Pistol to Borgen: the seven best shows to broadcast this week | Television and radio

Choice of the week

Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary.
Abbott Elementary. Photo: Prashant Gupta / ABC

that of Quinta Brunson mock comedy placed in a rough-round-the-edge Philadelphia school manages a rare achievement. As each teacher is worth their salt might require, it shows rather than counts. We are encouraged to sympathize with the bad kids of the school and tough, passionate teachers. But the show strikes a good balance between comic charm and subtle controversy over the inadequacies of the U.S. education system. As we join the action, a teacher has been fired for kicking a student and a financial battle begins over basic equipment. Brunson also stars as Janine Teagues, a lovely if a little outspoken teacher who makes the kids happy but sometimes annoys her bosses.
Disney +, from Wednesday, June 1


Pistol

Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen and Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious in Pistol.
Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen and Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious in Pistol. Photo: Disney + / Rebecca Brenneman / FX

Based on the memoir of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, Danny Boyle’s six-part comedy-drama roars quite energetically, evoking the mood of a wet, oppressed mid-70s Britain. The angle feels relatively new – the perspective of Jones (Toby Wallace) has been explored less than that of Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten, and his violent childhood is evoked in all its claustrophobic sadness. But there is a seriousness to the script and presentations that feels a little weird, underscoring the group’s nihilism. No matter how much they mock and mock, the actors just aren’t dirty or delinquent enough to pull it off.
Disney +, from Tuesday 31 May


Borgen: Power & Glory

Borgen: Power and Glory.
Borgen: Power and Glory. Photo: Mike Kollöffel / Netflix / Mike Kollöffel

The heyday of Skandi drama seems a distant memory, but the return of Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) feels like a welcome visit from an old friend. A decade ago, she felt a principled anomaly. In the populist era, she is even more of a liberal wish-fulfillment fantasy. Nyborg is now foreign minister – and when oil is discovered in Greenland, she is at the center of an international power struggle in the Arctic. She also has to watch Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen), who milks her status as a “Nyborg expert” on television.
Netflix, from Thursday, June 2


The Boys

The Boys, series three.
The Boys, series three. Photo: Amazon Prime Video

“I may be a superhero. But I’m still just a man who fell in love with the wrong woman. ” Homelander (Antony Starr) tries a remark, but his softer regime seems even more relaxed. This is the same for the course for this return superhero parody – it manages to have its cake and eat it satisfying a taste for satire and sensational ultraviolence. Butcher (Karl Urban) now works for the government and is unusually quiet. But when the boys hear of a mysterious anti-Supe weapon, they collide with the Seven and the whole hell is set free.
Amazon Prime Video, Friday, June 3


P-Valley

P-Valley.
P-Valley. Photo: Erika Doss / Starz Entertainment

Strip clubs had a hard time through the pandemic, and the Pynk – in the fictional, deep southern town of Chucalissa – was no different. Kovid-related departures have created vacancies. Cue Roulette – a new dancer (portrayed by Gail Bean of Snowfall fame), ready to give the club some headaches and a much needed fresh light of life. La first season of this show was a sleeping success, but P-Valley deserves more attention: it is frustrating in every sense, but the stories are told generously and from the perspectives of the dancers, and are all the better for it.
StarzPlay, starting Friday, June 3rd


Physics

Physics.
Physics. Photo: Apple TV +

This Lycra-dressed comedy-drama, launched last year, aims to do for the fitness video what Glow did for women’s wrestling: present it as an emblem of an era, set in amber and ripe for all sorts of melodramas and kitsch period detail. The problem is, unlike Glow, the characters are never well enough designed to be convincing, whether as a drama or a comedy. In the second season, Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne) deals with the aftermath of a new success – her training video spawned impersonators and jealousy also ran greedily for part of her spoils of war.
Apple TV +, starting Friday, June 3rd


The floor is lava

The floor is lava.
The floor is lava. Photo: Netflix

First season of this amazingly stupid adventure show (think, The Crystal Labyrinth with regular feathers in a boiling red globe) made big, though perhaps in relation to Covid-1989, numbers for Netflix, so a second season was carefree. But after you’ve created an obstacle course of bubbling volcanic matter, how do you lift the stakes? It’s really obvious: a massive volcano, emitting even hotter lava! It is fair to say that no one can be accused of over-thinking the USP of this show, and that is part of the appeal. Put it this way: you will watch more than one episode.
Netflix, starting Friday, June 3rd

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