Autumn is famously prime TV season. The nights are darker and colder and the lure of your sofa and a great binge is never more enticing. True to form, September's TV schedule is brimming with back-to-school energy and some of the most exciting new series of the year.
There's sharp comedy with Disney+'s first ever British-set show, Wedding Season; a tight, gripping political thriller in Sky's new original series Munich Games; and we head back to Pierpoint & Co for a second season of the critically acclaimed Industry. Plus, two of the most lauded shows of recent time are finally dropping this month. Euphoria's Sam Levinson has penned a hedonistic black comedy, The Idol, with none other than The Weeknd (and starring Lily Rose Depp) and Amazon unveils its blockbuster addition to The Lord of the Rings canon: The Rings of Power.
Here's our essential watch list for the month ahead:
1. Munich Games
Politically and emotionally charged, this original drama from Sky is a must-watch for anyone looking for a compelling head-scratcher of a show. Set 50 years after the infamous terrorist attack on the 1972 Munich Olympics, Munich Games imagines a friendly football match between an Israeli and a German team, staged to commemorate the incident and pay respect to those who died. Predictably, tensions mount and sinister plans reveal themselves, and a Mossad agent based in Berlin must work with a German police officer with Lebanese roots to prevent an international disaster. Tense, compelling and fraught with fascinating and heart-rending debates, Munich Games is an heir to Homeland: dark, powerful, complex and poignantly relevant today.
Munich Games is streaming on NowTV from 9 September
2. Wedding Season
Wedding season can be a real killer, eh? Well, especially when one includes a mass murder and the lead suspect is… the bride. This is the premise behind Disney+’s first UK-based series which, despite the untimely demise of an entire wedding party, is a deft and hugely entertaining action comedy. It stars Gavin Drea as Stefan, a man who strikes up an affair with Katie (Rosa Salazar) after they meet – and subsequently spend time together – at several weddings. This is all despite the fact that Katie is engaged. But when Stefan (unsuccessfully) tries to stop Katie’s wedding, and her in-laws end up poisoned, they both find themselves chief suspects. Brilliantly witty and strangely romantic, Disney+’s first step on UK turf has nailed British humour and sentiment. This is all because Wedding Season is, essentially, what would have happened if Four Weddings and a Funeral had involved mystery, murder and a fledgling couple on the run. In other words, your new favourite binge-watch.
Wedding Season will be available to stream on Disney+ from 8 September.
A British banking drama with a pilot episode directed by Lena Dunham. With that glorious mishmash of a pitch, Industry hijacked our attention when it debuted at the end of 2020. Young graduates, fierce competition, dodgy deals, sex, drugs, lies and ambition – the show had it all, and promises an even fierier offering when its second season lands on the BBC this month. Like Skins but with city jobs, Industry is a wild ride of tightly-plotted, brilliantly written drama. The second season continues in this vein; following on from the fall out of the first season’s finale: the rift between Harper (Myha’la Herrold) and Yasmin (Marisa Abela), the sacking of David Johnson’s Gus and the entire company’s reaction to the Covid pandemic. There’s also the introduction, this season, of new cast members: including Adam Levy as Yasmin’s enigmatic father and Katrine de Candole as mysterious newcomer Celeste Pacque. Buckle up for another riotous ride at Pierpoint & Co.
The second season of Industry will be available on BBC iPlayer later this month.
4. The Idol
Has any show been quite as mysterious and as hyped as The Idol? It helps that this tantalising new small-screen treat comes with a heady pedigree. Written and created by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson and Abel ‘The Weekend’ Tesfaye (who also stars) it has a cast headed up by Lily Rose Depp, in her first major role, and features Dan Levy, Elizabeth Berkeley, Eli Roth, Hari Nef and the late Anne Heche in her final role. Set around a self-help guru/cult leader’s relationship with a rising pop star, it announces itself as "the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood" and promises to be a darkly funny, self-aware but audacious look at fame and influence. If Euphoria didn’t hold back, don’t expect this to.
The Idol is streaming on NowTV later this month
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
It’s been hailed as one of the most expensive shows of all time, with one of the most ambitious scopes. Now, after years of speculation, Amazon’s first ever big-budget epic is coming to our screens. Just as Game of Thrones launches its own prequel of sorts (House of the Dragon) so The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is bringing to life for the first time the origin story of the rings, based on an early text by JRR Tolkien and set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit. It is the first time that the world of The Lord of the Rings has been given the golden age of TV treatment since its iconic rebrand under Peter Jackson in the early noughties. Now, with a different creative team and a (largely) unknown cast, Amazon is taking on the tale of a young Galadriel and Elrond, of the rise of Sauron and the last alliance of elves and men. With this and the return of Westeros, it seems the fantasy epic is back up and running.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be available on Amazon Prime Video from 2 September
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