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The Patient to Willow: the seven best shows to stream this week | Television

Pick the week

the patient

There are no bells and whistles about this new thriller — and it’s all the better for it. Patient is a tense, tense affair: two actors with compelling chemistry and a good premise that unfolds over 10 brief 20-minute episodes. Steve Carell is psychotherapist Alan Strauss, recovering from bereavement, and then kidnapped and imprisoned by patient Sam (Domnall Gleeson). Sam seems kind and sensible – all he wants is for Alan to cure him of his embarrassing compulsion to kill, which he has been powerless to resist several times. Cue suffocating intimacy, as Alan realizes his very survival depends on his healing power.
Disney+, effective Wednesday, November 30


willow

Warwick Davis at Willow.
Warwick Davis at Willow. Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney+

Another generation is getting the chance to appreciate Willow’s wonders, as Warwick Davis reprises his role as the titular wizard from the 1988 Ron Howard film in this new series. Once again, the forces of evil need to be defeated and a now middle-aged Willow is called to work his magic. The tone subtly (and refreshingly) differs from much modern fiction, with stifled seriousness replaced by self-deprecating humor. However, as the nature of Willow’s quest becomes clear, the stakes couldn’t be higher. A lavishly enjoyable affair, with Joanne Wahl returning as Saoirsha.
Disney+, effective Wednesday, November 30


Exit Kingdom

Bodil Jørgensen in The Kingdom Exodus.
Bodil Jørgensen in The Kingdom Exodus. Photography: Henrik Ohsten / Christian Geisnaes Zentropa

In 1997, before film fame came to fruition, Lars von Trier was helming The Kingdom, a dark TV phenomenon centered on a haunted hospital in Copenhagen. In the ensuing two and a half decades, von Trier became the offending bad boy of European cinema, and sadly, three of the main cast members died in Kingdom. In impressive self-reflexive fashion, the director worked around this problem, creating a third season based on the legendary status of the “dumb TV show” that created the cult following in the first place.
Moby, as of Sunday, November 27


Three Pines

Alfred Molina as Armand Gamache in Three Pines.
Alfred Molina as Armand Gamache in Three Pines. Photography: Laurent Guérin/Amazon Studios

Alfred Molina was clearly born to play the fierce yet sensitive and sad detective in a mystery drama – and so it happened. In this adaptation of the Louise Penny series of novels, he plays Inspector Armand Gamache, an intuitive cop investigating a series of murders in Three Pines, a seemingly idyllic village in rural Quebec. As with all rural crime-plagued fantasy novels, A Little Light reveals all manner of dysfunction. But inevitably, Gamashi has to reckon with his own hidden darkness.
Prime Video, from Friday, December 2


flasher

Jessica Brown Findlay as Tiffany in The Flatshare.
Jessica Brown Findlay as Tiffany in The Flatshare. Photo: 42TV/Paramount+

The housing situation in the UK is certainly difficult. But can you be persuaded to share a bed with a stranger? And would it be worth it if you never met them? Adapted from the Beth O’Leary novel, this is the elegant premise of the fun six-part comedy-drama. Jessica Brown Findlay stars as Tiffany, a girl in her twenties who finds herself in a bizarre arrangement with Leon (Anthony Welsh): they will part but never meet, thanks to opposite work patterns. “It’s not romantic,” says Leon. “It’s practical.” Who thinks he’s joking?
Paramount+, out Thursday, December 1


Firefly Lane

From left: Katherine Heigl as Tully, Sarah Chalke as Kate in Firefly Lane.
From left: Katherine Heigl as Tully, Sarah Chalke as Kate in Firefly Lane. Photo: Dia Bera/Netflix

This soapy, overly emotional drama is based on friendship, not love. But the currents run deep and the scars of lost friendship are equally painful. As we rejoin Tully and Kate (Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke), we’re about to find out what ended their 30 years of tight mutual support. Through an explanation, Kate struggles in the aftermath of Johnny’s ordeal in Iraq while the once-ostentatiously successful Tully faces career oblivion after a bruising lawsuit. Expect tears, tantrums, hugs and learning.
Netflix, starting Friday, December 2


hot skull

Osman Sonant as Mourad Syafos in Hot Skull.
Osman Sonant as Mourad Syafos in Hot Skull. Image: Netflix

We are beginning to see television’s harvest from Covid-19 bear fruit, as ideas brought to life during the pandemic appear on our screens. This Turkish miniseries imagines a pandemic spreading through verbal communication – the kind of rambunctious, chattering psychopath that plagues conversation. In a world of protective headphones, only the linguist Murat Syafos seems immune, but he also has to protect himself from a mysterious anti-epidemic organization desperate to understand the reasons for his invulnerability.
Netflix, starting Friday, December 2

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