IF you are already fed up hearing about the Euros with England and Wales yet to play, we’ve got the perfect alternative viewing plan just for you.
June and July will be serving up some serious television to keep you distracted through the tournament as Harry Kane and Co bring the trophy home – plus there are all those great shows on catch-up and the streaming giants you really should watch.
Will Harry Kane and Co bring the trophy home?[/caption]
From gritty dramas, side-splitting comedies and dark documentaries to some plain bonkers telly, here is TV Editor Rod McPhee’s indispensable guide to the upcoming gems you might have missed.
The Battle for Britney
On BBC iPlayer now
Prepare to be shocked by this 60-minute probe into the bizarre life of one of the world’s biggest pop stars, subtitled Fans, Cash And A Conservatorship.
Mobeen Azhar takes a look at Britney Spears’ story, from her modest hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, to the bright lights of Tinseltown, and the millions of fans – and dollars – that inevitably followed.
Prepare to be shocked by this 60-minute probe into the bizarre life of Britney Spears[/caption]
Now she is locked in a bizarre conservatorship battle with her father and his team, who have claimed she has to have all her dealings controlled by them.
And their claim is based on the fact that the Baby One More Time singer is, according to them, suffering from dementia at the age of 39.
But this insightful one-off documentary reviews both sides of the argument, with the fanaticism of Britney’s devotees not helping when it comes to unravelling her complicated situation.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Channel 4, June 20
This fourth series of the dystopian nightmare continues the narrative created in Margaret Atwood’s disturbing cult novel of the same name.
Elisabeth Moss returns to play central character June Osborne, who is still fighting the totalitarian government of Gilead which, inspired by religion, treats most women like baby-making machines.
The fourth series of the dystopian nightmare continues[/caption]
All the signs are June has ramped up her brave rebellion, picking up from the cliffhanger ending of season three.
The latest series has already been well received in the US, where it has been renewed for a fifth season.
And if you missed the first three gripping series, they are available on All 4.
Too Hot To Handle
Netflix from June 23
A bevy of ripped young men meet a group of scantily clad women in a tropical location and, naturally, things get a little steamy.
We’re not talking about Love Island – though the long-awaited return of the ITV2 smash is expected soon – no, this is Too Hot To Handle.
The long-awaited return of the ITV2 smash Too Hot To Handle is expected soon[/caption]
This reality dating contest is not about coupling up to win a cash prize, but winning a six-figure sum by avoiding having sex. Even “self-gratification” is banned.
Too Hot To Handle debuted last year with an eight-part series set in Mexico, and after it became Netflix’s most-watched show in ten countries, it was hailed as its “biggest competition show ever”.
Now it is returning with a new line-up of stunners in the Turks And Caicos Islands.
In The Footsteps Of Killers
Boxset on All 4, and June 16 & 23
Silent Witness star Emilia Fox and criminologist Professor David Wilson team up to reinvestigate a trio of real-life unsolved cases in this docu-series.
They “reopen” the cold cases using forensic science and criminological research to unearth new clues and suspects, and retrace the steps of the victims in a drama format.
A trio of real-life unsolved cases are reinvestigated in this docu-series[/caption]
Episodes include the disappearance of abducted estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who went missing in 1986, the “milk carton kids” David Spencer and Patrick Warren, who went missing in Birmingham in 1996, and the murder of RAF woman Rita Ellis, whose body was discovered in Buckinghamshire in 1967.
The series has already started on Channel 4 but all the episodes are available on streaming service All 4.
Jeremy Clarkson’s Farm
On Amazon Prime Video now
Released yesterday on the streaming service, this eight-part comic docu-series follows a year in the life of the most unlikely farmer imaginable.
Which is why it is as funny as it is intriguing to see The Sun’s Jeremy Clarkson – a man known for his expertise on motor cars – having to grapple with tractors and misbehaving animals.
Jeremy Clarkson grapples with tractors and misbehaving animals[/caption]
That includes taking a hoof in the privates from a particularly unhappy sheep, which is almost as painful to watch as it must have been for Jeremy.
But you have to admire his guts after buying a 1,000-acre farm and thinking it was as simple as putting seeds in the ground and waiting for food to grow.
He found he was up against torrential rain, the pandemic and the small matter of him knowing nothing about agriculture.
On Netflix now
Take a trip back to the Seventies to the world of high fashion and even higher party-goers indulging in the hedonistic world of New York’s Studio 54.
Alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and Farrah Fawcett was designer Halston, who reinvented fashion 50 years ago.
Take a trip back to the Seventies to the world of high fashion[/caption]
The little-known story of the US couturier is brought to life in this hilarious and moving five-part biopic, starring Ewan McGregor in the lead role.
The designer came from a bleak backwater family where his mother was constantly beaten by his father, and grew up to become one of the world’s most sought-after names in fashion.
And if you want to know more about his rise and fall, there is also an Amazon Prime Video documentary, also called Halston, which charts his life in full.
90 Day Fiancé
All series on Discovery+ now
Think you’ve watched the best and/or worst reality show on television?
No. No, you haven’t. Well, not unless you’ve seen 90 Day Fiancé on Discovery+.
All series of 90 Day Fiancé are on Discovery+ now[/caption]
Having reached its eighth series with international acclaim, this show is all about loved-up couples from differing sides of the Pond. One lives in America and the other in a country far, far away.
Before the TV cameras get to them, they have fallen in love – be it on a holiday romance or over the internet.
The pair then apply for a K1 visa, which means they have 90 days together in the States to decide whether they want to get married at the end of it or split for good – which is where the cameras start rolling.
It’s real watch-through-your-fingers stuff. Dramatic, explosive and sometimes very sweet – you simply can’t look away.
Mare Of Easttown
On Sky now
Streaming services may be littered with big-budget shows featuring big-name stars, but they can often be disappointing.
However, Mare Of Easttown, which stars Titanic leading lady Kate Winslet, is an exception.
Mare Of Easttown stars Titanic leading lady Kate Winslet[/caption]
The hit seven-part drama follows small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan as she investigates a local murder.
In doing so she discovers the dark side of a closed community plagued by drugs and poverty.
The gritty thriller is less about the crime at the heart of the story, and more about the storm that revolves around it. It also sees Kate deliver one of the best performances of her career.
Box set on BBC iPlayer
This suburban comedy might have slipped under your radar, but fans will confirm it is a belter that deserves to be watched from the very beginning.
Luckily the BBC has put the first two series on iPlayer along with the third, which has just finished airing on BBC2.
This suburban comedy might have slipped under your radar[/caption]
It stars Anna Maxwell Martin – better known as DCS Patricia Carmichael in Line Of Duty – as put-upon mum Julia, who is struggling to cope with middle-class family life in London.
This is helped and sometimes hindered by her random selection of neighbours and fellow parents, who don’t seem any more capable.
The results are hilarious, delivering hours of laughs.
Rob & Romesh Vs
Sky One from July 8
If you still need a laugh after all that top TV, then arriving just in the nick of time are comics Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett.
The show has already seen them explore everything from art to drag artists, and this time they are moving out of their comfort zone once again.
If you still need a laugh after all that top TV then look no further[/caption]
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The new series sees them take on Team GB across a number of sports, from weightlifting to canoeing, as well as going head to head with sporting icons including Denise Lewis and Sir Andy Murray.
Unfortunately, that involves both stars wearing some eye- wateringly tight white lycra.
You will be sweating just watching it.