Aired in February 2019, Tim Wardle‘s documentary Three Identical Strangers follows three young men in 1980s New York, who were all adopted as six-month-old infants to separate parents in 1961. One day, they meet each other and find out they’re triplets who were separated at birth. But their quest to find out why turns into a bizarre and sinister mystery.
Aired on BBC Two in March 2019, The Night in Question sees Louis Theroux head to a number of US college campuses and come face-to-face with students accused of sexual assault. At the start of this journey, Louis meets a neuroscience major called Saif Khan, who has been accused of raping a fellow student. His university is investigating the claims separately, even though Saif has been found not guilty in a court of law. Louis also meets young women whose claims of sexual assault have previously fallen on deaf ears, but whose experiences are a powerful reminder that there is now a broader understanding of what sexual assault looks like.
Aired on Channel 4 in March 2019, Leaving Neverland sees the testimonies of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who, now in their 30s, allege that they were sexually abused as children by the singer Michael Jackson. At the height of his stardom when he was 34 years old, Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged 7 and 10 at the time, and their families. The documentary, directed and produced by the British filmmaker Dan Reed, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and examines the effects on the boys and their families.
Netflix‘s American psychological thriller series, You, which was released in December 2018 and developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, follows a clever bookstore manager, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and is based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes. When Joe meets and falls in love with a customer, a graduate student and aspiring writer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), he quickly becomes obsessed with her. Relying on his savvy Internet know-how, Joe will stop at nothing and will get rid of every obstacle in his way to make the woman of his dreams fall in love with him.
Created by Laurie Nunn and premiered on Netflix in January 2019, Sex Education follows a socially awkward high school virgin, Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), who lives with his sex therapist mother, Dr Jean F. Milburn (Gillian Anderson). Otis and his best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) aren’t the kind of people who get invited to the best parties. But when Otis’ home life is revealed at school, Otis realizes that he can use his specialist knowledge to gain status. So, he teams up with social outcast Maeve (Emma Mackey) to set up a clinic to deal with their fellow students’ weird and wonderful problems. Through his analysis of teenage sexuality, Otis realises he may need some therapy of his own.
Premiered on Netflix this month, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a four-part series by Joe Berlinger that takes a look inside the mind of one of the most prolific serial killers, Ted Bundy. Featuring previously unheard interviews with him on death row and archival footage of those affected by his actions, the documentary forms a searing portrait of the notorious killer who was known for being charming and handsome as much as he was known for being a monster.
Premiered on Netflix this month, Abducted In Plain Sight is an American documentary directed by Sky Borgman, which tells the true story of 12-year-old Jan Broberg who was kidnapped in 1974 and again two years later by the same man. Following the accounts of the naive, church-going Broberg family, the film sees their troubling admissions of how they came under the spell of their next-door neighbour and best friend, who turned out to be a deceitful sociopath with a strange obsession with their daughter.
If you have a little one, it’s likely that you’ve read at least one of Julia Donaldson‘s picture books, and probably on repeat due to her simple rhymes and fun characters that are perfect for getting children interested in reading. And with beautiful illustrations by Axel Scheffler, her books have always been a favourite in our house.
This Christmas, BBC One are airing all of the short film adaptations of her books, including the new premier of Zog. Here’s a list of what films are on and when you can catch them:
BBC Four is the place to be for Scandinavian drama at the minute. Following on from the success of The Bridge, River, and Trapped (which I reviewed last month), this month sees the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the latest Nordic Noir & Beyond TV series, Follow The Money.
After concluding on BBC4 on 16th April, the first series of this Danish crime drama will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.