Sacrificing himself in order to ensure the Rebels gained the Death Star plans at the end of Rogue One hasn’t stopped Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) from getting his own 12-part series.
Naturally, events take place before the thief-turned-spy’s fatal mission to Scarif, focusing on the forming of the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire.
Created by Rogue co-writer Tony Gilroy, the show’s cast also includes Stellan Skarsgard, Denise Gough, Adria Arjona and Fiona Shaw.
Audacious and ambitious, Andor is also a refreshingly old-school action-thriller that, unlike recent Star Wars series, takes its time to introduce its players and their backstories and – at this stage – isn’t solely intent in filling in yet more jigsaw puzzle pieces around the all-consuming Skywalker Saga that you didn’t know you needed.
THE CAPTURE (TVNZ+)
A hit when they first appeared in 2019, Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) and the rest of her colleagues are back with another slick, six-part cutting-edge technology infused British crime-thriller.
This time, invisible assassins are stalking London and Carey and company are drawn into a case involving a rising politician that brings greater risks than any of them first imagined.
“The Capture illustrates how much can be forgiven when a show is underpinned by an intelligently crafted story,” wrote Financial Times’ Dan Einav.
Eight great shows to stream this weekend.
* Five fabulous, under-rated Melanie Lynskey performances (and where you can watch them)
* Nope, Bullet Train and Disney+’s Prey among August’s must see movies
* Return of The Crown, Yellowstone, Handmaid’s among 2022’s remaining must see TV
Season 5 of Cobra Kai is now available to stream on Netflix.
COBRA KAI (NETFLIX)
Having framed John Kreese (Martin Kove) for an assault he didn’t commit, Terry Silver has plans to franchise (Thomas Ian Griffith) his dojo across Los Angeles, as the 10-part fifth season of this mega-popular The Karate Kid spin-off begins.
However, he’s going to face opposition from Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who is unhappy with Silver’s aggressive teaching tactics. Support for his cause comes from an unlikely source – former rival Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto).
“You have to embrace the cheese in Cobra Kai because that’s half the fun. And to be clear, the show is enormous fun,” wrote Chicago Tribune’s Nina Metz.
THE GIRL FROM PLAINVILLE (PRIME VIDEO)
Elle Fanning, Chloe Sevigny and Colton Ryan star in this eight-part true-crime series.
As the tagline suggests, it is inspired by “the case that shocked the nation”, when Michelle Carter was charged with “involuntary manslaughter” as part of an inquiry into the death of fellow teenager Conrad Roy III.
“The series is formidably well done and a seriously deep-dive into the adolescent culture of cultivating tragic love,” wrote The Globe and Mail’s John Doyle.
The Last Movie Stars is now available to stream on Neon.
THE LAST MOVIE STARS (NEON)
A kind of a cross between archival audio-led documentaries like Listen to Me Marlon, BBC lockdown comedy Staged, Inside the Actors Studio and a star-studded table reading of a play, this is a hugely entertaining and enlightening look back at a seemingly long-lost era of Hollywood.
While the title of this six-part series is designed to be provocative – it comes from a description of the featured couple by their good friend and mischief-making Gore Vidal – there’s no doubting that Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward rose to fame in an era when cinema was starting to wane as “the dominant art form”. That this has arrived at a time when movie-going is again facing significant challenges and questions about the sustainability of its future feels highly apposite.
That director Ethan Hawke doesn’t shy away from the messier side of his heroes’ lives is what makes The Last Movies Stars such addictive and absorbing viewing.
NEVER HAVE I EVER (NETFLIX)
Partially based on creator and Indian-American comedian Mindy Kaling’s own childhood, this coming-of-age dramedy focuses on a high school student having to deal with the death of her father.
Now in its 10-episode third season, the series has made a star out of Canadian teen Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and provided a new role for former tennis star John McEnroe, who provides the show’s main narration.
“It’s really all about Maitreyi Ramakrishnan… She is so relaxed in the role, and such a natural, it’s hard to believe Never Have I Ever marks her first professional acting job,” wrote the Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert.
Season 2 of The Outlaws is now available to stream on Prime Video.
THE OUTLAWS (PRIME VIDEO)
Now in its second season, this Bafta-nominated crime-comedy focuses on seven bickering lawbreakers who discover a bag cash while serving out their community service in Bristol. However, it turns out they’re not the only ones interested in it.
This latest batch of six episodes opens a few months later, with the group still facing time to on their sentences and the criminal underworld still not done with them. The impressive cast includes Stephen Merchant, Eleanor Tomlinson, Dolly Wells, Darren Boyd and Rhianne Barreto.
“Delivers an increasingly tense, fast-paced conclusion to the lead characters’ saga that’s lighter on laughs but filled with strong performances and smart twists,” wrote Digital Trends’ Rick Marshall.
WELCOME TO WREXHAM (DISNEY+)
Slickly edited, but told with genuine passion and heart, this reality series is exactly the Ted Lasso-meets-Sunderland ‘Til I Die football fans and docu-series lovers would have wished for.
Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds come across as committed and concerned potential owners of the Welsh city’s fifth-tier of English Football-dwelling club, willing to learn about all the aspects of the sporting code neither are particularly familiar with, while also fully aware they have personas and characters to play.
What’s striking is just how funny both are, even without a team of writers (although bizarrely, one of McElhenney’s Mystic Quest scribes Humphrey Ker is enlisted as the boys’ eyes and ears on the ground) and they’re not above using that skill to disarm their target audience – whether via a hilarious ad for the club’s main sponsor Ifor Williams Trailers, or a “press conference” that featured a subversive Welsh “translator”.