TV Preview: Peaks and politics

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It’s that time of year when the sun is finally starting to shine and the lure of the outdoors calls you forth – if revision hasn’t got you trapped in the library 24/7, that is. Go for a walk, feel the sun upon your back, take your mind off the stresses of exam season. Then realise that’s boring and watch Netflix instead.

Surely the most anticipated release this fortnight is season five of the always-brilliant ‘House of Cards’, the American political drama series which has been going strong since 2013. If you’re tired of the slap-fights that real-world politics has become, this show might be the perfect remedy. Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is certainly a more intelligent president than Trump, although his intentions are no less malevolent, as the chilling trailer shows. “The American people don’t know what’s best for them. I do”, he purrs, pledging his intentions to remain in charge well beyond his term of office. But as cracks begin to show in his relationship with Claire (Robin Wright), and as the threat of ICO grows, can Frank maintain his grip on power? Whatever the answer, it promises to be another gripping season, and it comes to Netflix starting May 30.

Also from the good ol’ US of A, Twin Peaks finally makes its long-awaited return, on Sky Atlantic, on May 22. The original show ran for only two seasons and was cancelled back in 1991, but has retained a massive cult following ever since. Many of the original cast are back, including Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper, and more importantly both Mark Frost and David Lynch have returned to write, with Lynch directing. The original run aired before most of us were born but don’t let that put you off – it’s a surreal and utterly unique classic, and if they can recapture that same magic 26 years down the line, this one will be well worth a look.

Closer to home, Broken premieres on BBC One on May 23. Sean Bean, in his biggest small-screen role since Game of Thrones, stars as a Catholic priest who presides over a modern Northern Irish parish, where he must act as confidante and counsellor to his community while also struggling with secrets of his own. Bean is joined on the cast list by Anna Friel, a long-time stalwart of British TV, and Adrian Dunbar of Line of Duty fame. BBC drama has excelled in recent times, with the likes of Line of Duty, Happy Valley and SS-GB flying the flag, and this promises to be another must-watch.

I hate to keep going back to the Netflix well, but in the absence of much excitement on terrestrial TV I recommend you check out ‘Dear White People’, a satirical look at a group of black students in a white-as-the-driven-snow Ivy League school environment. The trailer sparked controversy and has nearly twice as many dislikes as likes (never change, YouTube) but the show itself has been well-received and manages to deal with issues such as police prejudice and racial misappropriation without taking itself too seriously.

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