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Now TV: What to Watch

Now TV is widely considered to be the best streaming service for not only the latest films (with new releases added almost every week) but also for having some of the best TV box sets of all time. Now TV is Sky’s on demand streaming service that not only gives you access to film and TV but also some of Sky’s live channels and sport all without a contract. With a range of packages to suit all your viewing needs there is something to suit every household during lockdown and beyond.

Here are a few of my favourites that you should add to your watchlist.

The Wire 

The Wire is the best TV show of all time. It’s just a fact. All those who’ve never seen it and don’t believe the hype think ‘surely it can’t be that good?’ Well it is.

Set on the streets of Baltimore, the series follows the police department trying to catch the most prominent drug dealers in the city. Throughout its five seasons it explores real world problems surrounding drugs, ports, local government, the media and education. The cast is just sensational, with stand out performances from Dominic West as loveable rogue Jimmy McNulty and Michael K. Williams’ Omar Little. After seeing the series you will spot members of the cast in almost every successful series or film ever made, most noticeably Idris Elba (Luther) and Lance Reddick (John Wick).

I can almost guarantee that you will binge watch the entire series if you’ve never seen it before. I’ve seen it three times now. Might have to make it four…

The Wire - Series 03
Episode 06 "Homecoming"
Pierce, Wendell as Homicide Detective William "Bunk" Moreland and Williams, Michael K. as Omar.
©Copyright 2000-2005 Home Box Office Inc
Chernobyl
In 1942, a disparate group of young men begin their training to become paratroopers under disciplinarian Captain Herbert Sobel (David Schwimmer).

Chernobyl 

Chernobyl won more awards last year than any other TV limited series for many reasons. One being its superb performances from Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson and Jessie Buckley but also for it’s harrowing storytelling of the horrifying events.

The series tells the story of an explosion at Chernobyl, a nuclear power plant in the Ukraine in 1986, caused by not just human error, but by the lies and corruption of those in power. In many parts it is hard to watch as well as hard to believe, but this vital story is presented so beautifully I’d consider it essential viewing.

Band of Brothers

If you know nothing about the second world war, or if you loved Saving Private Ryan but don’t really like war films, then please watch Band of Brothers. Directed by Steven Spielberg the series is a tale of ‘ordinary men who did extraordinary things’, from parachuting behind enemy lines on D-Day, liberating a concentration camp and being the first to enter Hitler’s mountain retreat after his death.

Based on the book by Stephen Ambrose, the 10 episodes follow Easy company,  506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division from their initial training starting in 1942 to the end of World War II. Based on real stories from the soldiers themselves (who are actually filmed introducing many episodes) you will not see a more realistic depiction of the realities and brutalities of war.

The casting is just magnificent, Damien Lewis is superb as the highly respected Major Winters while familiar faces such as Michael Fassbender, Andrew Scott, Simon Pegg and David Schwimmer feature in this unforgettable series. If you only watch one episode, watch ‘Why we fight’. And if you don’t cry, you’re dead inside.

Big Little Lies

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon star in a tale of three mothers whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty and created by David E. Kelley, the series has one of the most gripping storylines that always keeps you guessing. What has to be noted here is the incredible cast, with so many big names it’s hard to pick a favourite but Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz are absolutely exceptional, and of course I have to mention the talents of Alexander Skarsgård, who even as the most despicable character is still so desirable. A true celebration of women, both series are worth watching, but the first is one of the best stand alone limited series of the last decade.

BlacKkKlansman

Based on a true story, BlacKkKlansman is about Ron Stallworth (played by the son of Denzel Washington, John David Washington), an African American police officer who successfully manages to infiltrate the local branch of the Ku Klux Klan with the help of a Jewish officer (played by Adam Driver) who eventually becomes its leader.

Honestly, it is based on a true story.

Brought to the screen by legendary director Spike Lee, the 70s fashion, toe-tapping soundtrack and comedy moments make the film a cracking watch. The plot is also helped with fictitious appearances by civil rights activist Kwame Sure (played beautifully by Stokely Carmichael) and Grand Wizard David Duke, who you can’t help but absolutely despise yet feel a bit sorry for him at the same time. Not too sorry though, being a leader of racists and all that.

Celeste accuses Mary Louise of overstepping boundaries with Jane. Renata endures a prying court hearing with Gordon. Jane opens up to Corey at Amabella's disco-themed birthday party. Madeline continues to try to make things right with Ed.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, "BlacKkKlansman" is based on the incredible true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), Colorado Springs's first African-American police officer who successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. With the help of his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), Stallworth was able to deceive Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace) and rise through the ranks of the KKK to become the head of a local chapter in Colorado.
Jaden Smith & Will Smith
Whiplash. Miles Teller as Andrew Neiman, an ambitious young jazz student at Shaffer who plays the drums.
J. K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher, the jazz instructor at Shaffer.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Now hopefully most people have seen this but if not, you’re in for a treat. The Pursuit of Happyness is the kind of film you can watch with your parents in the Christmas holidays because it has no sex, no swearing, no violence, it’s just good old fashioned storytelling.

Based on a year in the life of Chris Gardner, a homeless salesman, Will Smith and his son Jaden star in this biographical drama about a man’s struggle to make his way on Wall Street. The only film to have made me cry from both sadness and happiness, its message of determination and working hard for what you want in life is delivered in a way that is just perfect.

Whiplash

Whiplash is very intense and difficult to watch in parts but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a stunning piece of filmmaking. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, it follows the relationship between ambitious drummer Andrew (played convincingly by Miles Teller) and perfectionist band conductor Terence Fletcher, played to an oscar winning standard by J K Simmons. Fletcher’s unconventional teaching methods push his students to the limit and the film explores just how far Andrew will go in order to gain the approval of his teacher. The musical score is one of the best things about the film, if you know nothing of jazz you are sure to appreciate the complexity and skills needed to excel as a jazz musician.

To watch all these titles and more you will need a Now TV Entertainment Pass which costs £7.99 per month, with a 7-day free trial available for all first-time subscribers. It gives users access to 12 live channels and 300 TV series boxsets. A Sky Cinema Pass costs £11.99 per month, with a 7-day free trial available for all first-time subscribers.

Learn more and subscribe to Now TV with no contract here: www.nowtv.com

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