Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones
Dave Chappelle clings to the outdated idea that "names will never hurt me", like a life raft in the turbulent ocean of woke culture he finds himself adrift in. But rather than self-censoring, he instead doubles down by joking about whiny audiences, Michael Jackson's innocence, buying a gun and the inner workings of the LGBT community. Previous specials were thought-provoking, this one is willfully provocative and occassionally feels like he's daring cancel culture to come after him. The mischievous glint in his eye proves he knows he shouldn't be talking about this stuff - something he admits to saying, "I just can't help myself." Whether he gets away with it or not is between you and the point at which your Offence-O-Meter kicks in. Streaming now.
Fresh from embarrassing America's top-ranking Republicans and other degenerates in the brilliantly funny/worryingly shocking Who Is America? Sacha Baron Cohen gets serious in this new Netflix drama. The Spy is a six-part limited series that tells the real-life story of Israel's top Mossad agent, Eli Cohen, who went under cover in Syria in the early 60s. His work saw him befriend the rich and powerful and the top military men, uncovering their secrets, ambitions and anti-Isreal initiatives. This espionage thriller has already been labelled a "triumph" and offers a rare chance to see the comedic master of disguise tackle a more grounded, gritty part. Available from tomorrow.
The Young Ones
Dig deep into TVNZ OnDemand's menus and you'll discover both seasons of The Young Ones, the classic British comedy that subverted sit-com norms, stomped on TV's rules and flipped two fingers to traditional storytelling techniques back in the 80s before doing those things was cool.
If you've never seen it, the show follows four mismatched students who live and argue with each other in a squalid flat. From that basic set-up, all bets are off as the show degenerates into a gloriously surreal, madly absurd, blazingly anarchic, violently slapstick and wildly hilarious show where anything - and we mean anything - could happen. Recommended, obviously and available now.
Mr Mercedes pulls in for a third season of murderous thrills. Based on the Stephen King trilogy of novels the show can be recommended solely due to the performance of Brendan Gleeson, who is just fantastic as the gruff, ex-detective Bill Hodges. This time around a murdered author - one of King's favourite concerns - whose stolen manuscripts are worth millions, acts as the springboard to get things moving.
The first season was a grounded crime thriller whereas the second saw King's notes shift the show towards his comfort zone of the supernatural. We're not sure which direction Mr Mercedes will travel in this season but we'll be heading along for the ride. Weekly from next Wednesday.