1. VELVET BUZZSAW: Netflix
Nightcrawler Director Dan Gilroy reteams with actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo for an uneven but still intriguing enough mix of art world satire and horror. When a series of paintings by a dead, unknown artist set the LA scene on fire, it turns out there may be something more to the paintings and its not pretty. Its satirical barbs are not as sharp as they should be and the mix of genres is often jarring but there are plenty of moments here that make it worth a watch.
WATCH | Velvet Buzzsaw trailer:
2. HIGH MAINTENANCE SEASON 2: Showmax
Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld’s show about a weed dealer weaving his way through the many different subcultures, crannies and nooks of New York continues to provide satisfyingly quirky and often poignant vignettes of life in the Big Apple in the age of Trump. It’s third season has just started in the US but until then take the time to catch up on the second season, which is notable for its move away from pure comedy towards a more human but always gently humourous investigation of the lives of people who smoke weed.
WATCH | High Maintenance season 2 trailer:
3. LORENA: Amazon Prime Video
When she cut off her abusive husband’s penis in 1993, Lorena Bobbitt became a byword for crazy-women everywhere and she and her husband became the focus of one of the 1990’s many tabloid saturated media frenzies. This four part docuseries, produced by Jordan Peele, takes us back to the events and examines them through the lens of today’s changing attitudes in an attempt to refocus the story not on the man who had his junk cut off and went onto make many media appearances and a porn film, but rather on the woman who he hurt so much that she didn’t feel she had any other choice.
WATCH | Lorena trailer:
4. RUSSIAN DOLL: Netflix
Created by and starring talented comic actor Natasha Lyonne, this is a Groundhog Day for the 21st century. The premise is simple enough – on the night of her 36th birthday, Lyonne’s character Nadia is run over by a car only to wake up back at her party and realise that she’s living the same moment over and over again. The 8 episodes allow for a more thorough and tonally different examination of the idea as Nadia and we gradually realise that she has to deal with her past in order to ensure that her present continues.
WATCH | Russian Doll trailer:
5. SHARP OBJECTS: Showmaz
Director Jean-Marc Valeé followed up the hugely successful first season of Big Little Lies with this standalone, Golden Globe nominated story of a reporter (Amy Adams) who is forced to move back in with her mother (Patricia Clarkson) after a murder in her hometown. It’s suitably creepy, full of briefly glimpsed mysterious shadows from the past and the mystery and the performances keep you locked in until the end.
WATCH | Sharp Objects trailer: