Bojack Horseman Season 3
In season 2 our titular horse-man hit some astonishingly low lows, even by his rock-bottom standards, but it finished on an optimistic note - Bojack's movie has been finished (without him), he's opened an orphanage (accidentally) and is even *shudder* jogging. Clearly this isn't going to last into season 3.
Nope, this is still the same selfish, self-destructive, alcoholic Bojack that we all know and love, and the press tour for Secretariat (and subsequent, astonishing Oscar nomination) gives ample opportunity for his personality to peak and trough.
If you think all of that sounds a bit too serious for a cartoon, you've clearly not yet been exposed to the wonderful silly:serious ratio of Bojack Horseman. In which case, do not be tempted to start with season 3. Instead, head right to the start and allow the fabulous, flawed characters and setting to get under your skin.
For existing fans, season 3 is more of the same in the best possible way.
A grand melange of 80s pop culture references and cinematic stylings, Stranger Things blends Stand By Me, ET and the movies of John Carpenter to compelling effect. The plot is resoundingly formulaic: a boy is missing, mysterious creature is on the prowl and some mighty shady authority figures are making a bloody mess of the ‘clean-up’, but despite its use of these well-trodden tropes, Netflix’s latest original series remains a tantalising sci-fi mystery in its own right.
Winona Ryder puts in a fearsome turn as a mother trapped in the jaws of the supernatural, while directors Matt and Ross Duffer offer up some dazzling shots of rural Indiana and its many devious secrets.
At just 8 episodes in length, the whole series can be binge-watched on a rainy Sunday, too. We’re bound to get another one of those very soon.
Jim Jefferies: Freedumb
Russell Howard fans, be warned: this is not the bland, inoffensive ‘satire’ that you’re used to. Aussie-born adopted American stand-up Jim Jefferies isn’t known for holding back and he certainly doesn't do anything to change that in Freedumb, his new Netflix exclusive.
If you discovered him off the back of his gun control routine ‘going viral’ after every mass shooting in America (so every few weeks then) there might be more jokes about potty training here than you’d expect but his Bill Cosby bit and the Donald Trump material shows he can still channel his inner Bill Hicks when he’s got a point to make. Just don’t watch it with your mum.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Spending 15 years underground in an apocalyptic cult-leader’s bunker? Yeah, that’ll mess you up - but not nearly as much as living in New York will.
Adorably optimistic maniac Kimmy Schmidt returns for a second season this week, and it’s business as usual: hilarious misunderstandings, cringeworthy awkwardness, and doing drugs with scary dudes in Elmo costumes.
Ok, so maybe that last one isn’t exactly what you’d call “usual”.
The new season of this Tina Fey-produced comedy is as gleefully bombastic as the first. And if you haven’t seen the first series, now’s the perfect time to give it a go and get caught up.
Words by Tom Morgan
Fantastic Mr. Fox
On first release, this stop-motion adaptation of a Roald Dahl children's novel was criticised by some for being a bit too grown-up. It's true that some of the humour will be wasted on the young, but for us adults who read the book when we were young this is the perfect blend of the story we remember and Wes Anderson's off-beat humour, impeccable sets and stunning scene construction.
Anderson's regular cohorts (particularly George Clooney as Mr. Fox and Bill Murray as his badger lawyer) infuse the super-detailed character models with warmth, charm and wit, and they make it easy to route for the Fox family and friends against Boggis, Bunce and Bean - the nasty local farmers trying to hunt them down.