If Unpopcult stood for anything (and, frankly, we don’t; we’re just messing around) it would be that there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. And – more pertinently for the purposes of this PSA – that we in the UK should get to see American shows as soon as possible after original transmission.
Two cheers, therefore, for Netflix UK. Firstly, it’s giving British viewers episodes of Star Trek: Discovery within a day of first showing in the USA. Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman are co-creators for CBS All Access, and the initial word is positive. I’m not even going to attempt any sort of introduction, because I have no interest in the Star Trek “universe”, but our CJ might be reviewing the first episode at least (Netflix, now).
Secondly, it has become the UK home for highly-rated sitcom The Good Place: season 1 is available now, and season 2 episodes will be available shortly after American broadcast. This stars Kristen Bell as a woman who dies and, as a result of an administrative error, is sent upstairs rather than downstairs, if you’ll forgive the complex theology. The magnificent Ted Danson presides over Bell’s particular Good Place (Netflix, now).
What the heck; lets have another cheer for Netflix UK, because it also has the one and only season of the sublime Limitless, which we watched, loved, reviewed, and then mourned. Based on the film, and with Bradley Cooper making occasional guest appearances, it’s a riot of wit and invention which stands comparison with Chuck in its pomp. We love this show, and we love Jake McDorman in it. And, for British drama fans, season 2 of Happy Valley has made its way there (both Netflix, now).
And now some documentaries. Not to be outdone by Netflix, the BBC has snapped up Ken Burns’s series The Vietnam War, which is being shown at the moment in America. The reviews would suggest that this is outstanding (tonight, BBC 4, 9pm, double-bill).
BBC 4 is also repeating its series An Art Lover’s Guide, hosted by the charming Janina Ramirez and Alistair Sooke. The first episode is set in Amsterdam, quite possibly my favourite city in the world. It’s following that with a new series, Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, which starts with the discovery of a possible Rubens masterpiece in a Glasgow museum (Wednesday, BBC 4, 8pm and 9pm).
There’s more to come later in the week as well; we’re getting busy again.