Netflix may be facing a settling of scores at the moment, financial, critical and otherwise, but among its few highlights of 2022 is undoubtedly the return of this brilliant British drama, which was canceled by its British broadcaster. originally Channel 4 but later picked up by the streamer (via rapper Drake, who pushed for its revival and is now the show’s executive producer). Now in its second Netflix series, or fourth series overall, it tells a densely detailed yet narratively propelling story of East London life that deftly covers everything from gang crime and drug cases to gentrification, coercive relations and immigration policy, and it only got better and better. The way he films East London is both tough and beautiful, capturing its vibe in a way that feels truer than any film or show in recent memory, while the performances are remarkable in their naturalism – among them the rapper Kano as the brooding Sully, now living on a riverboat, and Jasmine Jobson as the tough Jaq. (HM)
Available on Netflix internationally
This will hurt
A harrowing, deeply important and above all amusing portrait of Britain’s healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS), This is Going to Hurt is based on the memoir of the same name by former doctor Adam Kay. After serving as a junior doctor in the obstetrics and gynecology ward of a busy London hospital, Kay paints a nuanced portrait of the working conditions he and many others endured, and the heavy toll that long hours and intense pressure on your life. Ben Whishaw’s performance as Kay is a tour de force, depicting the inner turmoil of a man determined to at least try to do the right thing, but who doesn’t always succeed. What’s so special about this show is that Kay isn’t a likable character, yet you continually encourage her success, wishing her, her patients, and her colleagues desperately. It’s not a rosy portrait of the realities of life in British hospitals, and there are some truly devastating moments throughout, but the show continues resolutely with humanity and gallows humor, despite the horrors: just like the professionals of health do it every day. (THAT)
Available on BBC iPlayer in the UK and AMC in the US
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