Pick of the week
The New Look
According to one admirer at an event looking back on his career, Christian Dior’s 1947 New Look collection “helped humanity find beauty again after the horrors of World War II”. But Todd A Kessler’s lavish drama suggests it wasn’t that simple. During the war, the likes of Dior and Coco Chanel found their positions in occupied Paris deeply compromised: as their wares were coveted by the Germans, self-preservation arguably tipped over into collaboration. With its slightly bizarre French-accented English and melodramatic flouncing, The New Look is never far from cheesy. But it is cheese of a rich, ripe variety, powered by a fine cast including Ben Mendelsohn, Juliette Binoche and John Malkovich.
Apple TV+, from Wednesday 14 February
The Dynasty: New England Patriots
Based on Jeff Benedict’s book, this access-all-areas series sees Apple dipping its toes into the world of the sporting documentary. But the story of NFL team New England Patriots is stranger than many fictions. In 1994, they were a laughing stock: almost bankrupt and stuck in a loop of on-field failure. Soon, everything changed. The arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and star player Tom Brady triggered a run of success with six Super Bowl titles. But, as this series shows, that’s nowhere near the whole story; the team’s history includes a controversy about extreme rule-bending and even a player being convicted of murder.
Apple TV+, from Friday 16 February
Taylor Tomlinson: Have It All
Another revealing standup special from Tomlinson, whose unflinching examinations of everything from mental health struggles to romantic disappointments succeed in universalising difficult subjects. As befits a comic who has just slipped neatly into the coveted late-night CBS slot vacated by James Corden’s Late Late Show, Tomlinson’s self-possessed confidence carries her through – as a performer who first cut her teeth on the Christian comedy circuit, she’s well versed in understanding the limits and expectations of an audience, even as she’s subverting them.
Netflix, from Tuesday 13 February
Love Is Blind
Arguably the least romantic dating show in TV history returns for an improbable sixth season. “I want something real,” says one singleton as she prepares to enter a pod on the set of a TV show and talk to a bunch of prospective soulmates without seeing their faces. Of course, she might get lucky – but experience has shown that disappointment, via bouts of shrieking, squawking hysteria is a more likely outcome. As ever, the show is hosted by Marmite couple Nick and Vanessa Lachey, whose sometimes abrasive presenting style adds to the sense of alienation.
Netflix, from Wednesday 14 February
The Vince Staples Show
This bizarre meta-comedy stars Californian rapper Vince Staples as a version of himself, enjoying eccentric adventures based on the premise of his conflicted relationship with fame. There’s a kaleidoscopic quality to the narratives as he ricochets between police central booking and celebrity barbecues; between borderline criminality and music stardom. Basically, he’s on the cusp of being famous and successful enough to leave his former life behind (the real-life Staples was involved with gangs in his youth). But, for various reasons, it won’t quite leave him.
Netflix, from Thursday 15 February
Life & Beth
Amy Schumer’s sitcom continues to map out the contours of a semi-permanent midlife crisis, even as, on the surface, Beth’s life appears to be going quite well. Beth (Schumer) and John (Michael Cera) are getting increasingly serious – and as their relationship develops, they’re contemplating marriage and even the possibility of children. But doubt is never far away as communication problems lead to a series of excruciating encounters with therapists and some tough realisations. It’s earthy and warm, with enough darkly cynical humour to maintain a comic edge.
Disney+, from Friday 16 February
A sadly timely drama from Spain as water scarcity leads to a gruesome problem. In a parched town on the Spain/Portugal border, a drought unearths the consequences of a decades-old conspiracy when depleted water levels bring a pair of skeletons to the surface of a reservoir. Detective Daniela Yanes is given the task of investigating the deaths – but doing so brings her into conflict with a close-knit community that would prefer to let bygones be bygones. However, as is the case with every manifestation of the climate crisis, doing nothing really isn’t an option.
Channel 4, from Friday 16 February