Top series picks for the summer and beyond

August 10, 2021

Summer is here and if you are looking to unwind with a new series, there are plenty of new series, as well as ones that have proven popular over the past year, from our global media partners’ channels across Europe that you can get your teeth stuck into:

United Kingdom

Des

The drama focuses on one of the most infamous cases in UK criminal history, that of serial killer Dennis Nilsen. Told through the prism of three men – Dennis Nilsen played by David Tennant, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay played by Daniel Mays and biographer Brian Masters played by Jason Watkins – the series will explore the personal and professional consequences of encountering a man like Nilsen.

The series focuses on how a man like Nilsen got away with such crimes for so long, as well as highlighting the police investigation, trial and the effect of the media coverage on public perceptions of the victims at the time, raising questions of just how far we have come since then. All episodes are available on ITV Hub.

Vera

The crime drama series stars Brenda Blethyn as the principal character, Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope. Vera is an almost retired employee of the fictional ‘Northumberland & City Police’, who is obsessive about her work and driven by her own demons.

Her trusted and long-suffering colleague is Sgt. Joe Ashworth and together they approach each case with gusto and professionalism. First premiering in 2011, there have been 10 series with the latest airing in 2020 on ITV3.

© Des

© Quiz

Quiz

In 2001, at the height of the public obsession with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, a British army major named Charles Ingram and his wife apparently swindled the British game show allowing Ingram to win the coveted £1 million prize.

Directed by Stephen Frears, Matthew Macfadyen plays Ingram, with Michael Sheen and Sian Clifford also starring. The series focuses on the couple’s obsession with the show, their subsequent involvement in the scandal and criminal trial for conspiring with another accomplice to cough when the correct answers to the multiple-choice questions were called by the host. All episodes are available on ITV Hub.

France

Chernobyl

Winner of the 2020 Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, this series is a gripping reconstruction of the lead up to and the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, depicting some of the lesser-known stories of the disaster, including the efforts of the firefighters who were the first responders on the scene, volunteers, and teams of miners who dug a critical tunnel under Reactor 4.

Scripted by Craig Mazin, he lays everything on the table. The bodies poisoned by radiation, the unspeakable suffering of the victims, but also the technical reasons that caused this tragedy and the stories of those who helped to contain it. Originally broadcast in the US on HBO, it was broadcast on M6.

Why Women Kill

The dark comedy series details the lives of three women living in three different decades: a housewife in the 1960s, a socialite in the 1980s and a lawyer in 2019, who are connected through all living in the same house and discovering the infidelity of their significant others. The infidelity in each marriage sets off a chain of events that ends with a death caused by a woman.

While the roles of each of these women in society has changed, what binds them together is their reaction: a deep desire for revenge.  It premiered in 2019, on CBS All Access and its first season consisted of 10 episodes. In June it was shown on M6 and you can still discover the entire of season 2 on Salto now.

© Chernobyl

© L’amica geniale

Italy

My Brilliant Friend

When Elena Greco’s oldest friend disappeared without a trace, the literary enthusiast decides to write the story of their friendship. A friendship of more than 60 years, set against the backdrop of the dangerous and fascinating city of Naples, which fate and time will try to undermine as the two friends end up going their separate ways

The series tells of the special bond that unites Elena and Raffaella, two girls from 1950s Naples, recreating the atmosphere of neo-realism of those years. The first season aired on Rai1 in 2018 and the second in 2020, with a third being commissioned that year too. Catch the second season on RaiPlay now.

Spain

La cocinera de Castemar

The period drama, starring Michelle Jenner and Roberto Enríquez, is set in early 18th-century Madrid. The plot focuses on Clara Belmonte, an agoraphobic cook, and a widowed nobleman, the Duke of Castemar. Clara begins working in the fictional Duke’s kitchen and they soon fall in love with each other, except, due to the period in which they live and their social class, their love story cannot be easy.

Directed by Iñaki Peñafiel and Norberto López Amado, the series was shot in outdoor locations in Madrid, Segovia, and Cuenca. The series premiered on Atresplayer in February 2021 and was broadcast on Antena 3 between April and June, gaining great audience ratings. Find the whole series on Atresplayer.

Mujer

Bahar, a woman abandoned by her mother, who many years later, in great loneliness, meets Sarp, with whom she falls madly in love. After a few years of happiness together, Bahar is widowed and has only two things left: her sons. Due to financial problems, Bahar and her children move to the neighbourhood of Tarlabaşı, where she eventually falls in love with Arif, her landlord’s son, who helps her with everything.

The Turkish drama series, based on a Japanese drama Woman, stars Özge Özpirinçci, Caner Cindoruk and Bennu Yıldırımlar. First aired outside of Turkey on FOX in 2017, it was aired on Antena 3 from August 2020 and the whole series is available on Atresplayer Premium.

© La cocinera de Castemar

© Vikings

Germany

Vikings

The famous historical action series features famous Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok, inspired by the tales of the Norsemen of early medieval Scandinavia. It broadly follows the exploits of the farmer turned legendary Viking chieftain and his crew, family and descendants. Lothbrok dreams heading west to explore and lead his people to glory in Britain and France and reaping the riches that are to be found there.

The Irish-Candian co-production ran from 2010 until 2020, numbering 6 series in total with a spin-off series developed exclusively for Netflix. Season 1 Episode 1 aired on TVNOW on 24th July. 

New Amsterdam

This medical drama series is based around New Amsterdam Hospital, a dilapidated institution in Manhattan, which is turned upside down by a new director, Dr. Max Goodwin, who is determined to change things. He not only has to deal with getting the hospital in shape, but also grieving for his wife, raising his son as a single father and the cancer that is slowly eating away at him.

It is based on the memoir of Dr Eric Manheimer, “Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital”, about his 15 years as medical director at the hospital. First aired on NBC in 2018, it has run for four seasons, with the latest series hitting screens in September. It is available on TVNOW now.

The Netherlands

Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden

The longest running Dutch soap series, which began in 1990 on RTL4, revolves around the lives of families living in the fictional town of Meerdijk. There is marriage, divorce, kidnapping and business all features, but in recent series there have been more controversial storylines.

We see the families of Meerdijk and their troubles four days a week and it will return to Dutch screens, on RTL 4, from August 30th after the climax of a cliff-hanger preceding the summer break between series. Catch the series also on RTL XL.

The Good Doctor

Shaun Murphy is autistic and has a hidden medical talent, his savant syndrome means he has near-photographic recall and the ability to note minute details and changes. To realize his surgical talent, he leaves his home in Casper, Wyoming, where he had a difficult childhood, to head to the prestigious San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, where he both saves lives and faces the scepticism of his peers.

Running for a total of 4 seasons, including the latest which deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was first aired in the US on CBS and the latest series is scheduled to be shown on RTL4 on August 2nd and is available on TVNOW for German viewers.

© The Good Doctor

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