The Power to Rabbit Hole: the seven best shows to stream this week
Pick of the week
Imagine a world in which men are physically afraid of women? It might be an understandable revenge fantasy but this sci-fi – based on Naomi Alderman’s 2016 Margaret Atwood-endorsed novel and starring Toni Collette – suggests what such a world might look like. The power in question is electricity: teenage girls discover they have the ability to unleash deadly bolts from their hands. There are tentative explorations (starting fires, turning on lightbulbs) then escalations – two girls shut down a city’s energy grid. But where will this end? After all, power corrupts. The show initially struggles to establish a tone, but the premise is interesting enough to make it worth sticking with.
Prime Video, from Friday 31 March
Kiefer Sutherland rolls back the years in this new thriller, playing John Weir, a similarly hyper-efficient, high stakes operative to 24’s Jack Bauer, and working in the comparably perilous world of corporate espionage sabotage. As we join Weir, he’s smugly decimating the fortune of a passing tech investor before engaging in no-strings sex with a woman he meets in a bar. But though he’s cagey, unattached and enigmatic, he’s leaving trails: soon he’s in the crosshairs of a mysterious operation intent on destroying his livelihood and framing him for murder. It’s slick, slightly generic and enjoyably nasty.
Paramount+, from Monday 27 March
The Big Door Prize
Would you live your life differently if you fully understood your true potential? When a mysterious machine appears in the convenience store of a small US town promising to reveal every individual’s capabilities, the locals are seduced. They’re soon buying themselves the motorbike they’ve always fancied, learning judo and taking up artistic hobbies. At the heart of the action is Chris O’Dowd’s gently bumbling teacher Dusty, who is worried about the machine’s potential to unbalance previously tranquil lives. A slow burn but the intrigue ramps up.
Apple TV+, from Wednesday 29 March
Explorations of US racial faultlines via the medium of fantasy has become a mini-genre in recent years (think 2020’s Lovecraft Country). This feels like a slightly baggy addition to that canon. Adapted from Octavia E Butler’s 1979 novel, Kindred tells the story of writer Dana (Mallori Johnson) whose nightmares about living during the era of slavery start to become so horribly real they resemble time travel. When her white boyfriend Kevin finds himself in this parallel universe too, the potential for troubling allegory is rich.
Disney+, from Wednesday 29 March
Adapted from Brigid Delaney’s 2017 novel, this comedy-drama stars Celeste Barber as Liv Healy, a deeply unhealthy Australian food blogger who is denied a US green card on the grounds of unfitness. Via a mixture of gross-out comedy and snarky scepticism, it tracks her journey through various wellness fads as she attempts to reclaim her career. However, in an awkward – albeit predictable – tonal shift towards earnest, feelgood redemption, it turns out her problems aren’t just physical; she’s going to have to address difficult emotional issues, too.
Netflix, from Wednesday 29 March
A simple premise for this intriguing South African crime thriller: Zenzi Mwale (Gail Mabalane) is a timid cleaner whose husband is being released from prison. When she arrives to pick him up, she is told that he’s already gone. But where? And, more importantly, why? Initially, Zenzi struggles to be taken seriously by either the authorities – to whom she first turns – or the criminal underworld where her focus inevitably shifts. But just because she’s quiet, that doesn’t mean she’s going to give up. Eventually, her quest takes her into dangerous realms.
Netflix, from Wednesday 29 March
“I’m the man who created the bruiseless avocado.” Rob Lowe stars in this periodically amusing comedy about Ellis Dragon – an unfeasibly wealthy and eccentric biotech entrepreneur whose emotional life is in chaos. His son Jackson (Rob’s real-life son John Owen Lowe) is nothing like his dad; he’s arguably a little duller but undeniably less annoying. Can Ellis salvage his company and put his relationship with his offspring back on track? Think Ab Fab with lashings of Silicon Valley tech-bro narcissism instead of the booze and drugs.
Netflix, from Thursday 30 March