This week’s home entertainment: from Nine Perfect Strangers to The Courier | Television & radio

Television

Mike White’s series is a fine addition to the mini-genre of shows about miserable rich Americans. It turns a high-end resort in Hawaii into a vision of hell as the Mossbacher family find a range of fresh and inventive ways of torturing each other and everyone around them. An unsparing examination of privilege, wealth and existential despair.
Monday 16 August, 9pm, Sky Atlantic

A welcome second run for Liam Williams’s dark coming-of-age comedy. As we rejoin present-day Liam, he is heartbroken and looks for explanations for his angst in the events of his adolescence. A fine exploration of neurosis and regret but funnier than that sounds.
Sunday 15 August, BBC Three; Monday 16 August, 10.35pm, BBC One

A new drama based on a Radio 4 drama about a detective heading up a specialist Marine Homicide Unit. The always excellent Nicola Walker stars as DI Annika Strandhed, an enigmatic but intuitive cop with the now-traditional challenging private life. Walker’s weary charisma is as compelling as ever.
Tuesday 17 August, 9pm, Alibi

The dark side of the wellness industry is dramatised in this series starring a spooky Nicole Kidman as Masha, the director of Tranquillum House, a therapeutic retreat for troubled souls. Masha’s new batch of clients seem a particularly volatile bunch – but Masha’s intentions are questionable, too. Is their trauma part of her grand plan?
Friday 20 August, Amazon Prime Video

Wrestling and sibling rivalry in this new deep south drama starring Stephen Amell as Jack Spade, a man trying to keep a variety of struggling shows on the road. The tragedy and comedy of pro wrestling are mined expertly as Jack’s troubled brother threatens to derail the whole enterprise.
Sunday 15 August, Starzplay

Sandra Oh is her usual flustered but resourceful self in this Netflix comedy-drama. Oh is Ji-Yoon Kim, the new chair of the English department at an American university. She’s the first woman to hold the role and her private life is somewhat eventful. What could possibly go wrong?
Friday 20 August, Netflix

Podcasts

Photograph: BBC

Ex-Team GB Paralympic swimmer Dan Pepper presents this series investigating the post-2000 ban on intellectual impairment sports at the Paralympics – a move that he says destroyed his career, since he has a learning disability. He speaks to the Spanish basketball team who prompted the reassessment of the rules after winning gold at the Sydney games in 2000.
Weekly, BBC Sounds

Mercury music prize-nominated singer Charli XCX welcomes a treasure trove of celebrity pals on to her first podcast series, quizzing them about what makes the perfect song for specific times in their lives. There’s talk of breakup tracks and party-starters with the likes of Beabadobee, Mark Ronson and Caroline Polachek.
Weekly, BBC Sounds

The Guardian’s team of health reporters Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin and Nicola Davis take us through the latest scientific developments in this incisive series. Covering Covid and beyond, recent highlights have included discussions on the consequences of the billionaire space race and arguments surrounding testosterone in women’s athletics.
Weekly, The Guardian

This fascinating podcast experiment takes a six-part scripted sci-fi series created by Martin Zaltz Austwick and Jeff Emtman and then codes in subtle differences that make for unique listening experiences depending on the days that you might download each episode. It is what the creators are calling “generative podcasting”.
Weekly, widely available

Music journalist Christina Lee and hip-hop scholar Dr Regina N Bradley host this entertaining deep dive into southern hip-hop. Created for “all the ratchet intellectuals of the world”, each episode draws out an element of the regional genre’s influence, from pioneers OutKast to its sonic fingerprints on the current Tyler, the Creator album.
Weekly, widely available

Film

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Courier.
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Courier. Photograph: Liam Daniel/AP

(12A) (Dominic Cooke) 112 mins in cinemas
A fascinating true story of plucky British derring-do makes for an increasingly involving espionage thriller. Benedict Cumberbatch gives nuance to the figure of Greville Wynne, a businessman drawn in 1960 into the perilous job of passing messages from a top Soviet general (Merab Ninidze) in Moscow to MI6, as the Cuban missile crisis looms.

(12A) (Shawn Levy) 115 mins, in cinemas
Ryan Reynolds is a genial presence in this thoroughly enjoyable comedy thriller. He is Guy, a minor character in a GTA-style video game – basically cannon fodder – who develops self-awareness when he falls for Jodie Comer’s IRL player, a programmer trying to prove her code was stolen.

(15) (Andrew Levitas) 115 mins, in cinemas
The great US news photographer W Eugene Smith found new purpose late in life when he documented the devastating effects on a Japanese village of industrial pollution. Johnny Depp underplays him nicely in this biopic, while there’s a bitter sting in the tail.

(15) (Maria Schrader) 108 mins, in cinemas
Maren Eggert stars as a single academic who agrees to test out a humanoid robot (our own Dan Stevens) designed to be her ideal partner. An engaging German drama that gently probes questions of what it is to be human and how you define love.

(15) (Jack Clough) 97 mins, in cinemas, out Wednesday 18 August
The Brentford massive off the BBC go a bit larger in this mockumentary, though the levels of bathos are the same. Kurupt FM’s inept pirate radio crew discover one of their tracks has been used in a Japanese gameshow, so fly east to break a new market for UK garage.

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