Friday, February 23, 2024

The Luminaries, Jack Whitehall’s Father’s Day and two excellent new Netflix documentaries


Friday If we have to have fathers riding to television fame on the coat tails of their offspring, it’s better that it’s Michael Whitehall, dad of Jack, rather than Stanley Johnson or Thomas Markle. Jack Whitehall’s Father’s Day (BBC1, 8.30pm) features the comedian and his dry-witted pop enjoying a socially distanced Father’s Day (two days before the real thing). They reminisce over family photos, cringe at old home videos and spin yarns about their family over a diverting half-hour. Season two of the much-adored My Brilliant Friend (Sky Atlantic, 9pm, 10.10pm), based on Elena Ferrante’s equally beloved quartet of novels about two friends in post-war Italy, kicks off with the near obligatory double-bill. Lila (Gaia Girace) is already regretting her marriage to a violent man, while Lenu (Margherita Mazzucco) is struggling to handle school and romance. Two excellent Netflix documentaries land today. Disclosure, looks at how movies have depicted transgender people, from the 1914 silent A Florida Enchantment through to Dog Day Afternoon and… well, a film I can’t name for fear of a spoiler. Father Soldier Son, which was filmed over 10 years, focuses on US Army sergeant Brian Eisch, who returned from Afghanistan with life-changing injuries, as he tries to rebuild his life and relationships. With Ryan Murphy’s alt-history fantasy stinker Hollywood fresh in the mind, along comes season two of his leaden satire The Politician (Netflix, from today). The obnoxiously entitled Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) has moved on from college politics and now has his eye on the Senate. Will his mother (Gwyneth Paltrow) wreck his chances? Plastic Wars (PBS America, 8.30pm) investigates how the plastics industry may, in its attempt to make plastic recyclable, have actually ended up making more of the stuff that will end up in the world’s oceans. Close Michael Whitehall and Jack
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Nigel Shorts
Nigel Shorts
Introvert. Bacon ninja. Twitter maven. Amateur food evangelist. Friendly tv junkie.

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