Big Little Lies
Writer David E Kelley created several high-rating US drama series—Ally McBeal, Boston Legal—before he adapted the novel Big Little Lies. But it’s a dramatically satisfying marvel that trumps them all, as it grips and holds by force of character alone. The first series attracted the star power of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Alexander Skarsgård; the second has added Meryl Streep. It’s set in wealthy Monterey, among a group of mothers with young children, who as the action begins again are united by a shocking secret.
This period drama co-written and directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham) and set in India on the cusp of the 19th century has already been dubbed “Downton in Delhi.” But Chadha, who grew up watching Raj series such as The Jewel in the Crown and The Far Pavilions, sees it as a chance to revisit those types of dramas from a British Asian perspective. As the action begins, the British have not yet seized military control, and the house has been bought by Tom Bateman’s John Beecham (below), who has grown rich with the East India Company but turned away from their cruel profiteering.
The Hunt for Jihadi John
Like Leaving Neverland, this documentary is a co-production between Channel 4 and HBO. It details the search for Mohammed Emwazi—or “Jihadi John”—who beheaded journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker David Haines. Emwazi, who was born in Kuwait and grew up in London before joining Islamic State, was killed in a drone strike in November 2015.