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The 10 best TV shows to watch this week, from Sherwood to Jennifer Lopez: Halftime


Hacks

From Friday 10 June, Prime Video

Jean Smart as Deborah Vance (Photo: HBO/Amazon)

While British viewers had to wait more than a year for the first series of this two-hander about a young comedy writer and a legendary stand-up, we are getting season two just over a month after the US. Ava (Hannah Einbinder) is desperate to keep hidden the mean email she sent about Deborah (Jean Smart) to a production company which wants to make a show about the comedian – a feat made much harder by the fact that she has agreed to accompany her on a nationwide tour.

My Name is Leon

Friday 10 June, 9pm, BBC Two

Cole Martin as Leon (Photo: BBC/Douglas Road Productions/Ben Gregory-Ring)

Based on Kit de Waal’s hit 2016 novel, this one-off feature-length drama follows a mixed-race nine-year-old boy, Leon, as he navigates the care system in 80s Birmingham. Separated from his younger brother, Leon is determined to reunite his family. As race riots roar across the city, he is helped by his sweary foster carer, Maureen (Monica Dolan), and his favourite action figure, Sergeant Smith.

The British Planes That Won the War with Rob Bell

Friday 10 June, 9pm, Channel 5

Engineer Rob Bell profiles four British fighter planes that were key in helping Allied troops claim victory in the First World War. First up is the Sopwith Camel, designed by Herbert Smith and first deployed on the Western Front in 1917. Its double machine guns and light, agile frame helped it become one of the deadliest weapons the Allied Forces had at their disposal – though it was also a danger to those flying it.

Avoidance

Friday 10 June, 9.30pm, BBC One

Romesh Ranganathan as Jonathan (Photo: BBC /RangaBee Productions/Gary Moyes

With no plans for new episodes of The Reluctant Landlord, Romesh Ranganathan has had the time to come up with a new Friday night sitcom. He plays Jonathan, a “conflict-avoidant beta male” who has recently been abandoned by his partner, Claire (Jessica Knappet). In an effort to keep their separation from his son, Jonathan moves in with his sister Danielle (Mandeep Dhillon) and her wife Courtney (Lisa McGrillis) to re-evaluate his life.

Soccer Aid

Sunday 12 June, 6.30pm, ITV

Former One Directioner Liam Payne could do with some good press, so let’s hope he scores a goal for England in the annual charity match. Damian Lewis, YouTube star Chunkz, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher also join the England squad, managed by Harry Redknapp, David Seaman and Emma Hayes. Representing the rest of the world are Usain Bolt, Line of Duty’s Martin Compston, comedian Mo Gilligan and Patrice Evra.

Grenfell

Sunday 12 June, 10.30pm, Channel 4

Using words taken directly from the inquiry into the 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower that left 72 people dead and hundreds more homeless, this play is a shocking and heart-wrenching account of how the refurbishment of the building contributed to the tragedy. This televised version, filmed at London’s The Tabernacle, features an introduction from newsreader Jon Snow.

Sherwood

Monday 13 June, 9pm, BBC One

Lindsay Duncan as Jennifer Hale and David Morrissey as Ian St Clair (Photo: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

When James Graham writes a new series, the stars come running, and Sherwood is no different. With a cast including Robert Glenister, Lesley Manville, David Morrissey and Joanne Froggatt, the show is inspired by the writer’s childhood and two Nottinghamshire murders that happened weeks apart in 2004, sparking one of the biggest manhunts in UK history. In this fictionalised version of events, a killing in a small ex-mining community brings up old prejudices and rivalries.

Jennifer Lopez: Halftime

From Tuesday 14 June, Netflix

This all-access documentary follows pop star Jennifer Lopez – otherwise known as J-Lo – in one of the busiest times of her career. While preparing for a spectacular performance with Shakira at the Super Bowl, Oscar buzz is building around her role in Lorene Scafaria’s movie Hustlers – a short-lived excitement that faded when she wasn’t even nominated. She reflects on her life in the public eye, and a certain Ben Affleck, now Lopez’s fiancé, also turns up.

The Lazarus Project

Thursday 16 June, 9pm, Sky Max & Now

Paapa Essiedu as George (Photo: Simon Ridgway/Sky)

George (Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You) seems like an ordinary bloke – until one day he wakes up to find he is six months in the past. It turns out that he has a natural propensity to time-travel – and he is not alone. The Lazarus Project is a group of time-jumpers who routinely reset the world when humanity is on the brink of extinction. And soon, George is working alongside them.

The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell

Thursday 16 June, 10pm, Channel 4

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell is best known as Michelle in Derry Girls, making her the perfect candidate to present this documentary on the future of
the Northern Irish city. Bringing her own experience of growing up in Derry to the film, O’Donnell meets young people living in the city now, who have benefited from regeneration, but feel their career opportunities are limited if they don’t leave the area.

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