friendship starts to change, the pair embark on a passionate but dangerous romance and their magnetic bond is put to the test by the prejudice and racial tension that has infected society.

The series is not short on star power with Stormzy playing newspaper editor Kolawale, a character created especially for the TV series.

The rest of the cast includes Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet) and Ian Hart (The Last Kingdom) who play Callum’s parents Meggie and Ryan, and Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) who plays Callum’s older brother Jude.

Paterson Joseph (Timeless) plays Home Secretary Kamal Hadley, Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus) plays Sephy's mother Jasmine and Kike Brimah (Love Type D) plays her sister Minerva.


Boys, series one, Channel 4

Lydia West, Olly Alexander, Russell T Davies, Nathaniel Curtis, Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells (Credit: Channel 4)
Lydia West, Olly Alexander, Russell T Davies, Nathaniel Curtis, Omari Douglas and
Callum Scott Howells (Credit: Channel 4)

Russell T Davies, the creative mind behind hit TV shows Queer As Folk, Doctor Who and Years and Years, has a new upcoming drama for 2020, Boys.

Set in 1981, the five-part-series follows Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin who are all starting off the decade with a new life in London.

Initially strangers, the young gay men and their best friend Jill, soon find each other and develop a strong friendship sharing in each other’s adventures.

Their friendship is soon put to the test when a new virus, AIDS, threatens to destroy everything they hold dear.

Forced to grow up in more ways than one, as the decade passes and the threat of AIDS grows ever stronger, they are determined to live and love more fiercely than ever.

Olly Alexander plays Richie Tozer, an 18-year-old who is the family golden boy, but with so many secrets to keep, he may not be the golden boy for long if they are ever revealed.

Omari Douglas plays 17-year-old Londoner Roscoe Babatunde, a wild party boy who is always running from trouble.

Callum Scott Howells plays Colin Morris-Jones, a quiet, modest boy from Wales who is ready to begin a new life as an apprentice on Savile Row.

Lydia West (Years And Years) plays Jill Baxter, Tozer’s friend from college whose straight talking and funny nature means she soon becomes the rock all three men rely on.

Nathaniel Curtis plays Ash, a faithful friend who is there for the group through no matter what.

The cast also includes Keeley Hawes (The Durrells), Shaun Dooley (Gentleman Jack), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Stephen Fry.


Quiz, series one, ITV

Sian Clifford and Matthew Macfadyen (Credit: ITV)
Sian Clifford and Matthew Macfadyen (Credit: ITV)

In the early noughties a scandal rocked one the most popular gameshows at the time, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, when a contestant tried to cheat their way to one million pounds.

Known as 'the coughing scandal', the ITV dramatization – written by James Graham – is split into three parts and focuses on the crime and subsequent court case.

The scandal involved Major Charles Ingram (Matthew Macfadyen, Succession), his wife Diana (Sian Clifford, Fleabag) and accomplice Tecwen Whittock (Michael Jibson, Les Miserables).

The prosecution argued that Diana and Whittock helped Ingram win by coughing to indicate the correct answers.

The Ingrams were later found guilty of cheating in order to win the money and were given a suspended sentence of two years and fine of £115,000.

Host Chris Tarrant will be played by Michael Sheen (Good Omens) and Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders) also stars as Sonia Woodley QC.


Flesh and Blood, series one, ITV

Stephen Rea, Francesca Annis, Imelda Staunton (Credit: ITV)
Stephen Rea, Francesca Annis, Imelda Staunton (Credit: ITV) 

The four-part family drama set on the Sussex coast, delves into the secrets and lies that can break a family apart.

Created and written by Sarah Williams, Flesh and Blood follows three adult siblings who are thrown into turmoil when their recently widowed mum, Vivien (Francesca Annis, Home Fires), declares she has fallen in love with a new man.

The three siblings Helen (Claudia Blakley, Manhuint), Jake (Russell Tovey, Years And Years) and Natalie (Lydia Leonard, Gentleman Jack) are instantly suspicious of their mother's new man retired GP Mark (Stephen Rea, Dickensian), these suspicions are only heightened when Mark starts to encourage Vivien to shift her priorities away from her children.

With Vivien so quick to move on, the happiness of her 45-year marriage to the sibling’s father Terry is called into question and soon their family home, inheritance and happy childhood memories are under threat.

In their quest to find out more about Mark, the siblings start investigating his background which causes a rift in the family, leading to lies, secrets, betrayals and rivalries coming to light.

The situation is only made worse by their nosy neighbour Mary (Imelda Staunton, A Confession) who has lived next door for 40 years and has an unhealthy attachment to the family’s ongoing drama.                                                                                                                                                                                                            


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A new year and a new decade equals some great new TV series to get obsessed with. Here is a pick of some of our favourites to look forward to.