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Nov 28, 2018

The best TV new to streaming this week

Jason Momoa’s Frontier is a bingeing highlight but Escape at Dannemora is the best streaming option this week, says Dan Slevin.

By Boxing Day, Jason Momoa will have become a full-fledged superhero movie star with his own leading role in the DC universe’s Aquaman but if you can’t wait for that, you can binge all seasons of his historical adventure Frontier on Netflix – season three has just landed. Last week I neglected to mention that Netflix’s Narcos franchise had been extended to include Narcos: Mexico starring Michael Peña (Ant-Man’s buddy Luis), Alyssa Diaz from Ray Donovan and Diego Luna (Rogue One: a Star Wars Story).

Also on Netflix, but produced for Spanish TV, is Fugitiva in which Paz Vega fakes a kidnapping to keep her children safe from her husband’s enemies. All nine episodes of season one are now available for bingeing.

Lightbox has just added the 2016 series Eyewitness about a young closeted gay couple in a small American town who witness a murder and then try to avoid being outed by reporting the crime. Eyewitness won the GLAAD Award for Best Limited Series in 2017.

This week Neon has dropped something really fascinating: The City and The City is BBC science fiction thriller starring David Morrissey, based on the novel by China Miéville. Besźel and Ul Qoma are fictional twin cities as in, literally twin cities. Despite having very different societies and cultures they exist in the same geographical space which requires the citizens of each city to ‘unsee’ each other. A murder is committed, a citizen of one city is found dead in the other. I have a feeling this is going to be exactly as mind-bending as it sounds.

Meanwhile – for those content to wait for new episodes to arrive on that old-fashioned weekly schedule – TVNZ has picked up a property that you would normally expect to be on SoHO/Neon. My Brilliant Friend is an HBO production – an adaptation of the famously pseudonymous Elena Ferrante’s global bestseller. There are four books in her “Neapolitan Novels” series so expect plenty more of these over the next few years. The fact this show is in Neapolitan Italian with English subtitles might explain why it has gone straight to ‘on demand’ rather than taking up premium Sunday night screen estate.

Another show landing on a frustratingly only weekly schedule – this time on Neon – is the Showtime drama Escape at Dannemora, about as prestige as they get these days. Directed by Ben Stiller and starring Paul Dano, Patricia Arquette and Benicio del Toro, it’s the true story of a prison escape by two convicted murderers and the prison employee who becomes romantically entangled with them. There will be seven episodes eventually and episode two has just arrived. I’ll review the whole series once complete and available on Neon.

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