This week’s home entertainment: from Utopia to Us | Television

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John Cusack, Sasha Lane and Rainn Wilson star in this Gillian Flynn-penned remake of Channel 4’s 2013 cult classic. It follows a group of comic-book fans who obsess over the titular tome, only to realise that its seemingly fictional tales are actually eerily accurate forewarnings.
Friday 25 September, Amazon Prime Video

The comforting staple finally returns with some significant changes. Sandi Toksvig has been replaced as co-host by baked potato enthusiast Matt Lucas, while the judging powerplay has been for ever altered since we became a country of baking experts with little else to do in lockdown. We will be the judges of whether that bottom really is soggy or not.
Tuesday 22 September, 8pm, Channel 4

Black-ish star Allen Maldonado plays Devin, a stay-at-home dad with money troubles in this new comedy series. After losing $5,000, he revisits his youthful sneaker obsession, enlisting a group of fellow trainer fetishists to help him find the Zeroes, a pair of which will solve his woes.
Friday 25 September, Netflix

Larry Rickard and Charlotte Ritchie in Ghosts.
In high spirits … Larry Rickard and Charlotte Ritchie in Ghosts. Photograph: Mark Johnson

The joyous, pleasingly silly sitcom about a young couple – played by Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe – who inherit what turns out to be a haunted house returns for a second season. The ragtag ensemble of squabbling ghosts features a top-notch comedy cast including Lolly Adefope, Simon Farnaby and Jim Howick.
Monday 21 September, 8.30pm, BBC One

With the winner of the Mercury prize – contenders include Charli XCX and Michael Kiwanuka – announced on The One Show on Thursday, Jools chats to the recipient on the process behind their lauded album.
Friday 25 September, 10pm, BBC Two

Part-time EastEnder and full-time geezer Danny Dyer might seem like an unlikely choice of mentee for revered playwright Harold Pinter, yet he made his name as a young actor in several of the writer’s dramatic works. This doc sees him relive their friendship.
Tuesday 22 September, 9pm, Sky Arts

Fern Brady
Chuckle vision … Fern Brady. Photograph: Matt Crockett

As the future of live comedy is placed in increasing doubt owing to changing coronavirus restrictions, this six-part special seeks to bring the laughter back. Shot in cities across the UK and featuring local talent including Fern Brady, expect to see some stars in the making.
Friday 25 September, BBC Three

Our appetite for extreme dating shows involving mild peril continues with this latest offering. Couples on the cusp of big commitment decisions are each tempted by the offer of a date with someone completely new. At the end of the dinner, the original couple then decide what their future holds.
Sunday 20 September, BBC Three

Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves star in this adaptation of David Nicholls’s 2014 bestseller. Hollander plays Douglas Peterson, a man whose plans for a family trip around Europe are upended when his wife Connie (Reeves) suddenly asks for a separation. The increasingly pivotal holiday goes ahead anyway, with gently dramatic results.
Sunday 20 September, 9pm, BBC One

Hot on the heels of Disney+’s Becoming, which charts famous people’s inspiring journeys, is this similarly pep-filled, LeBron James co-produced effort. In The Playbook, the focus is on successful sports coaches who share their personal rules for winning matches and at life.
Tuesday 22 September, Netflix


Hot ... The Haçienda, Manchester, 1989
Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches … The Haçienda, Manchester, 1989. Photograph: Peter J Walsh/Shutterstock

This creative 12-part series explores how the rise of ecstasy led to the creation of a new musical subculture in the UK and Europe in the late 80s and early 90s. Six documentary episodes hosted by Chris Warburton chart the drug’s impact, while Danny Brocklehurst pens a five-part tale of ravers and the club industry. A roundtable discussion finishes things off.
All episodes available, BBC Sounds

Writer Talia Lavin hosts this absurdly entertaining podcast breaking down the Great American Novel Moby Dick chapter-by-chapter with the help of expert bookworms and crowdsourced group readings. On paper, it might sound like a sleep-inducing seminar but the result will make you want to pick up the influential tome and get reading.
Weekly, widely available

The Guardian’s health editor Sarah Boseley is joined by a selection of reporters including Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin and Nicola Davis to take your most pressing questions on the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent topics up for expert discussion have included the potential impacts of the flu season and how to properly tackle healthy eating.
Weekly, the Guardian

After artery-tightening “stresscom” Semi-Detached, Lee Mack offers up something a bit more zen, with this new podcast exploring Buddhism. Long intrigued by the religion, Mack is ready to decide whether to fully commit, so he and the comedy writer Neil Webster head off along the road to enlightenment.
Weekly, widely available

Having excavated groundbreaking albums by the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé, Cole Cuchna’s hugely successful podcast turns its attention to Childish Gambino’s 2013 concept album Because the Internet. Exploring the disconnect between our online and offline lives, it is ripe for dissection.
Weekly, Spotify


Bukky Bakray (centre) in Rocks
School’s out … Bukky Bakray (centre) in Rocks

(Sarah Gavron) 91 mins
Suffragette director Sarah Gavron returns with a defiantly multicultural school-age comedy-drama, making an instant star of teenager Bukky Bakray in the process. Bakray plays Rocks, a year 11 kid who, with her younger brother, is abandoned by her single mother; the film has a tremendous unforced energy about it as events unwind.
In cinemas

(Rubika Shah) 80 mins
Interesting throwback doc about the mid-1970s of Enoch Powell, National Front skinheads and donkey-jacketed anarchists. This charts the activities of the Rock Against Racism movement, which promoted unity events during the punk era, with not-always successful results.
In cinemas

(Antonio Campos) 138 mins
A starry cast – Tom Holland, Riley Keough, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson – turn this adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s gruesomely gothic thriller into a heavyweight affair. A kid with a traumatic background faces serial killers and a corrupt preacher, among others.

Cosmo Jarvis in Nocturnal.
Nighty night … Cosmo Jarvis in Nocturnal. Photograph: Laura Radford/Allstar

(Nathalie Biancheri) 84 mins
A first feature from Biancheri, set in a scruffy Yorkshire seaside town, with Cosmo Jarvis as a moody painter-decorator with an apparently unhealthy connection with a discontented schoolgirl (played by Lauren Coe).
In cinemas

(Jonathan Caouette) 91 mins
Part of the Barbican’s on-demand Inner States series of “first person” documentaries, Jonathan Caouette’s 2003 memoir/essay of growing up the son of a woman with schizophrenia is still raw and moving.

(Martin Provost) 117 mins
The two Catherines are a formidable pair in Martin Provost’s moving drama. Catherine Frot is the serious-minded fortysomething midwife Claire; Catherine Deneuve the older, altogether more playful Béatrice, former mistress of Claire’s now dead father, arriving terminally ill out of the distant past to establish a charming reunion.
Friday 25 September, 12.45am, BBC Two

Source: The Guardian
Keyword: This week’s home entertainment: from Utopia to Us | Television

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