I look forward to writing what TV to recommend each month as it serves as a guide for my own viewing. This month wrote itself, however, and my TV time was predestined. There are such stonking programmes launching for spring/summer midseason 2022 and I invite you to enjoy them with me.
I am probably meant to tell you about two of the most long-awaited shows that are coming this month: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ and Stranger Things Season 4 on Netflix, making a lot of people very satisfied consumers. Personal taste, however, dictates that I will be making sure you are fully aware of some other fantastic shows on offer. Full disclosure, Michael Connelly has somehow done the double this month, the cheeky devil.
May 5th – Girls5eva, Season 2 – Peacock
I am really glad that the NBC streaming channel Peacock is finally available, if in a limited capacity, in the UK. Sky and NOW TV customers now have access to all its really fantastic shows. It’s been the home of some very canny comedy at a time when that is slim on the ground. A.P Bio (A psychopathic, disinterested former Harvard professor who corrals his new Biology students to do his bidding) and Killing It (a show about competitive snake killing in Florida) have been breaths of fresh air. Season 2 of another of my favourites is about to start – Girls5Eva. The premise: Some ever so slightly over the hill former girl band members think it might be a good idea to get the band back together, narcissism the only real drive as they conveniently forget that they only ever had one hit. With Busy Phillips on board, I was always going to give it a spin and I was richly rewarded.
May 6 – Bosch: Legacy – FreeVee (Formerly Amazon IMDB TV)
For those of us who felt sad, yet slightly satisfied at that final fade out from the closing scene of Season 7 of Bosch, we have been rewarded and also made to feel excitedly nervous at the news of more of this dark LA crime procedural. Personally, I can’t wait as I know we are in safe hands. The new show, Bosch: Legacy has been devised by Bosch creator Michael Connelly, original adaptor Eric Overmyer and longtime staff writer Tom Bernardo. The rebranding is slightly confusing but reflects a development along the Bosch timeline. For those not familiar, Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch (yes, after the Dutch painter famous for his fascinations with hell) is a wonderful creation from the pen of author Michael Connelly. An ex-special forces Soldier who became a talented homicide detective, Bosch is an inscrutable man. From his name itself, his love of jazz, his traumatic upbringing in group homes and his unbendable moral code: “Everybody counts, or nobody counts.” His morality sometimes takes him into grey areas of the law, but always for good. The original adaptation for Amazon Prime with Titus Welliver in the eponymous role was beautifully and sensitively managed. Connelly himself was a producer and the jazz soundtrack often made you feel you almost finally understood Bosch. Legacy is loosely based on Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye. Harry is no longer with the LAPD, having quit in some style, but a private ‘dick’ and his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) is a rookie with his former agency working hard at deciding what kind of cop she wants to be in the wake of her father’s dimming footsteps.
For his first job, he is tasked with finding the only potential heir to an ailing billionaire, Whitney Vance. Since he doesn’t have a badge and prefers “old-school tactics”.
May 15 – Conversations with Friends – BBC Iplayer
Sally Rooney’s Normal People was one of the Lockdown Shows that blew up and became a water cooler moment when no one was at a water cooler. That the book had itself been independently successful was seemingly irrelevant in the wake of the BBC adaptation. Of course, following such success, everyone wanted more. The obvious choice to adapt next was Rooney’s 2017 novel Conversations With Friends. It is similar to Normal People in that it is again based in Dublin and explores themes of love, sexuality and partnership. In Conversations With Friends college student and aspiring writer Frances (Alison Oliver) performs poetry with her ex-girlfriend Bobbi (Sasha Lane). Journalist Melissa (Jemima Kirke) “discovers” their talent and introduces them to her husband, actor Nick (the ever-unattainable Joe Alwyn). While Bobbi and Melissa openly flirt with one another, Frances starts a secret affair with Nick. This intense passion soon tests the bonds between Frances and Bobbi and forces Frances to reevaluate everything she thinks she knows. Excitingly for music fans, Phoebe Bridgers has written a new song, ‘Sidelines’, for the show which can be heard on the Hulu (read: American) trailer for the show, below.
May 13 – The Lincoln Lawyer – Netflix
Alright, Alright, Alright. Let me reassure you this is a Matthew McConaughey–free zone. You are in a SAFE SPACE. The TV Gods have blessed us with not one but two Michael Connelly-produced adaptations this month and both look fantastic. Look, it’s not that the McConaughey led film of The Lincoln Lawyer was terrible. It’s just that if it’s not How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, I can’t get on with him. This is different. Based on the second book The Brass Verdict in Connelly’s ‘Lincoln Lawyer’ series, it has been written and produced by David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, Big Little Lies), Ross Fineman (Big Sky) and Michael Connelly (Bosch, The Lincoln Lawyer). ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ is Mickey Haller (Harry Bosch’s half-brother, a fantastic twist for your May viewing). A man who runs his reinstated law practice from the back of his Lincoln Town Car, driven by a client who is paying off his legal debts. In this series, which endeavours to drive (excuse the pun) the plot forward from the film, we see Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) return to the law after some respite and tackling the frayed relationships and nerves that come with that.
From bestselling author Michael Connelly, THE LINCOLN LAWYER stars Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Neve Campbell. On Netflix 13 May! pic.twitter.com/Yti0rmjG3J
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) April 6, 2022
Ok, I have been traveling so here’s a more complete intro! The most famous law office on wheels. From the one and only @Connellybooks (with whom it has been a privilege and pleasure to work)! A first look at The Lincoln Lawyer, premiering May 13 on Netflix. #TheLincolnLawyer pic.twitter.com/RIVpIdLGaG
— Ted Humphrey (@TedHumphrey_) April 6, 2022
May 25 – Somebody Feed Phil, Season 5 – Netflix
“A happy hungry man
Is travelling all across the sea and the land
He’s trying to understand
The art of pasta pork chicken and lamb.”
The theme song should be enough on its own. Phil Rosenthal is the creator and writer of one of USA TV’s best-loved sitcoms; Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005). A self-confessed enthusiastic eater he then started making a series of part food/part travel documentaries for PBS in 2015 called I’ll Have What Phil’s Having where he very simply turned up to new places and, well, ate stuff. It turned out Rosenthal was delightful in front of the camera, his playful comedy even more enjoyable from his own mouth. Netflix quickly saw the value and it was rebranded as Somebody Feed Phil. Each episode follows Phil to a new global city where he explores the food, the people and always, always the ice cream. It’s kind of an Anthony Bourdain-Lite. And that is not derogatory to either great man. Rosenthal is delightful to watch. He unites people in his kindness, slight bumblings and enthusiasm for the world around him. Bourdain would unite the people he met in a more magnetic way, with more alcohol and more doom. Very different outcomes from a similar premise. Somebody Feed Phil is feel-good or “Phil-good” tv that also teaches you a bit, but makes you want to be part of the Rosenthal family, have Zoom calls about weird fruit, and stomp around the world tasting ice cream with Phil.
27th May – We Feed People – Disney+
The one addition to my list that is a documentary rather than a series is a very special one indeed that I have been looking forward to for a long time – We Feed People. It is director Ron Howard’s study of chef and humanitarian José Andrés and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen’s incredible mission and evolution over 12 years. Andrés as a chef was introduced to me via Anthony Bourdain’s documentaries. Born in Mieres, Spain, a small mountain town near Oviedo in Asturias (one that I have been lucky enough to visit) it sits on a route of the Camino de Santiago and apart from a strangely active music scene has little else to claim. Andrés is a chef who after being fired from El Bulli arrived in America with $50 and a dream. He is credited for igniting the small plates revolution in the States and his restaurants have thrived globally. More fascinating, however, have been his extracurricular activities. 2010 was a pivotal year in his life. He not only taught a culinary physics course at Harvard University but more relevant to this documentary, in reaction to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, he was moved to form World Central Kitchen.
A huge undertaking with a simple aim to get home-cooked meals to those in need. He brought friends and chefs he knew on board and the project was gruelling, unique and amazing. From a grassroots relief effort of people flying in to cook for those in need, it is now a prominent first response team with their efforts in Poland for Ukrainian refugees being essential.
In small towns north of Kyiv, destroyed roads & downed communication lines have made it difficult to reach families—including many young kids—in critical need of support. WCK teams have delivered over 12,000 grocery kits here so far, and we'll keep coming back. #ChefsForUkraine pic.twitter.com/qGoTE2lcFv
— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) May 2, 2022
The documentary airs on Disney+. Incidentally, if you’re hanging around that platform this month, you might also want to check out the complete NYPD Blue and the charming Papas Por Encargo, a teen road trip tv show.