Robert Jackman

8 crime mini-series to watch this weekend

  • From Spectator Life
Image: Sky Atlantic

Kate Winslet’s latest drama, Mare of Easttown, has been winning praise from critics and viewers alike. The seven-part series, currently available on Sky Atlantic, is a reminder that – in a world of sprawling box-sets – the old-fashioned crime mini-series still packs a serious punch.

Here are eight others worth a watch:

Your Honor, Sky Atlantic/NowTV

There is a class of actor who can sell a new show on their face alone. And judging by the promo campaign for Your Honor – which features little more than the pensive mug of its star – we can safely assume that Bryan Cranston has now reached its level.

First the obvious point: Your Honor isn’t Breaking Bad. That said, there are some pleasing thematic similarities for Cranston, as he once again finds himself in the shoes of a respectable family man forced to contemplate the unthinkable. Well worth a watch.

The Virtues, 4oD

Former Skins wunderkind Jack Thorne has been collaborating with Shane Meadows for years now through the excellent This is England series. But it’s their more recent standalone project – released four years after the skinhead epic wrapped up – that stands as their best work to date.

The fantastic Stephen Graham plays a recovering alcoholic who embarks on a gut-wrenching journey to confront a long-suppressed childhood secret. As you might expect from that précis (or even just the inclusion of Graham himself) this is no easy watch. It is, though, impeccably executed.

The Plot Against America, Sky Atlantic/NowTV

If there’s a modern novel that deserves the chance to breathe over six episodes then Philip Roth’s seminal work of alt-history (in which Hitler-appeasing Charles Lindbergh becomes America’s 32nd president) is as good a candidate as any.

With David Simon and Ed Burns (creators of The Wire) at the helm, this stellar adaptation takes its time to really do justice to Roth’s world-building: looking at how the election of a nativist and isolationist president, determined to keep the US out of the second world war, affects different members of a mid-sized Jewish community in New England.

McMafia, iPlayer

While the BBC is never going to match the firepower of Netflix and Amazon in the great drama war, they do like to fire the occasional shot.

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