Watch, listen and be inspired by Calum Henderson's definitive list of what's hot right now and from the vault.
Chloe (Prime Video)
Who among us has never lay awake at two in the morning, our dead-eyed face smushed into the pillow, bathed in the pale white glow of our phones as we scroll unhealthily through the Instagram feed of a total stranger we're totally obsessed with? We are all Becky, the main character in the BBC's social media thriller Chloe – to some extent, anyway.
We're stalking Chloe Fairbourne again. 891 followers, 128 following – she's no influencer, but that ratio suggests she's doing something right. The smug selfies, the weekends away, the nice dinners … she's definitely doing better than Becky, stuck in a series of temping jobs and caring for the mum she's losing to early-onset dementia.
But there's a third character in all of this: Sasha. That's just one of the pseudonyms Becky uses to scam her way into the types of high society events Chloe and her councillor husband regularly attend. This is where Becky and the rest of us idle social media stalkers differ, and what makes this series a thriller, not just a series about some lonely saddo.
When Chloe dies suddenly – not before uncharacteristically posting a Smiths quote on her Instagram – Becky's double life really gets its wings. She's Anna Delvey with a purpose, and that purpose is finding out what really happened to Chloe by embedding herself in Chloe's circle of friends. "Pretty weird," says Chloe's old best friend / Sasha's new best friend, Livia. "I don't think she even listened to The Smiths." Now that's a murder mystery.
There are, of course, plenty of big twists. Anybody who's watched Doctor Foster or any of the other quietly unhinged British TV thrillers of recent years should know to expect as much by now. For both Becky/Sasha and us as viewers, this is a high-risk high-reward proposition.
The Lazarus Project (Neon)
Time travel nerds have been saying good things about The Lazarus Project, which means creator Joe Barton (Netflix's under-rated Giri/Haji) must be doing something right. The British sci-fi thriller stars Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You) as a techy type who wakes up one morning and realises he's reliving a day six months in the past. He's recruited into The Lazarus Project – a mysterious multinational organisation with the ability to turn back time to try to avoid global extinction. It's Groundhog Day meets Armageddon, and yes, the time travel stuff is pretty buzzy if you can get your head around it.
Loot (Apple TV+)
A new comedy created by Matt Hubbard (30 Rock, Parks and Rec) and Alan Yang (Parks and Rec, Master of None), starring prolific funnywoman Maya Rudolph? No wonder there's plenty of excitement around Apple TV+'s latest series. Rudolph plays a woman of extreme wealth who, after divorcing her husband of 20 years, is on a mission to dig deep and truly find herself – and also to figure out what to do with the $87 billion divorce settlement. The answer to both, of course, is to get heavily and hectically involved in her long-neglected charitable foundation.
Man Vs Bee (Netflix)
Really great comic timing from Netflix to have the news of their big stock price implosion break just days after they revealed their latest big expensive series involved Rowan Atkinson chasing a bee around a mansion with a spatula. Is this not what we envisioned our future selves watching when we signed up to pay our $10 a month subscription fee? It's not even Mr Bean, but a new, Bean-adjacent character, one we're all going to watch to find out if it's as bad as it looks, which is going to make Netflix think they should make more. Maybe it's what we deserve.
Movie of the Week: Cha Cha Real Smooth (Apple TV+)
Here comes the next big movie everybody's talking about from Apple TV+ after CODA took out the Academy Award earlier in the year. Cha Cha Real Smooth was written by, directed by and stars up-and-coming 20-something American film-maker Cooper Raiff, who plays a guy who gets a job as a bar mitzvah party host while pursuing a complicated relationship with a young single mum (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic daughter. An ambitious unconventional modern rom-com develops – one which not every critic has loved, necessarily, but it's worth making up your own mind.
From the Vault: Election (1999) (TVNZ+)
And just like that … TVNZ OnDemand became TVNZ+. You might think the only difference is a slightly nicer interface, but dig into that slightly nicer interface and you'll find it now has way more movies, including the 1999 cult comedy Election, starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. The free streaming service also has some of the best shows on TV right now (Hacks, This Is Going to Hurt, Everything I Know About Love) – quite a good deal really.
Podcast of the Week: Fringe Network: Alien State
When Blink182 signed their first contract, guitarist Tom DeLonge took half his paycheck and invested it in a computer. Why? In his own words: "for looking up UFO s**t". This was in the 1990s, when The X-Files was one of the biggest shows on television and fascination with UFOs was at its absolute peak.
While for many of us UFOs were merely a phase, DeLonge stuck at it. In the 2010s he quit the band to dedicate his life to proving extraterrestrial life exists. He spent millions of dollars establishing aerospace and science divisions of his entertainment company ,To The Stars Inc. and went on the Joe Rogan podcast and talked so much nonsense even Rogan got bored.
Then something weird happened: he released three UFO videos purported to be from the Pentagon, then a couple of years later the Pentagon declassified them. UFOs do exist, they basically admitted, but we call them UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena) now. And everybody kind of just shrugged and got back to more pressing concerns.
The way-better-than-it-sounds Fringe Network: Alien State is an entertaining look at the whole saga, and those who believe – starting with the man who sang the famous line "Where are yew?" in the Blink182 song "Miss You". We know now he was actually talking about aliens.