Best new TV to watch in August
- Brian Donaldson
- 31 July 2020
Including Little Birds, Ramy and Ted Lasso
From terrible sports coaches to iconic world leaders, plus sitcoms, superheroes and shoplifters, there's plenty to enjoy on your small screens in August.
The Beverley Allitt Tapes
Back in the early 90s, Britain was shocked when a nurse was put on trial for the murder of small children in her care. Through updated interviews, news footage and the sound of Beverley Allitt herself on tape, a three-parter tracks this terrible story.
Sky Crime, Sunday 2 August.
Dubbed as a 'modern Hitchcock', The Deceived is a nightly four-parter about a bearded Irish academic whose wife died in a house fire. But was he actually to blame for the blazing tragedy and is he prepping one of his former students to be her successor?
Channel 5, Monday 3–Thursday 6 August.
A 'playful adaptation' of Anaïs Nin's collection of short stories which were published after her death in the late 1970s, a technicolour extravaganza awaits viewers of this lavish and naughty six-parter. Juno Temple, Yumna Marwan and Hugh Skinner star.
Sky Atlantic, Tuesday 4 August.
Cuba: Castro vs The World
This documentary mini-series speaks to presidents, spies and revolutionaries to find out how the Cuba of Fidel Castro was able to act like a superpower across the world stage.
BBC Two, Tuesday 4 August.
In this hour-long documentary, some well-known black Britons (Lennie James, Emeli Sandé and Tinie Tempah among them) recall that moment when their parents first talked to them about how the colour of their skin will make their lives harder. With some of the interviewees now parents themselves, how will they tackle that conversation with their own kids?
Channel 4, Tuesday 4 August.
Matt Berry returns with that luscious voice of his to deliver a curious narration in the character of Michael Squeamish, as he tries to explain the vagaries of the modern-ish world. Topics featured in the series (co-written by Berry and Arthur Mathews) include entertainment, relationships and the countryside.
BBC Two, Thursday 6 August.
Here comes the second series of Ramy Youssef's semi-autobiographical comedy-drama as the central character struggles with family, faith and fornication. The brilliant Mahershala Ali appears as a highly influential sheikh at Ramy's local mosque.
StarzPlay, Thursday 6 August.
Lee Mack and Ellie White star in this real-time sitcom as new parents Stu and April. It's fair to say that Stu struggles with the vagaries of life and each episode is pretty much a calamity of gigantic proportions for him.
BBC Two, Thursday 6 August.
Everything: The Real Thing Story
Dubbed 'the Black Beatles', Liverpool's The Real Thing were the biggest-selling black group in British pop history. This 90-minute film by Simon Sheridan tracks the quartet's amazing story from tough childhoods to the higher echelons of UK's soul and funk world.
BBC Four, Friday 7 August.
Marcel Theroux tracks down unusual human stories across the globe, tales which never make the headlines. The opening salvo of the award-winning documentary's latest series focuses on Japan's schoolgirl entertainers and probes the motives of their following, predominantly middle-aged men.
Channel 4, Friday 7 August.
Lyricist Howard Ashman may be an Oscar winner but few know his name and fewer still have a handle on his life story. Thankfully, Disney have produced this documentary of the man behind classic songs in Aladdin and Beauty And The Beast, and who also created Little Shop Of Horrors.
Disney+, Friday 7 August.
The public perception of Imelda Marcos is of a woman who collected a colossal number of shoes. But behind the façade lay a sharp political strategist pulling the strings of her husband Ferdinand as he ruled the Philippines. This doc aims to unveil the real person behind those ludicrous headlines.
Sky Documentaries, Saturday 8 August.
Diane 'Cunk' Morgan stars in her own brand new sitcom about a woman with big dreams. But are those grand ideals merely figments of her own delusion? Michael Spicer and Tom Basden also show up.
BBC Two, Thursday 13 August.
Crime And Punishment
This acclaimed series about the legal system across Britain returns with a look at the record low conviction rates for rape despite a rise in reported cases. We follow the police, prosecution and other legal bodies as two cases go through the system.
Channel 4, Thursday 13 August.
Despite his lack of experience, a small-time college coach from Kansas is hired to manage a top football team in England. Jason Sudeikis plays the eponymous no-hoper accompanied by British talents such as Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple and Brett Goldstein.
Apple TV+, Friday 14 August.
Based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff, Jurnee Smollett and Michael K Williams star in a road trip across 1950s America. As a missing father is tracked down, racist monsters and terrifying otherworldly demons lay the path along the way.
Sky Atlantic, Monday 17 August.
A decade after the Justice Society Of America was tragically wiped out, a high-school student discovers that she has the abilities to lead a brand new generation of goodie superheroes. And so she gives it a bash.
Amazon Prime Video, Friday 21 August.
Brand spanking new animation comedy series about a hot-headed, foul-mouthed basketball coach who throws the dice on transforming his terrible high-school team into glorious winners which, in turn, will turn his own miserable life around. Fat chance.
Netflix, Friday 21 August.
An unlikely friendship continues to blossom in this second series of the show based on a young adult novel about teenage girls thrown together while attending Shoplifters Anonymous.
Netflix, Tuesday 25 August.
I Hate Suzie
Billie Piper stars in this heavily-anticipated drama series in which she plays a woman whose computer is hacked with highly compromising images of her scuttling into the public domain. We follow Suzie Pickles as she goes through an emotional wringer, attempting to hold her life and sanity together.
Sky Atlantic, Thursday 27 August.
Check our coverage throughout August for reviews of many of these shows.
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